Need home health care / home aide in NY
October 29, 2008 9:07 AM   Subscribe

Help. Please. (Live-in?) Home Health Care in NY. Really long explanation inside.

My parents are in their eighties, dad had a triple bypass in April or so and mom has a whole bunch of problems. Mom was hospitalized (sepsis from a massive UTI) in June of this year, and was sent to sub-acute rehabilitation afterwards; her situation is complicated because she has Rheumatoid Arthritis (a particularly bad case) and the loss of muscle tone from being in the hospital really set her back. She has had a bunch or recurrent infections, UTI's, Clostridium difficile, etc, and so bounced back and forth between the hospital and the rehab. It seems that she's finally ready to come home, and I need some advice.
They both live in an Independent living set-up (continental breakfast, full sit down dinner, linen service, cleaning once a week) and they are going to continue to do this until they absolutely must leave--obviously, assisted living or nursing home is the next step, but my concern is quality of life, and everyone seems to agree that this will be best served by having a full-time aide.
Right now, my mother will need help getting dressed in the morning, help with showering, perhaps toileting, transferring from bed to wheelchair and back. Maybe other, unforeseen issues as well. She can walk ~80 feet right now, but otherwise she moves around by shuffling around in one of those "transfer wheelchairs" (I think that's what they're called--the ones with four little wheels). She might only need someone in the morning and at night, but I'm guessing that with toileting and whatnot, it's more likely that she'll need someone all the time, at least for now.
They are making a move from one apartment to another, larger one within the same facility; there will be a small den for an aide with another bed, nightstand, bureau for clothes.
The aide does not need to be a nurse, although a CNA would be good. Dad needs a little help too, as he's slowing down cognitively--medicine management, etc.
My questions include, how much can we expect to pay for this service? Would getting two aides to cover two shifts be better and potentially cheaper than one live-in aide? What have your experiences been with live-in help? What agencies do you know of in NY, specifically Suffolk County, Long Island? I am getting references from people in-house (all of whom I mostly trust in terms of quality, I just don't know about cost, what's "fair" or exorbitant. It is also my understanding that, depending upon the discharge plan, Medicare might pay for all or some of the aide service if mom has an outpatient rehabilitation plan or concurrent qualified nursing care (which she might need.)

I'm sorry if this question seems incoherent or rambling; I'm the only child (no other relatives who can really do anything, I'm an MA grad student who lives 150 miles away from them, I'm taking classes, I'm a TA with my own class, I work a second job, and I have been in a state of complete crisis for the past seven months trying to take care of everything, driving back and forth every week. (Also in the midst of dealing with an Elder Law Atty, we're trying to get mom's medicaid app. going). I'm not intending to sound dramatic or histrionic, I'm telling it like it is--in fact, things actually seem like they are calming down a little, I'm just trying to organize everything from the apartment move to the aide vetting, and I'm really just looking for your advice and experience.


I have a midterm tonight, so I will be studying like a madman, but I will check into the thread as often as possible to provide clarification and feedback to anyone who might offer advice.

Thank you so much MeFi.
posted by exlotuseater to Health & Fitness (6 answers total)
Does your mom's hospital have a social worker or someone who can help you figure this stuff out? They might have resources to help you with all of the logistics and planning.
posted by tastybrains at 9:30 AM on October 29, 2008

You may want to contact Visiting Nurse Service of New York, a non-profit agency that provides home health care.

Disclaimer: I haven't had any experience with them, so I can't speak to pricing, service, etc.
posted by upplepop at 9:59 AM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

I don't know how well this might help you - but I asked a social worker at my work a similar question for a friend and she suggested contacting a geriatric case manager. They know the agencies around town, which are reputable, and other individuals that could help.

Also - check with any of your parents' friends who may have caregivers if they have leads. Does the place they live have any help in this department? The senior living where my mom lives has a nurse that is in a on-site clinic a few days a week and helps the residents with referrals like this.

Good luck.
posted by dog food sugar at 10:11 AM on October 29, 2008

Are either of your parents military veterans, or connected with the US Military in any way? Covered groups include all veterans and others affiliated, including non-US citizens. The VA pays for live-in aides for my grandparents (my grandfather is a WWII vet), and I believe the coverage is pretty good. If you have a connection that way, try contacting them. It has allowed my grandfather to stay at home instead of a nursing home and been a huge help and stress-reliever for my grandmother.

Info on applying for care here and info on VA facility locations here.

They are in NJ, I can try to find out the name of their agency tonight.
posted by min at 10:12 AM on October 29, 2008

Yeah, this stuff is complicated and it sounds like the place they're living should have a social worker whose job it is is to help people find the services they need. A decent SW of that sort should also know what Medicare benefits they qualify for.
posted by Mavri at 2:51 PM on October 29, 2008

Response by poster: Thank you for your answers so far. Anyone else have any experience, even with private-pay? What are the rates?
posted by exlotuseater at 7:34 PM on October 29, 2008

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