FAQ

If you’re like the majority of seniors or a family member of a senior loved one, you know seniors want to live at home for as long as possible. They like their feeling of independence. The thought of paying for or cost of an assisted living facility is overwhelming.
There are many activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing, housekeeping, medication reminders, meal preparation, driving or grocery shopping that can become difficult for many seniors. In-home care provides seniors with the above non-medical home care and companionship. Allowing seniors to maintain their independence and remain in their homes. The in-home caregivers come to your loved one and may remain with them throughout their aging journey and ever-changing needs. It is important to remember that Independence is a psychological boon, especially when the effects of aging are taking place.
One study found that those who received in-home care visited the doctor 25% fewer times than those that didn’t receive in-home care. Clients with Alzheimer’s or other dementia diseases, made almost 50% less trips to the doctor.
 
According to home care professionals, there are certain characteristics and signs of those needing in-home care:
• Messy home
• Poor Hygiene
• Driving problems
• Isolation
• Weight loss or gain
• Mobility issues
• Frail (muscle weakness, slow walking, exhaustion)
• Some type of dementia
• Dealing with the after-effects of stroke, cancer treatment or surgery
• Forgetting to take medication or taking it incorrectly
 
When it comes time for a loved one, especially a parent to receive assistance so that they may remain in their home and maintain their independence it becomes difficult for many of them to accept. Often times adult children or family members avoid the discussion and are uncomfortable discussing a parent or loved one’s right to live independently.
 
They remain silent and helplessly watch from the sideline until one of two things happens: Mom, Dad or a family member come to the realization they need assistance and could benefit from help; or an emergency or sudden event occurs, such as a fall, a car accident, a fire on their stove which makes immediate help necessary. Of course all family members hope for the best and the first scenario. However, if the second happens many tend to feel guilty they did not act sooner. These types of power struggles are common, challenging and daunting causing stress ton the parent-child or family member relationships.
 
So how can you help a parent or loved one decide they should accept some additional help so they may remain in their own home and continue to live independently: Here are some thoughts and techniques you may find helpful:
 
• An adult child or family member can stress that receiving help can be empowering. By showing your parent or loved one that you are their ally, not adversary and that you fully support their wish to remain in their home and live independently as long as they are able. Remind them that accepting some help would allow them to do more of what they want to do and maintain their independence. An example would be to remind them if they receive help with housekeeping (refer to them as a “housekeeper) and meal preparation (refer to them as a cook) then they conserve their energy for playing games with the grandchildren or friends. Let them know it does not have to be permanent and they can try it out on a “trial-basis”.
 
• If possible, we always encourage a family meeting, including not only adult children, but caring others as well. A best friend many times holds more sway in convincing an unwilling parent or loved one to think about safety than “the kids”. Clergy or someone such as a family doctor, someone the elderly parent or loved one looks up to, can be invaluable in persuading a change of heart.
 
• Persistence can pay off. Aging parents may eventually realize that it’s time to give up and accept some help. We hope it does not take a broken hip to get that decision. Our ongoing encouragement and respectful patient offers of help may be heeded over time. So be persistent!
 
• Please call us and we can assist you as you work with your loved one. Ask your loved one to accept a brief and complimentary meeting with one of our care managers. Many times after a brief meeting with our owners or care managers the senior is excited about the possibility of additional help so they may maintain their home and independence.
 

No we do not require a long-term contract. We want you and your loved one to feel comfortable using Gentle Shepherd Home Care now and in the future. Therefore, we have a simple agreement that outlines expectations and quality services to be performed. Whether you need us for a few hours a week, or a month, over-night, long-term or 24/7 we are here to exceed your expectations and provide your loved one with quality care and unsurpassed service!

• Liability & Cost of Hiring Employees: Gentle Shepherd Home Care carries all the liability for our employed caregivers. Our caregivers are our employees and not Independent Contractors. We are responsible for and pay their taxes, payroll, benefits, workers compensation insurance (should they become injured on the job and file a claim) and unemployment insurance. We pay for them to be insured and bonded. If you hire a private caregiver on your own, you would be financially responsible for the cost of those items listed above.
 
• Sourcing & Hiring “Best-In-Class”, Compassionate Caregivers:We carefully source, screen, recruit, test and qualify only the “best-in-class” caregivers. We are so selective that only a few are hired out of multiple applicants. We conduct and pay for a national criminal background check, drug screen (at hire and randomly throughout their assignment), verify experience, education, certifications, validate their driving record through the DMV, require they have an annual influenza shot, provide ongoing training and most importantly match them to your loved one not only by skill but by personality “fit”. By hiring your own caregiver, you more than likely do not have the time or resources to properly screen, conduct drug screens and background checks, to train or to properly supervise them. How would you know you had hired the “Best-In-Class”?
 
• Licensing: We are Licensed by and carefully audited by the State of Colorado to ensure we are following all regulations and best practices. If you hire a private caregiver on your own, they may or may not be licensed or audited by the state leaving your loved one vulnerable to poor care practices.
 
• Insurance & Bonding: All our caregivers are bonded and insured leaving you peace of mind should anything occur. If you hire a private caregiver who is paying for the insurance and bonding? Who insures it is up to date and current?
 
• Missed Visits or Calls in Sick: When your private caregiver calls in sick, has a sick child or family member, or must miss a visit you are left scrambling to quickly find proper replacement care for your loved one. Many times family members must cover the visit themselves, therefore missing important meetings or another task you were required to attend or complete. By using Gentle Shepherd Home Care, we have back-up caregivers who are skilled, trained, vetted, insured and ready to step in as a “back-up” at a moment’s notice. Therefore, leaving your loved one in compassionate and skilled hands!
 
• Supervision: If you hire a private caregiver you will be the one who has to supervise them including, ongoing issues, training and any disciplinary actions required. By utilizing Gentle Shepherd Home Care, you are assured our caregivers are carefully and closely monitored and supervised. We work with other professionals to develop a care plan that specifically meets your loved one’s needs. We insure our caregivers are properly trained and experienced to carry out that specific care plan. We conduct unannounced visits to insure our caregivers are adhering to your loved ones needs the care plan and to our exacting standards of care. We handle all ongoing caregiver issues so the family never has to deal with it!

Yes. We enable our services to follow your loved one wherever they may require our services. We provide one-on-one sitting services while your loved one is in the hospital, rehab, assisted living, or nursing home. Therefore, insuring your loved one is receiving proper care and companionship if you are unable to be there with them. Our caregivers accompany seniors on vacation as well.

We provide care when, where and for the amount of time you need a caregiver. We provide the following:
  • Respite Care: If a family member needs a break from caregiving for their loved one, whether an hour or several hours a week or month we are available
  • Several hours a week or a month
  • A “one-time” or “occasional” caregiving engagement is needed
  • Every day or any day of the week for several hours or all day care
  • Overnight care
  • 24/7 Care
  • Sitting with your loved one in the hospital, assisted-living, nursing care facility or rehab center

As you begin to research the various options for your loved one the cost and level of care becomes an important consideration. The average cost varies according to the level of care, number of hours and days your loved one requires assistance. Taking our quick Care Assessment  will give you and your loved one a better idea of the amount of time and cost of in-home care.

There are many options to help pay for senior home care services in Colorado Springs. Please see below options available: 

LONG TERM CARE INSURANCE (LTC)
Some long-term care insurance policies may include In- Home Care services.  If your loved one purchased a LTC policy, we can help you evaluate the policy to see if it covers in home care.  

VETERAN’S AID & ATTENDANCE 
Aid & Attendance is a pension benefit for eligible veterans and surviving spouses.  If your loved one is a US Military Veteran, we can help determine if they qualify and navigate the application process. 

WHOLE LIFE INSURANCE POLICIES
Whole life policies build cash value over the lifetime of the policy.  These policies allow for a cash-value withdrawal, which is the sum of the premiums paid into the policy.  These withdrawals are typically non-taxable and may be used to pay for home care services. Contact the policy agent to discuss the options available 

PRIVATE PAY
Your loved one may have saved for their own care or have other income that can support home care or other needs.  Family members may also be willing to contribute funds to provide additional care and support. 

REVERSE MORTGAGE
A reverse mortgage may be an option if your loved one owns their current residence and has significant equity in the property. Contact a reverse mortgage company to learn more and a valuation of the property.

ADDITIONAL STATE AND LOCAL PROGRAMS
In our local, Pikes Peak Region, we have resources and programs for seniors who meet certain criteria.  To learn more about these programs, please visit the Pikes Peak Area Agency on Aging to learn more. 

MEDICARE
In Home Care services offered by companies such as Gentle Shepherd Home Care are not covered by Medicare. Medicare will cover a limited number of visits by a nurse, or physical/occupational therapist following a hospital stay or those who are certified as disabled and have high medical needs.

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