Judge Strikes Down Second Part Of A Department Of Labor Home Care Regulation

U.S.-District-Judge-Richard-LeonOn Wednesday, a Judge has struck down the second part of a Department of Labor home care rule which was supposed to expand the minimum wage of healthcare employees providing services to elderly or disabled people unable to care for themselves. The rule also attempted to remove the exempt from employers of not having to pay overtime to healthcare employees working for more than 20% of the time providing these services.

The decision

Judge Richard Leon has decided to strike down the second part of the home care rule on Wednesday. His decision on the US District Court for the District of Columbia came just one day before the temporary stay of the rule was to expire. In addition to stopping the expanding of minimum wage and overtime pay, the decision against the rule also means that the effort of the Department of Labor to redefine companionship services did not materialize.

Judge Richard Leon has stated that the exemption set by the Congress 40 years ago is as clear now as it was then, and that even though the meaning of “companionship services” contains some ambiguity, the Department of Labor should not try to contradict the Fair Labor Standards Act itself.

National healthcare associations’ response

A number of healthcare national associations, including the Home Care Associates of America, National Association for Home Care and Hospice and the International Franchise Association sued the Department of Labor for trying to remove the 40 year old exempt of employers who do not have to pay overtime and also for trying to redefine healthcare or companionship services.

The Executive Vice President of the International Franchise Association Robert Cresanti welcomed the judge’s decision of striking down the rule and he stated that he appreciates the judge’s intent to stop executive overreach which could hurt business. He also appreciated the court’s ruling that holds the administration responsible for misdirected policies which come in contradiction with congressional intent and legislation.

What healthcare advocacy groups have to say?

While the national and international healthcare associations are happy about Judge Richard Leon’s decision, healthcare advocacy groups don’t share the same feelings. While the third party services and healthcare businesses only benefit from the striking down of the Department of Labor rule, the people who actually provide healthcare services are still lacking proper labor protection.

Caring Across Generations (CAG), an advocacy group with an activity spanning many years has stated that the ruling will have healthcare workers across the country waiting longer for basic labor protection which could have lifted them out of poverty. According to CAG’s co-director Sarita Gupta, the median hourly wage for a healthcare worker is of just $9.61 which makes it one of the lowest in the country. She also said that healthcare workers aren’t just the lowest paid, but they also lack basic protections that most Americans enjoy and take for granted.

It will take some time until people working long hours to support others will be provided with the basic labor protections which could lift them and their families out of poverty.

Now Is The Right Time To Enter The Senior Care Industry

Franchises-businessWith the baby boom generation getting older and with the increasing elderly population in need of home care services, now is as good a time as ever to enter the senior care industry. You can start up your own business following a well-proven plan while also requiring less money for the initial investment than you would otherwise.

Why a senior care?

It is a well-known fact that the population is getting older and older. With the baby boomers estimated to triple the elder population by 2030, it is clear that there are more and more elderly people in the world and that the number will keep increasing in the following decades.

Not only are there more elderly people in the world, but most are also willing to stay in their homes as they grow old. What this means is that home care is the preferred option and that, in the following years, more and more senior members will turn to home care agencies for help.

Starting a home care franchise

While you could start a business from scratch, opening a senior care franchise will enable you to start with less money and with less hassle. While opening a fast food restaurant could easily cost you at least 450,000 dollars, opening a senior care franchise would require an investment of just 150,000 dollars. There are a few entrepreneurs who have started their business with less, so it is possible to get your business rolling without having a lot of funds at your disposal.

Another reason why opening a home care franchise is a good idea is that you won’t have to start your business from scratch. Not only will you need less paperwork, but a franchise would provide you with a proven business plan that has obtained good results in the past. You will actually benefit from the experience of former entrepreneurs who have managed to overcome obstacles and challenges so that you won’t face the same difficulties. By following the franchise system, you will essentially be provided with both the start-up plan and the playbook so as to get your business up and running with minimum hassle.

Caring for those who cannot care for themselves

Not only are there more and more senior members in the world, but the increasing mobility of most families also makes it hard to take care of people unable to care for themselves. Many adults have to travel to other locations daily or weekly and the people who suffer the most are the elderly, as they remain isolated and alone in their homes.

By starting your very own senior care business, you won’t just help yourself but also people who really need someone to help them with their daily activities. You would also have the satisfaction of being able to provide emotional comfort and support throughout the day to someone who would otherwise not be able to live a normal life without your help.

So if you were planning of starting a senior care business, now would be the right time to enter the industry and get your business rolling.

How to Hire Top Workers for Your Home Care Agency

Older Home Care WorkersHome care services will always be in demand, especially since the life expectancy has increased over the last few decades, and demographic trend show an accentuated aging of the population.

Opening a home care agency is a big challenge, with lots of financial and legal implications, especially if you do not hire the right people. It is vital to find not just honest workers, but also skilled and qualified professionals who can deliver quality services and respond to their clients’ needs adequately.

Assess Your Recruiting Abilities

Do you know what to look for when recruiting a home caregiver? Are you good at “reading” people and assessing whether they are saying the truth or not? Your entire reputation (and financial situation) depends on whom you hire for your home care agency. There is no room for mistakes – after all, you are not working in an abstract field of activity, but with real people, senior citizens.

What Makes a Great Caregiver?

If you feel ready to deal with the recruiting process by yourself, these are the main aspects you should cover in order to assess a person’s natural abilities for doing this job. A good assisted living employee is:

  • Naturally predisposed to help others;
  • A good listener;
  • Patient and able to do their job efficiently even when working for a difficult person;
  • Good companion, shows empathy and a friendly attitude;
  • Able to perform basic personal care activities without being rude or patronizing;
  • Able-bodied, in perfect health and without unhealthy habits.

Organizing the Recruitment Process

The recruitment process for elderly in-home caregivers must be organized carefully and scrutinize the entire background of each applicant. You can contact specialized government healthcare agencies and request samples of interview questions, which you can ask in person or request the applicant to fill in online.

There are four major aspects regarding an applicant which you must investigate:

  1. Professional Background/References

Do not settle for personal recommendations, because friends and family will always be biased and describe a person’s character in very positive terms. Ask for professional references and follow up on them. Do this verification over the phone and ask sufficient questions to be satisfied that the reference is true and accurate.

  1. Criminal Record

Honesty and an impeccable character are the first guarantees you must give your clients. Each applicant must provide an up to date criminal records, which must be perfectly clean. Do not treat lightly any misdemeanor and ask for precise details to make sure that you do not deal with a dishonest or violent person.

  1. Drug Testing

This is another must if you do not want to hire a person who will cause you legal problems in the future. All applicants must undergo a drug test, and the ones who will be employed must submit themselves to random ongoing drug tests.

  1. Financial Situation

People look for a caregiver job for a variety of reasons, some of them dishonest. If an applicant is in debt or has a precarious overall financial situation, this person may recourse to theft, taking advantage of the elderly clients. Such a situation will prove disastrous for your agency, therefore, hire only people who are in a stable financial situation and simply look for a job.

Paradise In Home Care in Walnut Creek California has a very effective way of hiring top home care workers. They also operate a care home where they can bring in new workers in a highly supervised environment. Those that excel can then graduate to becoming home care workers. While this model isn’t for all businesses, it works great. The key is to find a hiring model that works for your home care business.

Home Health Care Is Still an Affordable Option

Affordable Home CareAs the golden age of wisdom approaches, so do the worries concerning the most affordable senior care option available. Many families are concerned with the welfare of their elderly relatives, while the seniors themselves worry that they will have to leave behind their home and memories just to benefit from competent care.

While senior living communities are becoming more and more popular (and convenient) for the relatives, the best option for the elderly is to be cared for at home. With careful planning and investigation of all possible options, you will soon realize that home care is an affordable option for everyone – the senior person and their extended family.

Sources of Financial Aid

Here are a few ideas to keep in mind when you start analyzing your financial options that will help you pay for in-home senior care:

  1. Medicaid

This insurance program is targeted at senior citizens with low income and provides partial coverage for in-home living assistance and non-medical senior care. It is currently available in 42 states. However, eligibility criteria, quantity and type of covered services vary from state to state.

Typically, there are waiting lists for people who want to benefit from this type of coverage, and the application process is long and time consuming. This means that you should start the application process ahead of time and not wait until you actually need the financial assistance for home care

  1. Veterans

Veterans benefit from various types of pension benefit to help pay for in-home care. The differentiating criteria depend on the level of assistance that the person needs:

  • Healthy veteran with low income;
  • Veteran with disability, housebound;
  • Veteran who requires assistance with activities of daily living.

You should be aware, however, that receiving this type of benefit may disqualify the person from Medicaid and VA disability compensation.

  1. Long Term Care Insurance

This type of insurance was recently introduced by insurance companies in their portfolio. Elderly people who currently need financial aid for assisted living care do not qualify for it. There is a debate regarding the adequate age for signing up for long-term care insurance: insurers recommend getting the insurance in one’s ‘40s, while Consumer Reports advise that it can even be done after 60.

  1. Loans and Insurance Conversion

Various loans are available to homeowners who want to pay for their in-home senior care. Couples of mixed ages have the highest chances to qualify for reverse mortgage or HELOC (home equity line of credit), but the usual outcome of such a loan is for the surviving spouse to sell the house in order to pay the principal of the loan.

Finding Affordable Home Care

Research and patience are key to finding a home care company that provides quality services at an affordable price. Price variations within the same state vary up to 50%, therefore, you need to start exploring the option of in-home senior care early, giving you enough time to settle on the most adequate service provider.

Internet forums and other online resources for senior care are of great help, allowing you to get in touch with other people in the same situation and to exchange useful advice and information on the best home care options available in your state.

Elder Care Can Help With Activities of Daily Living

Activities of Daily LivingBeing independent and pottering around the house, with its daily chores, is something that people take for granted. However, there comes a time when, due to age and medical conditions, elder people need help with some of the basic self-care activities.

It is very important for the close family to identify in due time the decline in a senior’s person ability to function independently in their home, and find the adequate elder care solution.

Home care is still the most convenient form of assisted living, because the person remains in their habitual environment and retains the dignity of independent living. Activities of daily living are defined as the basic self-care activities which are learned in childhood and which the elderly can find challenging to perform by themselves.

  1. Bathing / Showering

The bathroom can be a challenging and even dangerous place for a senior person with limited or impaired mobility. Therefore, the caregiver will have to step in the role of providing help during bath time.

This is a very sensitive area, involving a high level of trust, but experienced staff have the necessary training and psychological profile that helps them perform this task with as little intrusion into the elder person’s privacy and without making them feel at a disadvantage or helpless.

Only highly trained professionals will undertake assisted living jobs that will deal with such basics human needs, therefore you can rest at ease that your loved one will be treated with respect and dignity.

  1. Dressing

Some elder people can still put on their clothes, but may find it hard to tie their shoelaces. Others need help putting on each item of clothing. The health specialist will determine the necessary level of help, so that the person is not made to feel that they are not trusted to look after themselves.

  1. Feeding

The caregiver can help with various functions, from going shopping to cooking meals and helping the elderly person eat. Depending on the associated medical conditions, such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s, a person may be unable to feed themselves and require help.

Trained professionals have the necessary level of empathy and communication skills that allow them to provide this basic help without putting the elder person at disadvantage or causing them distress.

  1. Mobility

A friendly and empathic caregiver will help the elderly person by pushing their wheelchair, offering their arm for support or even carrying them from place to place, depending on the level of mobility. In each situation, the professional help will act with kindness, patience and in complete respect of the elder person’s dignity.

  1. Personal Hygiene / Grooming

Any elder person will feel a boost in self-esteem and a better quality of life if they can still wear nice clothes, accessories, their favorite perfume and hairstyle. Senior care specialists know how important these little things are for a person, how much they define someone’s personality, therefore they will do their best to make sure that their patient is always carefully groomed and looking at their best.