When You Have Questions About Elder Care, Absolute Companion Care Has Answers
If you’re searching for quality senior home care services, it’s natural to ask home care questions about everything from the type of services available to how the agency’s caregivers are hired and trained. As your dedicated Maryland home care resource, Absolute Companion Care is here to help you find the answers you need in order to receive the best possible care. You can find many of the answers you’re looking for in our list of frequently asked home care questions below. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact Absolute Companion Care any time at 410-357-9640.
Click each home care question to reveal the answer.
Q. Do you require a commitment to a minimum of hours and days a week to provide care?
Q.What kind of services do you provide?
Q. Who needs home care?
People with a multitude of needs and abilities can benefit from in-home care services, including:
- Older adults or disabled individuals who need assistance to remain safe at home
- Anyone requiring more personal care than a spouse or family member can provide
- Anyone facing either a permanent or temporary change in his or her health who needs additional help at home
- Family caregivers who need respite care in order to rest, attend to other areas of their lives, and avoid caregiver burnout
- Individuals who live alone and would thrive from companionship
Q. Home care industry terms can be confusing: home health, private duty, health aide, nurse assistant. What do these terms mean?
Home Health Services: In the State of Maryland, home health services are temporary services prescribed by a physician following a hospital stay. The agency providing these services is called a Home Health Agency and must adhere to federal guidelines. Medicare covers some of the care costs for home health services, and a nurse will make several home visits and may or may not be accompanied by a home health aide (HHA) who provides a bath or personal care. Home health services may also be used to provide physical or occupational therapy.
Private Duty Care: As its name implies, private duty care includes one-on-one services. These services can include observation, assistance, and/or skilled care. There are different types of private duty companies providing a range of services with varying levels of oversight:
- Registry: A registry is simply a business that maintains a list of available caregivers. Registries do not employ the caregivers in their listings. The client pays the caregiver on the day of care and pays the agency an ongoing percentage for the referral. They need only a business license to operate.
- Companion Care/Homemaker Services: These include many familiar franchises (and some privately owned businesses) providing “non- medical care”. This means that their caregivers are not permitted to provide any services that require hands-on assistance. Most do not offer the oversight of an RN since their caregivers cannot provide the type of service that is considered “certified” (help walking, bathing, eating, grooming, etc.). Depending on the business model, the agency will consider their caregivers independent contractors (thus passing on liability and taxation to the caregivers). Some hire their caregivers as employees.
- Residential Services Agency (RSA): RSAs offer services that include private duty companion care, personal care, and skilled care under the off- or on-site supervision of an RN. Activities of Daily Living, or ADLs (bathing, bathroom care, oral care, grooming, walking with assistance, transferring from place to place, and/or assistance with eating), are provided by an RSA. RSAs must apply for and be granted licensure by the Maryland Department of Health Care Quality. The application process is rigorous and includes demonstration of policies and procedures for both employees and clients that adhere to state regulations. Companies providing home physical and occupational therapy and/or durable medical equipment must also be licensed as an RSA. Absolute Companion Care is an RSA.
Q. Are your home care services covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or insurance?
Q. How is a companion different from a caregiver?
Q. In what area are your services available?
Q. Why choose Absolute Companion Care’s home care in Baltimore County?
Q. Are an aide and a caregiver the same thing?
Q. What do CNA and GNA mean?
In Maryland, a certified nursing assistant (CNA) undergoes a Board of Nursing approved curriculum including clinical training under the instruction of a registered nurse (RN). A CNA candidate must demonstrate competence in all types of personal care associated with activities of daily living (ADLs), including bathing, bathroom assistance, oral care, grooming, walking with assistance, transferring from place to place, and/or assistance with eating. Candidates sit for a written and skills exam. Successful completion results in Board Certification.
A geriatric nursing assistant (GNA) completes additional training after earning the CNA certification. Successful completion of additional exam results in the designation CNA/GNA.
Absolute Companion Care’s in-house RN is a certified CNA/GNA trainer, which allows us to provide highly trained and experienced CNAs and GNAs to assist our clients with their daily needs.
Q. How are your caregivers screened and what are their qualifications?
At Absolute Companion Care, all of our caregivers undergo a rigorous selection, training, mentoring, and evaluation process. We have an extensive phone and in-person interview process. If we invite the applicant to join our team, he or she must pass county, state, and federal background checks, provide proof of residency, have a clean driving record, and pass a health and drug screening. We verify previous employment and speak to each candidate’s references. The new caregiver then reports for extensive training in company policy and client procedures.
Our companions are required to have life and/or work experience in providing care. Caregivers hired to provide hands-on assistance with daily personal care are usually licensed certified nursing assistants (CNAs). All caregivers receive extensive training and are supervised by a registered nurse. Our caregivers always have an RN available to answer any questions while with their client.