Listed are the most frequently asked questions with straightforward answers.
If you have any questions that were not listed below or that need further clarification contact us at 713-686-2233 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
What is the difference between a licensed agency and an unlicensed provider?
Unlicensed providers often refer to themselves as staffing, sitter, or companion agencies. Licensure is required if an entity provides a person to render any type of “hands-on” care (e.g., touching the client, transferring, bathing, assisting with medications, etc.)
Businesses that only provide workers to prepare meals, perform housekeeping, or other household tasks not involving personal care may operate without a HCSSA license.
Bottom line: Licensed Agencies are surveyed frequently by the Texas Department of Health and Human Services for compliance with regulations and standards. Higher standards and more supervision equals better care.
What are the advantages of in-home care?
What do you do in-home care?
Basically they keep clean, sanitary and organized the areas where the senior predominantly lives: bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living room. Caregivers change sheets, do laundry, vacuum, prepare light meals and snacks, etc. The last area is personal care. Not every client needs personal care, but when they do a skilled caregiver should be trained and ready to offer help with what the state of Texas calls ADLs, activities of daily living. A skilled caregiver can help a client with eating, walking, showering, dressing, grooming, toileting and so many other tasks.
Is it more expensive to engage a licensed agency than to hire my own caregiver?
- Paying all federal and state payroll taxes (Medicare, FICA, and unemployment taxes – at least 10% of wages)
- Worker’s compensation insurance (10% of wages)
- Depositing payroll deductions
- Filing quarterly and annual state and federal payroll tax reports
- Complying with federal immigration hiring laws as well as a host of other employment laws
- Recruiting, hiring and firing employees
- Scheduling employees and then rescheduling employees when the first are late, sick or need time off
We have encountered cases where families or executors hired their own caregivers and chose to consider the employee an “independent contractor” – thereby ignoring payroll taxes or work-related accident insurance. Typically, this becomes a serious issue when the employee is terminated and subsequently files an unemployment claim.
This sets in motion a state and federal payroll tax audit resulting in a claim against the employer (the family in this case) wherein the family is required to pay both accrued employee and employer payroll taxes from the date of hire, plus accrued employee and employer payroll taxes for all other employees, plus penalties and interest.
The same problem results if the family chooses to ignore worker’s compensation insurance or accident related insurance. Homeowners’ insurance policies specifically exclude work-related accidents. Thousands of dollars in expenses can result from an employee being injured on the job (e.g., a back injury resulting from transferring the client) and then filing a claim with the state, suing the family (employer) and successfully collecting medical expenses, including an allowance for pain and suffering, legal fees and the legal expenses to defend the litigation action.
Encore Caregivers, a Licensed Agency, is the employer of our caregivers and is responsible for all expenses and costs associated with state and federal employment laws, work related injuries, and all other employer obligations. No worries.
How does in-home care work?
The state of Texas allows caregivers to spend as much as 20 percent of their time doing light housekeeping. Basically they keep clean, sanitary and organized the areas where the senior predominantly lives: bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living room. Caregivers change sheets, do laundry, vacuum, prepare light meals and snacks, etc. The last area is personal care. Not every client needs personal care, but when they do a skilled caregiver should be trained and ready to offer help with what the state of Texas calls ADLs: activities of daily living. A skilled caregiver can help a client with eating, walking, showering, dressing, grooming, toileting and so many other tasks.
What is a caregiver background check?
One factor in determining a high-quality in-home care agency from the herd of “just adequate” agencies – does the agency do a driving record check? At Encore Caregivers, we pull each and every caregiver’s driving record. They are called on so often to drive our clients on errands and to events, you bet we are going to make sure they are safe drivers.
What to look for in home health care?
What is the difference between home care and home health care?
Home health care offers licensed medical personnel to a patient in a home setting for diabetic care, oxygen therapy, ostomy care, emergency management, etc. In-home care is non-medical and offers caregivers to help with companionship, light housekeeping and personal care.
How difficult is it to cancel services with Encore Caregivers?
It’s very simple. Services can be canceled prior to the beginning of a caregiver’s scheduled shift, without penalty or charges. Our phones are answered around the clock by an Encore Caregivers’ professional staff member. We are very flexible in our scheduling so most requests can be honored. We understand that events and circumstances may result in disrupted schedules or in a situation in which fewer or additional hours are required. We will comply with your requests to the best of our abilities. We ask only that you provide as much advance notice as possible to minimize the impact on our caregivers.
Note: As a licensed Home and Community Support Service Agency, our clients will sign the “Individual Service Plan and Consent Form” which details the type, frequency, rates and other delivery practices for services requested. No surprises.
Can my caregiver take me out shopping, to doctor appointments or on other outings?
How much does a home care aid cost?
Of course, costs rise significantly when the home care aide is asked to help for just an hour or two. A privately hired caregiver can charge significantly less for their services, however by hiring privately, the patient/client/family takes on the role of employer and must have targeted insurance and handle all tax and workman’s compensation filings.
Can a personal care assistant administer medication?
Can I write off caregiver expenses?
We are experts at Encore Caregivers, but we fully recognize that we are experts only in our area of focus – in-home care. We wouldn’t presume to offer you tax advice. We know that the best advice that we can give to someone seeking answers to tax questions is to go straight to the horse’s mouth for information. Please avoid all the paid advertisers belched out as a result of an Internet search, and go directly to https://www.irs.gov
How many hours can a caregiver work?
What are the steps to hire in-home care?
What is the difference between in-home care and home health care?
What does overnight home care cost?
Why is in-home care better than nursing home care?
How does respite care work?
What are the duties of an in-home caregiver?
The state of Texas allows caregivers to spend as much as 20 percent of their time doing light housekeeping. Basically they keep clean, sanitary and organized the areas where the senior predominantly lives: bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living room. Caregivers change sheets, do laundry, vacuum, prepare light meals and snacks, etc. The last area of focus for an in-home caregiver is personal care. Not every client needs personal care, but when they do a skilled caregiver should be trained and ready to offer help with what the state of Texas calls ADLs, activities of daily living. A skilled caregiver can help a client with eating, walking, showering, dressing, grooming, toileting and so many other tasks.
How do you care for an Alzheimer’s patient at home?
At Encore Caregivers, we truly believe that the most valuable skill of a professional caregiver taking care of an Alzheimer’s patient is flexibility. The day that a caregiver planned is often not the day that unfolds. You are behind schedule. So what? Take your time. The activities planned won’t get completed. So what? Try them again tomorrow. The patient calls blue, pink and breakfast, dinner. So what? Agree with them. Enjoy eggs and bacon for “dinner”, at 8 a.m., smiling all the while. A caregiver needs to be light on her feet. Patience and creativity are skills called on daily to reduce frustrations in both the senior and the caregiver. Go with the flow – be flexible.
A skilled caregiver works to include a senior in decisions and activities. A skilled caregiver will use non-traditional ways to accomplish this. “What would you like for breakfast?” morphs to “Would you like eggs or cereal for breakfast?” The latter question allows the senior to have confidence in the answer, without having to rely on recall that they may not have. The senior can just repeat a part of what the caregiver said and both parties are happy and the goal of involvement is achieved. Provide controlled choices.
A skilled caregiver will establish a routine. That comforts the senior and can make the day so much smoother. The client likes to have her bath at night? If at all possible, accommodate her. The client likes to go to the doctor early in the morning. If at all possible, accommodate her. Lessen agitation and confusion. Set-up a comfortable routine.
Everyone, healthy or not, has likes and pet peeves. Personally, I cannot stand blaring electronic noises or tolerate high-volume conversations. It is no different with anyone else. But, when a senior has Alzheimer’s Disease, focus can become a scarce commodity. A skilled caregiver will turn off the television and minimize other distractions and begin to reintroduce them slowly into the environment to gauge the senior’s tolerance. That knowledge becomes very useful throughout the day as the caregiver needs the senior’s focus at meal-time or while dressing, for instance. Reduce distractions.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the tasks at hand. The senior may not be the only one who needs special care. Caregiving is a demanding calling and may require your attention 24/7. You must not ignore yourself. Don’t allow yourself to get burned out – that helps no one and the potential hurt is great. Use available resources to lessen the burden, whether it is professional caregiving from Encore Caregivers or top-notch classes from the Alzheimer’s Association. We are here to help.
What happens if I need to go to the hospital and I want a caregiver with me?
How do I contact Encore Caregivers?
Please stop by for a hot cup of coffee, a cold drink and some of Houston, TX’s best chocolate chip cookies. (No fooling; come try them yourself!)
Encore Caregivers, LLC
7925 Katy Freeway Suite N, Houston, TX, 77024
(on the south side of I-10, between Antoine and Chimney Rock)
Office Hours: 9 AM to 5 PM – Weekdays
Phone Answered by a Professional Care Coordinator Around the Clock.