Choosing a Home Care Agency in Illinois or Indiana

Are you looking to find a way to give your aging loved one a little extra companionship or support in their home? Finding a home care agency in Illinois or Indiana can be challenging. The sheer amount of agencies in the area is enough to make anyone feel overwhelmed, and it can feel confusing as you start to narrow down your choices.

It’s important to take the time you need to research a home care agency well so that you can be confident your loved one will be safe and well cared for. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself and prospective home care agencies as you begin your search.

What types of assistance do you provide?

First things first, make sure the home care agencies you are looking at provide the type of assistance your loved one needs. Home care agencies generally provide services that fall into one of two categories: medical and non-medical care. Medical care includes skilled nursing care that must be prescribed by a physician and overseen by a nurse or therapist. Medical services might include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, or wound care.

Companionship is a common non-medical service that can boost mood and decrease loneiness.

Non-medical services are those that do not need to be prescribed by a physician. These services can include assistance with activities of daily living, like dressing or bathing, as well as meal preparation, transportation assistance, grocery shopping, companionship, or light housekeeping.

If you aren’t sure what type of services your loved one needs, jot down a list of tasks you see them struggling with on a regular basis. You can also talk with their physician to get their opinion of which type of agency to pursue.

Does the agency serve my location?

Home care agencies typically serve a general area, but it is important to confirm that your loved one’s home is within the boundaries of their service area. 

Do I need to commit to an hourly minimum each week?

Many home care agencies offer flexible scheduling, which means they will work with you and your loved one a few weeks in advance to schedule in the hours they need assistance. However, other agencies do require an hourly minimum per week, which is less flexible for the family members to adjust as needed.

Is there an option for VA benefits?

If your loved one is qualified to receive Veterans Assistance benefits from an approved home care agency, be sure you are only looking at agencies that are pre-approved by the VA. 

Are caregivers reliable, friendly, and experienced?

Choose to only work with a home care agency that is dedicated to hiring and empowering the best caregivers in the area. Your loved one will want a consistent caregiver in order to build trust and create a meaningful relationship, so ask about staffing consistency. You can also inquire about background checks and training programs to ensure the home care agency stands behind its caregivers.

Does the agency have experience with a specific condition?

If your loved one has a specific medical condition or challenge, determine if the home care agency you are speaking with has experience with that condition. Specialty programs can ensure your loved one is receiving care from a team that understands the disease process.

Making a decision about a home care agency requires you to take the time to research local agencies. However, it also relies on your interaction with the agency representatives. At Lovebird HomeCare, we genuinely enjoy getting to know our clients and their families so we can serve them better. Call us today to tell us more about your situation and to ask any questions you might have.

Alzheimer’s and Dementia FAQ: Is It Dementia or Just Normal Aging?

As your loved one gets older, you might find yourself looking and listening for any signs that they are having challenges while living at home. For many adult children, they pay very close attention to their older loved one’s cognitive skills. If you are wondering if you are seeing early signs of dementia in your loved one or if it is just normal aging, you aren’t alone. At Lovebird HomeCare, we work with families across Illinois and Indiana who are wondering the same thing.

Here are a few of our most commonly asked questions when it comes to determining if your loved one is showing signs of early dementia or normal aging. While everyone is unique, these questions and answers might be able to guide you to schedule a follow-up physician appointment or make a call to our team to set up support services.

Should I be worried if my loved one is always forgetting my son’s name?

Occasional forgetfulness is common, but if it affects daily life, it could be something more serious.

Occasional word-finding challenges are common for anyone of any age. In fact, you might have even noticed that you need an extra moment to find the right word or name when in a conversation with a friend. This is normal.

If your loved one occasionally forgets your son’s name or needs to go through a few other grandchild names before they get to your son’s, it is most likely normal. However, if your loved one consistently forgets your son’s name or refers to him as another name from the past, it could be a sign of dementia and you should follow up with your physician.

Why can’t my loved one remember where she puts things?

Have you ever misplaced your smartphone or had to leave the house in a rush because you were searching for your missing keys? Misplacing or losing items every once in a while is normal. In fact, misplacing items often can still be normal if it is an issue of organization (for example, always put your keys in the same place when you come home).

However, if your loved one is misplacing items all day long, or if searching for lost items is taking up a large portion of the day or causing her anxiety, it could be a sign of dementia and you should follow up with a physician visit. The Alzheimer’s Association notes that any forgetfulness, judgment issue, or confusion that disrupts daily life is often a sign of dementia and should be pursued with a medical professional.

Should I be concerned if my loved one is just not himself lately?

Everyone has bad days, but if you notice your loved one is more depressed or anxious than usual, it’s time to chat with their physician. Depression and anxiety are not always an indicator of dementia. In fact, seniors are generally more vulnerable to mental health challenges as they get older. However, if you notice that their anxiety significantly increases in the late afternoon or early evening hours, it could be a symptom of dementia and you should follow up accordingly.

Dementia can also cause personality changes that don’t necessarily include depression or anxiety. If you notice that your loved one is grouchier than usual or has a shorter fuse than normal, it could be time to talk to a medical professional about it.

Why can’t my loved one manage their own bills anymore?

Complex, multi-step tasks that require work over an extended period of time can be very challenging for someone living with cognitive decline. If you notice that your loved one simply cannot keep up with paying their bills or managing their budget any longer, it could be a sign of early-stage dementia. Again, use the rule of thumb from the Alzheimer’s Association that tells us that any forgetfulness, judgment issue, or confusion that disrupts daily life should be brought up to a physician.

As your loved one ages, they will face physical and cognitive challenges that could make you worry. Fortunately, when you have the right support system in place, you can rest assured they are receiving the assistance they need to stay healthy and safe. The team at Lovebird HomeCare provides personalized services in the home designed to meet your loved one’s specific abilities and challenges. Call us today to talk more about your situation and learn how we can help.