Frequently Asked Questions About Non-Medical Home Care for Seniors and the Physically and Mentally Challenged
Are you a licensed agency?
Yes, the San Antonio Offices of Griswold Home Care are licensed by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) as a personal assistance services (PAS) agency. As a PAS licensed agency we can provide routine, ongoing care or services required by an individual in a residence or independent living environment that enable the individual to engage in the activities of daily living or to perform the physical functions required for independent living. The types of services that fall under “personal care” as defined in the Texas Administrative Codes are bathing, dressing, grooming, feeding, exercising, toileting, positioning, assisting with self-administered medications, routine hair and skin care and transfer or ambulation. Please click on this link to see a sample of our services.
What type of services does Griswold Home Care offer?
Services typically fall under three broad categories: personal care, homemaking, and companionship. Our Caregivers offer a variety of services including bathing, dressing and meal preparation. They can also go shopping and run errands and do light housekeeping for the Client. Caregivers provide reminders with self-administered medications and they offer transportation to Clients for appointments. Please click on this link to see a much broader list of services.
Am I obligated to any number of service hours or length of time under your service agreement?
No. You are never obligated to any number of hours or length of time. We do generally have a four-hour service minimum per shift; however, there are custom rates available for less than four hours. We ask that you provide us 24 hours notice of any service cancellations so that we may place the Caregiver on another case.
How much notice do you need to start service?
With our QuickCare Placement system we are an authority at finding just the right Caregiver on short notice. We can usually start service on the same day that we are contacted. However, for Clients that have unique service requirements or require 24 hours of care, we may need a days notice to ensure we can arrange for the best possible Caregivers to provide your home care needs.
How flexible is Griswold Home Care with individual non-medical home care needs?
Griswold Home Care offers Clients a consumer-driven approach. Care is tailored to meet the specific and individual needs of our home care Clients. We offer hourly, overnight, and live-in home care options. Caregivers provide assistance to senior adults and people with disabilities. We also offer non-medical home care respite to family caregivers needing a break from their caregiving responsibilities.
How do I decide how many hours a day I will need to have a home care Caregiver spend with a family member?
The amount of time a non-medical home care Caregiver spends with someone will depend on how much home care assistance that individual needs. It is important to work with a reputable home care agency that can assist you with identifying your non-medical home care needs and preferences. Home care services should be tailored to a Client's needs and concerns. A good suggestion is to start with the minimum amount of time necessary for a Caregiver to complete identified tasks, with the option to extend the time as needed. A good agency will remain flexible in scheduling care for the Client.
Can I sign up for service if I only need assistance occasionally or on a non-routine basis?
Yes, we provide customized service based on your individual needs.
We’ve decided to start home care service, now what do we do?
Contact our office and we will come out to meet the Client and provide a free, no-obligation assessment. During the assessment we will identify the Client’s existing diagnosis, condition of the Client, the Client’s home care needs, discuss billing procedures and review and sign all of the mandated paperwork. The assessment will assist us in identifying the best possible Caregiver to meet the Client’s needs. We recommend that you contact us a few days prior to the start of service; however, we understand how fluid a Client’s condition is and under most circumstances we can respond the same day.
What steps does Griswold Home Care take to assure the Client that the Caregivers can be trusted?
Griswold Home Care's CareAssure Screening System ensures that only the most professional and proven Caregivers are allowed into our Client's homes. Our screening includes such things as a pre-interview telephone screen; in-person, one-on-one, behavioral-based interviews; extensive in-depth reference checks (at least 2 supervisory and 2 personal references); statewide criminal record checks; Nurse Aide and Employee Misconduct registry checks; and medical screen. We believe a Caregiver’s past performance is the key to identifying future performance which is why we place so much emphasis on behavioral based interviews and reference checking.
If I am not happy with my Caregiver can I ask for another person?
Our CarePairing System ensures we do everything possible to make a good match between the Caregiver and Client which is why we conduct a home visit prior to providing service. We consider numerous elements such as the Caregiver’s skills, personality, experience and even where they live when choosing a Caregiver to place with our Clients. We provide every Client a brochure titled “Welcoming a Caregiver Into Your Home.” The most important factor in the success of the Caregiver and Client relationship is to communicate with the Caregiver on how you would like things done or what your routines are. However, we understand there are times when people do not click and we are happy to find another Caregiver.
Are your Caregivers employees or contractors?
Our Caregivers are employees. We provide professional and general liability coverage, check their backgrounds, are responsible for their training requirements, comply with the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services' requirements for employees of agencies, administer competency tests and many other employee mandated requirements. We comply with Federal government directed codes that allow us to reduce our overhead costs and offer our services several dollars per hour below other agencies.
Does Medicare, Medicaid or other forms of health insurance cover home care services?
No, health insurance usually does not cover home care services. Coverage is generally provided through private pay, long term care insurance or some VA sponsored programs.
I have long term care insurance. Do you accept long term care (LTC) insurance and will it cover home care?
While every policy is different, typically long term care insurance will cover home care. Our BenefitAssurance Program takes the burden of eligibility determination off your shoulders. If you're unsure whether or not your loved one qualifies for non-medical home care services under his or her current insurance plan, let Griswold Home Care help. Simply call us and provide basic policy information and we will send the care recipient's long-term health care policy to Financial Health Services, LLC (FHS) who will provide a provide a policy eligibility determination within 24 hours.
We work with long term care insurance companies from all over the country. You have two options when dealing with LTC insurance. You may file your own claims or you can opt to use our financial services company to file claims on your behalf. If you choose to file your own claim then you will need to have enough funds in reserve to pay the agency while waiting for reimbursement from the LTC Company. This may take anywhere from 2-3 months. Many of our Clients do not have the funds in reserve to wait for reimbursement or do not want the hassle of processing their own claims. They choose the second option which is to have our financial company process all claims on their behalf and pay all monies owed for home care services for a small service fee. The main advantage to using our financial company is you do not have to pay the agency now and wait for 2-3 months for reimbursement from the LTC insurance company.
How do I communicate with Griswold Home Care?
You may speak to any of our professional office staff for assistance. However, if you are a current Client, we recommend you first try contacting your assigned Coordinator. Your Coordinator will have the most up to date information concerning schedules and knowledge of any previous conversations you’ve had. All of our office staff have email addresses as well. Many of our clients and their family members find it more convenient to communicate via email for routine, non-time sensitive issues.
Hiring a caregiver privately may save me money, why should I use Griswold Home Care?
At first blush, hiring a private caregiver may seem to save you money. However, it helps to know all of the facts to make an informed decision.
Without us, you must advertise and screen potential applicants, do the hiring and firing, make payroll, withhold and pay taxes, and make all employee filings for income tax, social security, and unemployment.
For your benefit and protection, we provide professional liability insurance and bonding. Remember, if you hire a caregiver privately, homeowners' insurance does not cover your liability for claimed employee injury and lost wages.
When your regular Caregiver needs time off, we ensure continued coverage by providing a suitable substitute. Have an unexpected home care need; don’t worry we can easily meet your urgent requirement as you have unlimited access to a large pool of Caregivers with diverse experience and skills.
Only about 1 in 20 applicants to Griswold Home Care of San Antonio is selected to become a Caregiver, providing you with the best home care available. We train Caregivers for specific circumstances and follow up with unannounced home visits and telephone calls to family members. Many caregivers that cannot pass our stringent employment screening turn to private duty as an alternative.
You will be assigned a Coordinator that will be responsible for taking care of all your scheduling and home care needs. They will continuously monitor the quality of your care and service, make supervisory home visits, address issues and maintain contact with you and your family members. During these often difficult times, family members should not have to deal with the drudgery of becoming an employer but concentrate on spending quality time with your loved one.