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How Much Does 24/7 In-home Care Cost?

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman


October 25th, 2021

Financial cost isn’t everything when it comes to caring for a loved one, but knowing the average cost of 24-hour home health care can help you make a more informed decision.

As adults age, they can need increasing levels of care and assistance. For some, they may need someone to help with household chores a few hours each week. Others might require a 24-hour caregiver for help during the day and night.

Are you an adult child with aging parents who need hands-on care?

If you are, then you may also be wondering, “How much does 24/7 in-home care cost?”

In this article, we’re providing you with an elderly care cost comparison. We’ll give you an in-home care cost estimate and answer the question, “Is home health care cheaper than assisted living?”

Keep reading to learn about the cost of 24/7 care at home.


Elderly Care Cost Comparison

It’s difficult to make in-home care cost estimates because prices vary depending on: 

  • The agency
  • Geographical location
  • Type of care

The distinction between “kinds of care” is important because medical insurance will often cover costs of in-home health care, but usually doesn’t cover anything that’s considered companion care (or “custodial care”). 

In-home companion care is any form of non-medical assistance, such as grooming, transportation, assistance moving around, housekeeping, companionship, etc.

Home health care is medically necessary assistance prescribed by a doctor. This includes such things as in-home physical therapy, assistance with feeding tubes, COPD care, assistance administering medication, etc.


In-Home Care Cost Estimate

The average cost of elder care varies from state to state, ranging from $16/hr in Louisiana to $28/hr in Washington. (For the remainder of this article, we’ll look specifically at Virginia). 

In Virginia, the average in-home care cost estimate is $22/hr for companion care and $23/hr for home health care. 

This means that in Virginia, the average cost of in-home elder care adds up to $180 for an 8-hour day, $880 for a 40 hour week, and $3,520 for a month of care.


Hourly8-Hour Day40 Hour WeekMonth
Companion Care$22$180$880$3,520
Home Health Care$23$184$920$3,680


But if an aging loved one needs care during the day and night, there are also 24-hour caregiver options available.

In-home elder care solutions in Charlottesville, Richmond, Williamsburg, VA and Charleston, SC.

Contact us for a free assessment


Average Cost of 24-hour Home Health Care vs. 24-hour Companion Care

One major benefit of in-home elder care is that it’s adaptable to the needs of each senior. Since in-home care is scheduled hourly, you only pay for exactly the amount of care you need. 

But sometimes, an elderly adult needs hands-on assistance all day and night. 

So, how much does 24/7 in-home care cost?

The average cost of 24/7 care at home stacks up to around $15,000 a month, whether that’s 24-hour companion care or home health care. 


Hourly24-Hour Day7-Day WeekMonth
24 Hour Companion Caregiver$22$528$3,696$14,784
24 Hour Home Health Care$23$552$3,864$15,456


Most people don’t need 24 hours of care until much later in life, but it’s good to know about it so you can start planning early. 


Alternatives to Having a 24 Hour Caregiver

Apart from an in-home 24-hour caregiver, there are other ways to ensure your loved one receives the care they need. The primary alternative to in-home care is residence in an elder care facility. 

Here are the three major options when it comes to alternative living facilities:

  1. Assisted Living Facilities: These eldercare residences primarily provide assistance with activities of daily life and personal “custodial” care but don’t provide as much skilled nursing care. 
  2. Nursing Homes: In addition to providing assistance with activities of daily life, nursing homes provide comprehensive medical support, with nurses on hand 24/7.
  3. Memory Care: People with any form of dementia need special kinds of care, whether it’s provided by an in-home caregiver or through a facility. Most nursing homes (and some assisted living facilities) are equipped for this kind of care, for an extra fee.

And, here’s a quick cost breakdown for each of these eldercare residences:


Assisted Living Facility$4,850
Assisted Living with Memory Care$5,850 – $8,850
Nursing Home$7,665 – $8,821


In assisted living facilities, “memory care” for those with dementia incurs an additional monthly fee of $1,000-$4,000. However, memory care for those with dementia does not affect the hourly rate of in-home care or nursing home care. 

After all these elderly care cost comparisons, you may still be wondering, “Which is cheaper, home care or an assisted living facility?”


Is Home Health Care Cheaper than Assisted Living?

When it comes to end-of-life care, finances are only one of many factors to consider. 

But from a purely financial perspective, here is an elderly care cost comparison:

  • Up to 55 hours a week, in-home care costs less than assisted living 
  • Up to 100 hours a week, in-home care costs less than living in a nursing home 
  • If 24/7 nursing care is needed (168 hours a week) then living in a residential facility will probably be less expensive 

Though in-home care isn’t necessarily always the cheapest option, it’s often the best. With in-home care, your loved one will receive focused one-on-one attention from a trained caregiver—something most facilities can’t provide.  

The bottom line is that 24-hour nursing care has a cost no matter which route you take, so let’s consider how to pay for senior care costs.


Ways to Pay 24 Hour Nursing Care Costs

There are some ways that individuals can get assistance paying for home care costs. Five of the most useful resources are:

  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • The Aid and Attendance (A&A) Benefit for Veterans
  • Long-term Care (LTC) Insurance
  • Life Insurance Setllement

Here’s a look at these resources in more detail.


1. Medicare

Medicare is the health insurance provided by the government to all seniors age 65+. Medicare covers most home health care services, including:

  • Nursing care
  • Physical and occupational therapy
  • Medication administration. 

However, to be covered, the home health care must be considered, intermittent care”, which is defined as “less than 7 days each week or less than 8 hours each day.”

Medicaid doesn’t necessarily cover in-home custodial care and has limits to its assisted living facility coverage. So, you’ll want to look into your specific plan to see what it covers.


2. Medicaid

Medicaid is a form of government assistance that’s only available to those who qualify via low income or disability. 

Like Medicare, Medicaid covers all short-term medically prescribed care. In some states, there are waivers extending Medicaid benefits to cover non-medical care expenses. 

Unlike Medicare, Medicaid can help cover residence in a care facility for those who qualify. If you think you might qualify, you should talk to an agent or look up details on the website.


3. The Aid and Attendance (A&A) Benefit for Veterans 

A&A provides Veterans with a monthly stipend that can be used to pay for long-term care, including in-home care. However, the veteran is required to show that they need in-home care in order to qualify.


4. Long-Term Care (LTC) insurance  

LTC insurance is a form of insurance that specifically covers long-term care services, such as in-home care. Policies must be originated before long-term care commences, so it pays to look into it sooner rather than later. 


5. Life Insurance Settlements

Some life insurance policies allow you to claim your settlement before death. If you take your settlement early, it’s often less than the full policy amount but can be a reasonable means of paying for end-of-life care.

Some other helpful resources regarding paying for elder care you can look into are: 

Any financial help you can receive will make getting quality care for your loved one that much easier.


Best 24 Hour Caregivers in Virginia

In this article we’ve explored the costs of end-of-life care, seeking to answer the question “is home health care cheaper than assisted living?” 

Though there’s a lot of variation in cost, up to 100 hours a week of in-home care is often expensive than living in a nursing home. However, the average cost of 24 hour home health care may be higher than the cost of living in a residential facility. 

Regardless of which option you choose, 24-hour nursing care can be costly. Some common ways people pay for end of life care include:

  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • The VA Bill
  • Long Term Care Insurance
  • Life Insurance Settlements

Though this article focuses on the financial element of elder care, money isn’t the only factor to consider. Sometimes, the extra cost of 24/7 care at home is worth the benefits of aging in place and receiving intentional care from a trained caregiver.

Are you looking for compassionate, in-home care services in Virginia or South Carolina? 

Commonwise Home Care is a premier home care agency providing high-quality care and memory care to aging adults. We offer a comprehensive list of home care services, including:

  • 24-hour caregivers
  • Memory (dementia) care
  • In-home physical therapy  

Speak to a Care Advisor today to hear about how in-home assistance could be a perfect fit for you and your family.

In-home elder care solutions in Charlottesville, Richmond, Williamsburg, VA and Charleston, SC.

Contact us for a free assessment

How to Become an Elderly Care Provider

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman


October 18th, 2021

Did you know that the best elderly caregiver training programs aren’t necessarily the ones that provide you with a certification or a degree?

The US population of adults 65+ is expected to double from what it was in 2012, so there’s a huge need for in-home caregivers. There are already more jobs than caregivers, and the need is growing.

Are you wondering how to become an elderly care provider?

Do you need more information on senior care provider certifications?

Have you looked into in-home caregiver training classes?

Many people looking into a caregiving career ask, “Do you need a CNA license to be a caregiver?” or “What companion care certification do I need to care for the elderly?”

In this article, we’re sharing inside information about how to acquire caregiver training. You’ll learn about senior care worker qualifications and different work environments for caregivers.

Keep reading to get greater insight into home care training programs.


What Are Senior Care Worker Qualifications?

When it comes to qualifying for a career in caring for the elderly, there are two main parameters:

Let’s look at how these two elements play a role in becoming a senior caregiver.


Personal Fit

Being a caregiver is a rewarding but also challenging career, and not everyone is cut out to be a caregiver. The ideal elder care provider is someone who:

  • Wants flexible, nontraditional hours
  • Desires to work in a home context
  • Is motivated by human connection and compassion 
  • Enjoys interacting with the elderly 
  • Values excellent service 
  • Likes being part of a compassionate community/team

In addition, caregivers often possess certain qualities and character traits that help them on the job. Some of these characteristics include:

  • Compassion
  • Empathy
  • Patience

If you don’t possess all of these traits, that’s okay. Some of these qualities can be learned and developed over time.


Caregiver Training

A common question regarding becoming a caregiver is, “Do you need a CNA license to be a caregiver?”

The answer is, no. You don’t need a CNA license or another type of certification to get a job as a senior caregiver. These certifications can be useful for acquiring caregiver skills and making you stand out when applying to these jobs, but they’re not necessary.

Instead, there are certain caregiver training classes and programs that better prepare you for the role of a caregiver.

We’re hiring caregivers in Charlottesville, Richmond, Williamsburg, VA and Charleston, SC.

Apply Now


Caregiver Training Classes That Set People Up for Success

The best way to acquire caregiver training is through an in-home care company. In-home care companies provide care specifically to elderly adults, so they know what it takes to care for aging seniors.

However, not all home care training programs are created equal. Surveys of caregivers have found that the most beneficial elderly caregiver training programs involve the following three factors.


1. Online and In-person Training


Courses to take care of elderly adults should include online and in-person training opportunities.

The online portion is usually an 8-hour course that teaches you the skills needed to be a caregiver. However, instead of long pages of text or extensive videos, the online training provides engaging micro-learning content in the form of:

  • Videos
  • Flashcards
  • Games
  • Interactive activities

Once you finish the online training, you’ll perform various skills and walk through job-specific scenarios with trained eldercare professionals. They’ll offer you helpful feedback and tips to better prepare you for looking after elderly adults.


2. Hard and Soft Skills Training

Whereas CNA courses only teach practical skills, the best caregiver training classes teach both practical skills and hospitality skills. 

Training for practical skills include:

  • How to help someone with limited mobility
  • Basic first aid knowledge
  • Information about common medications
  • What is included in “light housework” and how to perform common household tasks

Hospitality skills, on the other hand, are softs skills that allow a caregiver to truly care for and treat each client with honor, respect, and compassion. 

Some of these hospitality skills include:

Home care training programs need to include these soft, hospitality skills as well as cover practical, hands-on topics. 


3. Ongoing Training and Support

Once you acquire initial caregiver training, you’ll need ongoing training and support.

For example, Commonwise Home Care provides their caregiver with “Level Up Days.” These days are unique times throughout the year that allows their caregivers to receive training in specific areas, like dementia care. And when caregivers complete this training, they also receive increased pay.

In addition, ongoing support from other trained eldercare professionals is necessary for you to succeed in your career. Some days are difficult and you’ll encounter situations you may not be prepared for. Support from others can help you overcome these challenges.


How to Become an Elderly Care Provider

There are several contexts in which to work with the elderly, each with its own pros and cons. 

Here are some of the main options for becoming an elderly care provider:


1. Advertise Yourself as an Independent Caregiver

One way to become a caregiver is to advertise your services directly on websites such as Indeed or Yelp. 

Some of the pros of this route include:

  • It’s more direct than going through a company
  • You can set your own pay rate and your own hours
  • You can keep all your earnings

However, there are also some cons:

  • You will be competing with many other caregivers who may be better qualified
  • No company assistance with finding/vetting clients, negotiating contracts, providing substitutes if you want a day off, etc.
  • No company protection such as insurance, advocacy, or providing an alternate client if the fit is not right, etc. 

Though it may be appealing to cut out the middleman, being an independent caregiver is a lot of work for one person, and includes a fair amount of risk.


2. Work in an Assisted Living Facility 

Another option is to get a job working in an assisted living facility

Some of the pros of this route include:

  • Easy onboarding process
  • No special qualification requirements
  • Team environment 

However, there are also some cons:

  • Low pay
  • Limited training
  • Poor ratio of staff to elderly people

Working in an assisted living facility is a straightforward way to work with the elderly, but the working environment may not be as empowering as in other eldercare contexts.


3. Work in a Hospital

You can also work with the elderly in a hospital or healthcare environment. 

Some of the pros of working in a medical facility include:

  • Furthering your medical career 
  • Providing you with specialized experience
  • Working with other medical professionals

As with all options, there are also some cons:

  • May require qualifications such as medical degrees/certifications/experience 
  • Limited interaction with the elderly 
  • Medical focus rather than general elder care

Working in a hospital may be a great fit for some people. However, if you’re seeking a career-focused specifically on the elderly, an in-home context might be more appealing. 


4. Work for a Private Home Care Company 

A final way to become an elderly care provider is to work for a private home care company as an in-home caregiver.

Working for a home care company has a lot of pros: 

  • Many companies are looking to hire 
  • No prerequisite experience/certifications needed 
  • Most companies provide in-house training 
  • In-home work environment 
  • One-on-one care for the elderly
  • The company provides administrative support and protection

Depending on the company you work for some cons to this route may include: 

  • Low pay
  • Working alone rather than with coworkers
  • Insufficient training

However, some companies highly value their caregivers by providing ongoing support, training, and livable wages. 


Caregiver University: One of the Best Elderly Caregiver Training Programs

When it comes to senior care worker qualifications, there are two main elements:

  • Possessing the right desires and traits of a caregiver
  • Receiving proper caregiver training

Once you’ve decided that you want to pursue caregiver training, you need to find good caregiver training classes. Three marks of good training include:

  • Online and in-person training
  • Hard and soft skills training
  • Ongoing training and support

After your training is complete, you can start working as a caregiver. A few of the most popular environments for eldercare workers are:

  • As an independent caregiver
  • In an assisted living facility
  • At a hospital or medical facility
  • Through an in-home care company

If you’re interested in working for one of the top home care companies in Virginia and South Carolina, Commonwise Home Care is the place to go.

Commonwise Home Care is a private home care company that prides itself on having the best caregivers in the industry. One way Commonwise invests in their staff is through their proprietary, in-house training program, Caregiver University. 

Caregiver University is unique from other home care training programs in a few ways:

  • Hospitality skills are included along with all the necessary practical skills
  • The course includes both an engaging online component and an in-person workshop where trainees can practice what they learned online
  • Ongoing training through “level up” days, through which caregivers can continue to build their skills and increase their pay

However, don’t just take our word for it. Here’s a testimonial from one of Commonwise’s caregivers:

“Before joining Commonwise, I was nervous because I had never provided care to someone in their home. The Caregiver University onboarding program was really helpful because it helped me fine-tune my personal care skills, but also prepared me for the other types of challenges that I faced when I started entering people’s homes.”
– Emily, Commonwise Caregiver

If you want to receive ongoing training, higher than average wages, and a work culture of excellence, then come to work at Commonwise Home Care—the best private elder care company in Virginia or South Carolina.

We’re hiring caregivers in Charlottesville, Richmond, Williamsburg, VA and Charleston, SC.

Apply Now

All You Need to Know About Physical Therapy for Seniors

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman


October 11th, 2021

Are you an elderly adult looking for “geriatric physical therapy near me”? 
Or, perhaps you’re an adult child with aging parents who could benefit from in-home physical therapy for seniors.

As we age, it’s not uncommon to need physical therapy after an injury or surgery. It’s also a great way to regain strength, restore flexibility, or manage chronic pain. But for elderly adults, getting to and from a PT appointment can be challenging.

Fortunately, there are geriatric therapists that will perform physical therapy in the comfort of an aging senior’s home.

In-home geriatric physical therapy (physical therapy for older adults) provides a host of benefits for older people, ranging from:

  • Maintaining fitness 
  • Preventing falls
  • Reducing symptoms of arthritis
  • Assisting with recovery from a stroke

Are you interested in learning more about physical therapists that come to your home?

In this article, we’ll explore the field of geriatric physical therapy and answer questions such as:

  • Are there different types of physical therapy for elderly adults?
  • What is geriatric physical therapy?
  • How does physical therapy for elderly patients benefit seniors?
  • Is physical therapy for seniors covered by insurance?

We’ll also introduce one of the best options for “In-home physical therapy for seniors near me” in Richmond and Charlottesville, VA. 

Keep scrolling to learn all about in-home geriatric physical therapy.


The Different Types of Therapy for the Elderly

The field of physical therapy (PT) is broad and can focus on particular therapeutic needs. Some examples of physical therapy subtypes include:

  • Occupational Physical Therapy: Occupational therapy promotes recovery from work-related injuries, restoring mobility necessary to perform occupational tasks.
  • Hand Physical Therapy: This kind of therapy includes everything from the hand to the upper arm. Anytime someone has an injury to their hand or arm, hand physical therapy can help regain full use and range of motion. 
  • Rehabilitative Physical Therapy: Rehabilitation focuses on recovery after a surgery or injury to help regain muscle strength and range of motion.
  • Neurological Physical Therapy: This kind of physical therapy helps those with dementia or other neurological conditions improve their mobility, coordination, and balance as their brain changes.

However, in our article, we’re focussing specifically on geriatric physical therapyphysical therapy for older adults. PT for elderly adults often includes aspects of each type of PT talked about above.


What is Geriatric Physical Therapy?

The goal of physical therapy for older adults is to keep elderly seniors healthy, active, and strong as they age. Geriatric physical therapists assist elderly people in exercises, stretches, and activities that help retain or restore mobility and strength. 

First, these eldercare physical therapists assess their patients and create a personalized care plan specific to the clients’ needs. Then, they introduce a series of exercises to help the client reach their goals. 

Geriatric physical therapists make it easy and safe for aging seniors to perform exercises by:

  • Providing special equipment
  • Spotting during exercises
  • Guiding the pace appropriately

Though physical therapy is usually performed in an onsite clinic, some PT practices offer the convenience of in-home physical therapy for seniors.


What is In-Home Physical Therapy for Seniors?

In-home physical therapy for seniors is a form of PT in which a physical therapist goes to a client’s home instead of the client going to an office. It allows the aging adult to get hands-on help and assistance in the comfort of their home—the place they spend the most time.

PT at home is convenient for aging adults, especially those who: 

  • Can’t drive themselves to physical therapy
  • Find it difficult to leave the house
  • Need exercises that translate well to their home environment

The ease and convenience of in-home physical therapy make it a valuable service for elderly adults.

In-home physical therapy in Charlottesville and Richmond, VA.

Contact us for a free assessment

The Top 5 Benefits of In-home Physical Therapy for Seniors

Geriatric physical therapy addresses elderly physical therapy needs. Sometimes these needs are brought about by an accident, injury, or illness. Other times, it’s simply age-related.

Regardless of why an elderly adult requires PT, there are many benefits of physical therapy for older adults.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the primary benefits of physical therapy for seniors.


1. Maintaining Mobility

As adults age, it’s common to grow stiff and start to lose coordination, strength, and agility. Additionally, if an individual’s lifestyle becomes more sedentary, it’s easy to lose muscle tone, bone density, and flexibility. 

Elderly physical therapy helps aging adults maintain:

  • Muscle strength 
  • Balance
  • Flexibility 
  • Range of motion
  • Bone density

Staying fit goes a long way in maintaining health and independence—allowing seniors to age in place more comfortably. 


2. Compensating for Age-related Conditions 

The second benefit of geriatric physical therapy is to help with certain health conditions common in older adults. 

For example, physical therapy for seniors can help reduce the symptoms of: 

  • Arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Some cancers
  • Stroke

When a senior engages in elderly physical therapy, they’re taking both preventative and proactive measures against these common conditions.


3. Managing Pain

Another benefit of physical therapy for older adults is pain management. 

Many older adults endure chronic pain as a result of various health conditions. Physical therapy can reduce pain symptoms, which in turn, can reduce dependence on medications. Some doctors even prescribe physical therapy for elderly patients instead of pain meds. 

Utilizing physical therapy for pain management means fewer pills to keep track of and fewer prescriptions to pay for. 


4. Preventing Falls 

Falling is one of the greatest dangers aging adults face, as:

The best way to avoid falling is to prevent it before it happens. 

So, how can elderly adults go about taking proactive measures against falls?

One great way to prevent falls is through geriatric physical therapy. Physical therapy for seniors helps them stay strong, keep their balance, and maintain their fitness.

In addition, a physical therapist that comes to your home can teach an elderly adult how to walk with a cane or other assistive device properly.


5. Recovering After an Injury or Surgery

When a senior does break a bone or need surgery, the affected limb is often immobilized for some time. This extended immobilization can often lead to:

  • Loss of muscle strength
  • Reduced bone density
  • Stiffened joint 
  • Decreased endurance

Physical therapy for seniors helps is an excellent way to restore and rebuild strength and mobility, as it can help an elderly adult regain full use of their limb after a surgical procedure.

Is Physical Therapy Covered by Insurance?

Geriatric physical therapy provides many benefits to seniors, but the cost may be an issue for some older adults.

So, is physical therapy for older adults covered by insurance?

The good news is that outpatient physical therapy is covered by Medicaid and most other insurance providers in Virginia. As long as a doctor prescribes PT, most providers cover:

  • Short- and long-term therapy
  • Physical therapy in a medical setting
  • Physical therapy in a home setting

However, it’s always best to check with your own insurance provider to confirm what is or isn’t covered. 


Get In-Home “Geriatric Physical Therapy Near Me” Today

Physical therapy is a way for individuals to get professional assistance with mobility, strength, and endurance exercises, and geriatric physical therapy is PT specifically geared towards aging adults. 

In addition, in-home therapy for seniors makes physical therapy more convenient and accessible for adults as they age. It allows them to get valuable hands-on help as they recover from surgery or learn to walk with a cane.

With geriatric physical therapy at home, elderly adults receive expert assistance:

  • Maintaining mobility
  • Compensating for age-related conditions
  • Managing pain
  • Preventing falls
  • Recovering after an injury or surgery

If you’re looking for the best “in-home physical therapy for seniors near me” in the Richmond or Charlottesville areas, Commonwise Home Care is here for you.

Commonwise Home Care offers exceptional in-home physical therapy for seniors. We have a team of licensed geriatric physical therapists that come to your house and create a personalized care plan for you. Whether you’re recovering from an injury or simply want to be more confident moving around, our PT clinic is fully licensed and offers a broad range of therapies.

Stop searching for “geriatric physical therapy near me” and contact our Richmond or Charlottesville branches to get the best in-home PT for elderly adults in the area.

In-home physical therapy in Charlottesville and Richmond, VA.

Contact us for a free assessment

Top Tips for How to Have a Great Experience Living with Elderly Parents

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman


October 4th, 2021

Are you wondering how to deal with elderly parents living with you?
Are you caring for an elderly parent in your home?

Are unsure what to do when your parents can’t live alone anymore?

If you’re considering caring for your aging parents in your home, you’re not alone. A study from Boston College found that about 17% of adult children care for their parents at some point. 

As adults get older, they often look to their adult children (or other family members) for help. One way adult children may provide support is by letting their parents move in with them.

Even though living with elderly parents can be a challenge, it can also be a wonderful experience when done well. 

In this article, we’ll be taking an honest look at how to cope well with elderly parents moving in with you. We’ll be sharing:

Read on to learn all about living with elderly parents well.


What to Do When Parents Can’t Live Alone

Most adults want to age comfortably in a familiar place and don’t want to move into a nursing home or assisted living facility. However, elderly adults often need increasing amounts of assistance as their lives go on. 

So, what can adult children do when their parents can’t live alone?

One solution is for aging parents to move in with their adult children. This arrangement has the potential to be wonderful, with benefits for everyone. However, it can also involve some challenges.

Here are some of the benefits and challenges of caring for an elderly parent in your home.


Benefits of Living with your Elderly Parents

When it comes to living with your aging parents, there are many benefits. Three of the top benefits include:

  • Minimizing expenses
  • Convenience of care
  • Mutual assistance

Here’s a quick look at these pros in more detail.

Minimizing Expenses

One potential benefit of living with your aging parents is minimizing expenses. 

Not only does combining households avoid the potential expense of residential elder care facilities, living together can be more financially efficient than maintaining two separate houses. 

Convenience of Care

Another big benefit of caring for an elderly parent in your home is the convenience of not needing to commute back and forth to help out. Instead of a 15-minute drive to mom’s house to check on her, mom could be two rooms over. 

This benefit is especially significant if you and your parents live far from each other.

Mutual Assistance

Additionally, aging parents can sometimes offer help to their adult children. Elderly parents can assist with light chores around the house or provide babysitting services for you and your spouse. 

But perhaps best of all, living together provides a special opportunity for aging parents and adult children (and grandchildren) to have a closer relationship during these later years of life.  


Challenges of Caring for Parents in Your Home 

It will come as no surprise that living with elderly parents can be difficult. There are certain challenges you’ll need to navigate in order to have a positive experience. 

Some of these challenges may include dealing with:  

  • The loss of privacy at home 
  • An impact on the adult child’s marriage
  • Aspects of caregiving you may not be comfortable with
  • Feelings of obligation / guilt / resentment
  • The child/parent relationship in the adult child’s home

Some other issues that may arise are:

All these situations and challenges are a normal part of the picture when caring for parents in your home. However, these difficulties can be anticipated and overcome in a way that proves positive for everyone. 

In-home elder care solutions in Charlottesville, Richmond, Williamsburg, VA and Charleston, SC.

Contact us for a free assessment


4 Tips for How to Deal with Elderly Parents Living With You

Are you thinking about living with your aging parents but unsure how to cope with elderly parents moving in

Fortunately, having a positive experience living with elderly parents is totally possible.

Here are four expert tips for setting yourself up for success when caring for parents in your home.


1. Establish Realistic Care Expectations

The first thing you can do when caring for an elderly parent in your home is to assess the level of daily care your parents need in order to continue living healthily and happily. 

Some likely examples of care that your parents may require include:

  • Safety/accessibility adjustments to the house
  • Help to prepare food
  • Assistance keeping track of medications
  • Aid dressing/bathing
  • Transportation to/from doctor’s appointments and outside activities
  • Company/socialization
  • Support moving about the house
  • Encouragement to stay physically/mentally active 
  • Someone to be home in case of an emergency etc

Once you’ve finished the assessment, consider and state clearly which kinds of help you can and cannot provide. This will reveal gaps in the level of care you can reasonably provide your loved one. 

Discovering gaps in care might seem like a bad thing, but it’s actually very important. Identifying care gaps allows you to start making alternative care arrangements to meet these needs.

Be honest with yourself about what care you can and can’t provide. . You don’t have any obligation or responsibility to agree to more than you can handle.


2. Set Boundaries

Boundaries are important in all relationships, but certain boundaries will significantly help when considering how to cope with elderly parents moving in

Here are three important boundaries to put in place for living with aging parents.


Maintain an Adult Relationship

First, maintain an adult relationship, even though they are your parents. 

Some practical examples for ensuring an adult relationship are:

  • Preserving your right to privacy (e.g., you don’t have to answer questions about your phone calls or private conversations with other family members, etc.)
  • Scheduling and following through on independent plans 
  • Making your own decisions without their permission

It’s important to respect your parents, but it’s also necessary for you to maintain your own adult independence.


Protect Your Relationship With Your Spouse

Secondly, it’s vital to protect and prioritize time with your spouse. 

A 300 person study found that 80% of marriages were negatively impacted by having parents move in.  You can Avoid becoming part of this statistic by taking proactive steps to strengthen your marriage, like going on a date once a week or setting aside 10-20 minutes every night to connect about your day.

The presence of an aging parent in the home will naturally encroach on the amount of quality alone time available at home, but there are ways to continue prioritizing your spouse. 


Preserve Your Lifestyle

Lastly, it is valuable to prioritize living the same lifestyle you lived before your parents moved in—don’t put your life on hold. 

Your active lifestyle will:

  • Help your parents stay active
  • Act as a self-care opportunity for you
  • Prevent you from becoming resentful 

Maintaining your previous lifestyle will provide benefits for you and your parents.


3. Think Ahead 

When it comes to caring for an elderly parent in your home, a little preparation can go a long way. You’ll want to spend some time thinking about how to set yourself and your loved one up for success. 

Here are some things you may want to consider before (or during) the process of living with elderly parents:

  • Talking with an elder care lawyer to make sure your parents’ finances are in order
  • Getting long term care insurance before needing expensive end-of-life care
  • Knowing your options regarding elder care alternatives
  • Putting safety precautions into place (e.g., installing railings and removing  trip hazards) 
  • Organizing a list of your parents’ doctors and medications
  • Considering creative activities for homebound adults to keep your parents active
  • Finding a personal therapist or family counselor to support you and your family through the ups and downs

In addition to practical preparations, it’s also important to prepare for the emotional realities that may come with caring for a parent in your home. Give yourself permission to admit uncomfortable feelings such as disappointment, frustration, and grief. Those kinds of feelings are normal, and they don’t negate the authenticity and depth of your love for your parents.


4. Get Help: Part-time or Full-time In-home Caregivers 

Just because you and your parents share an address, doesn’t mean that you’re responsible to meet all their needs yourself. As your parents’ needs change over time, it’s likely that their care needs will go beyond what a family member can provide. 

Private in-home caregivers can provide supplemental assistance to make living with your elderly parents sustainable and positive. 

Private in-home caregivers can help with: 

  • Personal body care (bathing, dressing)
  • Companionship
  • Transportation
  • Medication reminders
  • Overnight supervision in case of emergencies/wandering

Private caregivers can be hired by the hour, so they’re flexible and cost-effective to match your situation. For example, respite care is a service where a caregiver comes for 4 hours at a time to give family caregivers a break. While the respite caregiver spends time with your loved one, you can tend to yourself and other personal matters.

Caregiver assistance is also a great option if you’re unsure how to handle elderly parents with dementia. In-home caregivers have specific memory care training and can be hired to help with all aspects of dementia care. 

Regardless of your parents’ care needs, you don’t have to meet them alone. Hiring a private in-home caregiver, either part-time or full-time, is a great option for supplemental care. 


Expert Help for those Living with Aging Parents

As parents age, many family caregivers consider living together with their elderly parents. However, caring for your parents in your home comes with both benefits and challenges.

Some of the benefits of living with elderly parents include:

  • Minimized expenses
  • Greater convenience
  • Opportunity for a closer relationship 

On the other hand, some of the challenges of living together include:

  • Loss of privacy
  • Impact on the adult child’s marriage
  • Feelings of obligation/resentment

In order to mitigate these challenges and have a positive experience caring for an elderly parent in your home, some tips for how to deal with elderly parents living with you are:

  • Establish realistic care expectations
  • Set boundaries
  • Think ahead
  • Get expert help

If you’re still not sure what to do when your parents can’t live alone, we’re here to help.

Here at Commonwise Home Care, we offer professional in-home care services to elderly adults. Whether you’re looking for respite care, 24-hour care, or dementia care, we’ve got a care solution for you. We want you to have a great experience living with your elderly parents, and our friendly, professional staff is ready to walk alongside you. 

If you live in Virginia or South Carolina, give us a call to explore how we can help you and your aging loved one.

In-home elder care solutions in Charlottesville, Richmond, Williamsburg, VA and Charleston, SC.

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Caregiver Needed: How to Choose the Best Caregiver Option for Your Loved One

oesWritten by:

Jeffrey Grossman


September 27th, 2021

An increasing number of individuals are looking for “caregivers near me” in Richmond, VA. An AARP study in 2015 found that one in five American adults (43.5 million) is actively providing care to another family member.

But when it comes to looking after an aging family member, family caregivers may not have the time or experience necessary to provide the care their loved ones need.  

Are you looking for a caregiver to help relieve your caregiver burden?

Could your loved ones benefit from the professional care of a part-time caregiver for the elderly?

Do you know how to find senior caregivers that can provide quality hands-on care?

Families looking for private caregivers may be glad to hear that they have many options to alleviate the burden of care they may be feeling. Home care is a booming industry, and many private individuals and home care agencies offer in-home care services.

But how do you know if a private caregiver or agency caregiver is best for you?

In this article, we’ll be exploring the options available to those who are searching for “home caregivers near me.” We will shed light on:

  • What is a home health worker, and what do they do
  • The pros and cons of hiring a private caregiver vs. hiring through a home care agency 
  • How to choose between home care agencies

Keep reading to find out how to find the best in-home caregivers for your loved one.


What Is an In-home Health Worker and What Do They Do? 

As people age, they start to need help with the daily tasks of life. To maintain their independent lifestyles, seniors often look to family members for help. Family caregivers, however, may not be available to provide everything their aging loved ones need. 

This is where part-time caregivers for the elderly come into the picture. In-home health workers are professional caregivers who come to elderly adults’ homes to provide various kinds of assistance. 

Caregivers can help with: 

  • Household tasks like cooking, cleaning, pet care 
  • Personal care tasks like bathing, dressing, brushing hair 
  • Life management tasks like keeping track of medications and doctors appointments 
  • Overnight assistance for those who might need hands-on help at night 

Many families find senior caregivers are also helpful when aging loved ones live with family members. Part-time caregivers for the elderly can relieve much of the stress family members may feel as they care for their loved ones themselves. 

Families may be looking for private caregivers for a variety of reasons. Still, the overarching goal of in-home health workers, and other kinds of caregivers, is for seniors to continue living comfortably and safely at home. 

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Caregiver Needed: Home Care Agency or Private Hire? 

Once you’ve decided that a senior caregiver is needed to help care for your loved one, how do you find one? 

When looking for a caregiver, there are two main options: 

  1. You can independently hire part-time caregivers for the elderly loved one in your life  
  2. You can find senior caregivers through a home care agency 

Here’s a look at these two caregiver options in more detail.


Find and Hire a Private, Part-time Caregiver for the Elderly

Hiring a private caregiver may seem like a simple way to reduce the costs. Cut out the middleman, right? 

However, families looking for private caregivers have to do all the work of finding, interviewing, and hiring the caregiver themselves.  You’ll need to do the work that an agency would typically do, which includes:

  • Writing a job description
  • Interviewing applicants to determine which ones are qualified 
  • Negotiating wages, benefits, and hours, and creating an employment contract
  • Maintaining ongoing accountability 
  • Covering gaps in the schedule if the caregiver calls out
  • Repeating the process to replace the caregiver as needed 

Additionally, hiring private in-home health workers comes with a variety of legal responsibilities. For example, as an employer, you will be responsible for producing tax documents for your household employees and applying for an employer ID number.

Alternatively, if you’re searching online for “in-home caregiver near me” and want to ensure they’re trained and qualified, there’s a better way.


Find Senior Caregivers  through a Home Care Agency

You may not have the time, energy, or expertise necessary to find and vet excellent caregiver applicants—this is why home care agencies exist. 

Individuals looking for “caregivers near me” can significantly benefit from a home care agency because working with an in-home care company provides:

  • Ease in the hiring process
  • Confidence that your loved one’s caregiver has been thoroughly vetted and professionally trained
  • Ongoing accountability and support from the agency
  • Supplemental caregivers as needed so that there are never gaps in the schedule if your caregiver is sick or on vacation

These agencies handle all the administrative tasks of finding and employing high-quality caregivers, so all you have to do is hire them for your loved one.

Additionally, home care agencies have years of professional home care experience. As a result, they have specialized processes for identifying excellent caregivers, providing supplemental training, and designing elder care packages.

Though it’s possible to find, hire, train, supervise, and pay in-home health workers directly, utilizing a home care agency is usually a simpler and more peaceful experience.

However, not all home care agencies are the same. You’ll want to look into a few agencies and make sure they check off some important boxes before officially hiring an agency caregiver.     


What to Consider When Looking for a Caregiver Agency 

When looking for a caregiver in Richmond, VA, you’ll notice that there are many home care agencies to choose from. It may be tempting to simply pick the first name on the list or choose whichever agency is cheapest. We caution you to think again. 

Home care agencies are not all created equal. 

Here are three things to think about if you’re searching for “home caregivers near me” and are looking into agencies. 

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Hiring and Training Standards 

When choosing an agency, you’re trusting them to expertly select and train the person who will be directly caring for your loved one. Therefore, you’ll want to find an agency that’s selective in its hiring process and values thorough training. 

Most agencies require caregiver applicants to pass a background check and hold a high school diploma or GED. In addition, some agencies require specialized experience, such as certification as a Personal Care Assistant (PCA). 

Typical certification programs, however, do not include training in “soft skills” topics such as:

  • Communication skills
  • Emotional intelligence 
  • Friendliness 
  • Conflict resolution / Persuasion

When considering a home care agency, here are some questions to ask:

  • How do they select caregivers?
  • What kind of caregiver training do they provide?
  • What is their caregiver turnover rate?
  • Do their caregivers have intangible, soft skills to provide quality care?

Whether or not care is delivered with patience, compassion, and respect will significantly impact your loved one’s care experience. Compassionate care comes from a combination of who the agency chooses to hire and what kind of training the agency provides.


Range of Care Options 

All individuals looking for “caregivers near me” in Richmond, VA have unique needs. Therefore, it’s vital for the agency you choose to have the services you need and the flexibility to adjust as your loved one’s needs change. 

The best home care agencies will offer a wide range of care services, including:

When considering an agency, find out what kinds of care they offer to ensure that your loved one will receive the care they need. 

It’s also essential that the agency has a procedure for customized care. Excellent home care agencies employ care managers who work with clients and caregivers to create and maintain personalized care plans. 

When considering an agency’s products and procedures, here are some questions to ask:

  • Do you have care managers in addition to caregivers?
  • Do you create customized care plans?
  • What is your process for changing the care plan as needed?

Don’t settle for an agency with limited, inflexible care options. Instead, try to identify an agency that will provide a tailored care package and ongoing care management for your loved one.


Reviews from Other Clients

Testimonials from other clients – both good and bad – are the clearest demonstration of the quality of the care agency. If other families have had a positive or negative experience, it indicates what you may experience with that agency. 

Look for agency reviews on their website and other websites, such as Yelp. An excellent agency should consistently receive excellent, 5-star ratings from different clients and their families. 

If there are any low ratings, read the explanation of what the person experienced and consider whether you’d be comfortable with the same thing. 

In addition to looking at the numbers of reviews and the overall satisfaction of other clients, here are some specific questions to keep in mind when reading testimonials:

  • Did the family develop a positive relationship with the caregiver?
  • Does the agency support the family and the caregiver?
  • Could the family trust the caregiver and the agency?
  • Was there a high standard of professionalism and reliability? 

If you can’t find any reviews, or it’s a mixed bag, it can also be beneficial to call and talk to the agency directly. Ask them some questions about their caregiver hiring and training standards. You can also ask them to share about their care services and care management process.

There are a lot of home care agencies out there. Other families’ real-life positive and negative experiences can give you the green light (or red light) without first putting your loved one at risk. 


The Best Place to Find Senior Caregivers in Richmond, VA 

In this article, we’ve talked about what an in-home health worker is and what they do. An in-home caregiver enters your loved one’s place of residence to help with daily life tasks. They can assist with simple activities like cleaning and cooking or provide more advanced care as needed.

We also discussed the pros and cons of hiring an in-home caregiver directly vs. through a home care agency. The primary difference being, if you hire a caregiver directly, you will be personally responsible for the logistical and legal tasks an agency would typically do on your behalf. For example:

  • Recruiting and interviewing applicants
  • Negotiating employment contracts
  • Providing tax documents

And finally, we gave you some tips as to what to look for when choosing a home care agency, including:

  • The agency’s hiring and training process
  • The range of care options available
  • The reviews posted by former or current clients

If you are looking for an excellent home care agency in Richmond, VA, Commonwise Home Care is here for you. At Commonwise, we’ve been serving families looking for private caregivers in Virginia for decades.

Some of the benefits you can count on with Commonwise include: 

  • Flexible amount of hours, everything from 4 hours at a time to 24-hour care
  • We come to your location, whether that’s in a private home, a hospital, or an assisted living community
  • A team approach to caring, where Care Managers work with caregivers and families to provide ongoing support and adjustment
  • In-depth hiring process which ensures our Caregivers have the right personality and temperament for caregiving
  • A proprietary training approach that emphasizes soft skills

Contact us today to talk with a Care Manager about how Commonwise might be the best home care agency for your loved one.

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The Difference Between Memory Care Assisted Living and In-home Memory Care

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman


September 20th, 2021

Are you an adult child looking for memory care in Charlottesville, VA for your parents with dementia?

If so, you may also be asking yourself:

  • How much does dementia care cost?
  • What kinds of services are available in VA for memory care?
  • What does a memory care facility do?
  • Is there a difference between dementia personal care at home vs. memory care assisted living?
  • Where’s the best place for dementia memory care or Alzheimer’s memory care?

1 in 9 Americans over the age of 65 have dementia, so it’s pretty common for adult children to find themselves dealing with a parent who has dementia.

Fortunately, you’re not alone, and there are resources available to help relieve your caregiver burden and provide quality care to your loved one.

In this article, we’re sharing all about dementia memory care for elderly adults. We’ll also answer questions like, “What is memory care?” and “How much does dementia care cost?”

Keep reading to find out how you can get quality in-home dementia care for your loved one today. 


What Is Memory Care?

First, let’s answer the question, “What is memory care for seniors?”

As adults age, they may need assistance with various aspects of their daily lives. Memory care assists seniors suffering from any form of memory loss, like dementia memory care and Alzheimer’s memory care. Since dementia is a progressive condition and its symptoms worsen over time, the needs of an individual with dementia will change as the disease develops.

Memory care for someone in the early stages of dementia mainly involves extra assistance with organization to compensate for short-term memory loss. 

However, in later stages, dementia often affects an individual’s personality and motor functions. They may need help with:

  • Moving around the house
  • Bathing and dressing
  • Remembering to eat and drink water

Because seniors in the later stages of dementia often have insomnia and wander at night, memory care also involves nighttime supervision. 

An increasing level of care is usually overwhelming and exhausting for a family caregiver. Additionally, family members often lack the time or ability to provide their loved one with the specialized care they need. 

Getting your loved one professional memory care assistance is a way to:

  • Relieve yourself of the burden of dementia caregiving
  • Ensure your loved one receives quality dementia care

In the next section, we’re sharing about two of the most beneficial forms of VA memory care.

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Memory Care Assisted Living vs. In-home Memory Care

When it comes to expert memory care in Charlottesville, VA, there are two main options:

  • Memory care assisted living facilities
  • In-home memory care

But what’s the difference, and which is best for your loved one? 

Here’s a more in-depth look at what you can expect from these two regarding cost, health/safety of your loved one, and the quality of life it provides.


Memory Care Assisted Living

There are several memory care facilities in and around Charlottesville, VA. However, since they vary broadly, it’s always a good idea to research individual assisted living facilities. 

Looking into a facility yourself can help you get a firsthand answer to “what does a memory care facility do?”



On average, residing in an assisted living facility costs $4,000 a month, with memory care adding $1,000 to $5,000 to that monthly cost. This means the average monthly cost of a memory care facility is around $5,000. 

Since Medicare usually only covers medical expenses, the cost of residential memory care must often be paid out-of-pocket. However, Medicaid, long-term care insurance, or the VA bill may cover some of the expenses for qualifying seniors.


Health / Safety

Memory care assisted living facilities are usually specifically designed to provide a protected environment for your loved ones as they move through the stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s. 

For example: 

  • Dementia memory care buildings may be built in a circle so that residents do not become frustrated or confused by “dead-end” hallways 
  • Alzheimer’s memory care units are usually locked at night to protect against wandering
  • There are often nurses available at all times, and sometimes even on-site medical facilities

Knowing a nurse or doctor is nearby day and night can provide family members peace of mind. But, in addition to your loved one’s physical safety, it’s also essential to consider their emotional health and quality of life.


Quality of Life

A VA memory care assisted living facility has the potential to enrich a senior’s life with access to:

  • Social interaction
  • Mentally stimulating activities
  • Opportunities to stay active

That being said, not all assisted living facilities deliver the quality of life you might want for your loved one. 

When visiting an assisted living facility, pay attention to signs of the residents’ quality of life. Do the other residents seem happy? 

If possible, stay for a meal to observe the quality of the food and dining facilities. Ask whether the facility has regular activities or events for residents. You can also ask to see a schedule of events if available.

Now that we’ve looked at assisted living facilities, let’s explore another option for dementia memory care: in-home memory care.


In-home Memory Care

So far, we’ve been exploring memory care assisted living, but another approach to memory care is dementia personal care at home

With in-home dementia care, a caregiver comes to your loved one’s residence. The caregiver then provides all the assistance your loved one needs in the comfort of their own home.



The average monthly cost of a memory care facility is around $5,000. But what about in-home dementia care costs

Since in-home care is billed by the hour, it’s more flexible than an assisted living facility. 

In a facility, memory care usually costs extra on top of the baseline costs. In-home caregivers, however, tend to have a consistent pay rate that doesn’t change if the client requires dementia care.

For many, in-home care is less expensive or cost-neutral compared to memory care assisted living. 


Health / Safety

A primary role of an in-home caregiver is to protect and promote your loved one’s health and safety. Caregivers usually work with licensed nurses to develop a care plan tailored to your loved one’s needs. 

In-home Alzheimer’s memory care often includes services, like:

  • Assisting with adapting the home to the physical needs of the client
  • Supervising medications to ensure the correct pills are taken at the right times
  • Facilitating physical activities such as walking, stretching, or physical therapy exercises
  • Watching over the client and intervening as necessary

One benefit of a private, in-home caregiver is that they provide one-on-one, personal attention. In residential facilities, the on-staff caregivers are often supervising 12-20 residents at a time. The consistent, individual care a private caregiver can provide makes a significant impact on someone with dementia. 


Quality of Life

In-home caregivers increase the quality of life for elderly adults with dementia by:

For most of us, home can be anywhere. But for those living with dementia, their house is often the only place they feel at home. The familiarity of home can restore comfort and safety, which is a considerable asset for maintaining a high quality of life.

But even when a senior with dementia stays at home, they need companionship and stimulation, something a caregiver can help with. Otherwise, they may experience isolation or depression.  

Some of the ways that a caregiver provides needed companionship and stimulation include:

  • Regular social interaction
  • Safe transportation to and from social events
  • Meaningful therapies (i.e., music therapy)
  • Mentally stimulating activities (e.g., sudoku, crossword puzzles, bingo, etc.)
  • Creative engagement (e.g., scrapbooking, etc.)

When choosing an in-home caregiver service, be mindful of finding a company that values compassionate companionship. With the right caregiver, the one-on-one attention dementia personal care at home provides can go a long way in increasing your loved one’s quality of life.


Exceptional In-home Memory Care in Charlottesville, VA

Most people with dementia will need increasing amounts of help as the disease progresses, and family members often cannot supply all that their aging parents need. Dementia memory care is professional assistance intended to help people who are experiencing any form of dementia.

The two primary memory care options are moving into a memory care assisted living facility or hiring an in-home Alzheimer’s memory care agency. 

With an assisted living facility, you have 24-hour security and access to on-site medical services, but you lose the familiarity of “home” that patients with dementia find so comforting. Additionally, an assisted living facility may provide access to social interaction and activities. Still, residents will likely receive less personal attention and individual care than with a private caregiver. 

In-home VA memory care can be more cost-effective and provide dementia patients with one-on-one attentive care. It also allows those with dementia to stay in the comfort of their home. However, remaining at home can lead to isolation and other emotional/social challenges. 

Ultimately, both approaches have trade-offs, and it’s possible to have a good experience and receive excellent memory care through either process. 

Here at Commonwise Home Care in Charlottesville, VA, we believe in the benefits of private caregivers in both memory care contexts. Our caregivers provide comprehensive, in-home memory care, whether it’s in their home or an assisted living facility.

Why would a client choose to employ a private caregiver if they live in a residential facility? Because consistency is so crucial to dementia patients. In a facility, your loved one will be cared for by whoever is working that day. With a private caregiver, your loved one can develop a personal relationship with the caregiver. 

Contact us today to learn more about Commonwise in-home caregivers and how a private caregiver may be suitable for your loved one with dementia.

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What You Might Not Know About Home Care Companion Training and Certification

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman


September 13th, 2021

Are you a caring, compassionate individual looking for home health aide training in Richmond, VA

Or, do you want to know how to become a PCA in Virginia

Home care agencies are experiencing a shortage of caregivers and are looking to hire for many different home health aide jobs in Richmond, VA. In fact, all kinds of home care professionals are in high demand right now.

But did you know that home health aides (HHA), personal care aides (PCA), home care companions, and in-home caregivers all have similar roles and salaries? The only difference is the training time and fees required to attend training.

Signing up for a VA home health aid program to gain an HHA certification can be great preparation for work in the home care industry. However, before signing up for an HHA training program or personal care aide training in Richmond, VA, there are some factors you may want to consider. 

In this article, we’ll be sharing information about home health aid certification in VA and home care companion training in general. You’ll gain a greater understanding of what it takes to become an HHA and some of the alternatives to an HHA certification.

Keep reading to learn how to start a career in caregiving today.

We’re hiring caregivers in Charlottesville, Richmond, Williamsburg, VA and Charleston, SC.

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Home Health Aide Certification in VA

Taking a home health aide (HHA) training course in Richmond, VA and receiving an HHA certification is one way to begin a career in caregiving.

But there are certain requirements you need to meet in order to obtain your HHA certification.

Here’s a quick rundown of the HHA certification requirements and what you can expect from an HHA training program.


HHA Certification Requirements

In general, there aren’t many requirements to start working in clients’ homes as a home health aid. Agencies that are licensed to accept Medicare/Medicaid, however, may require an official HHA certification. 

The federal requirements for an HHA certification include:

  • 75 hours of instruction
  • 16 hours of supervised clinical experience 
  • 12 hours of continuing education over the following 12 months
  • Instruction to be provided by a licensed nurse

Additional requirements for HHA certification vary by state. For example, home health aide jobs in Richmond, VA require that HHAs work under the supervision of a registered nurse.

It can be beneficial to check into your state’s requirements and even contact some local agencies to see what they require.


HHA Training Programs

There are many home health care training programs in Richmond and around VA for those looking to work in in-home health care. In addition to helping you meet HHA requirements, many of these training programs lead to certification as a Personal Care Aid (PCA) or Certified Nurse Assistant (PCA) as well. 

These programs vary in length of hours, price, and topic details. For example, the personal care aid training program offered at Care Perfections Health Services, LLC is 40 hours long and costs $1,049, with a $50 application fee.   

Though home care companion training provides instruction in a broad range of valuable skills, some VA home health aide programs may not meet the federal requirements for home health aid certification in VA. So, you’ll want to make sure the HHA training program you choose meets the national specifications.  


Home Care Companion Training: The Alternative to Becoming HHA

HHA certification and training programs are one way to begin a career in caregiving.

But before you spend the time and money to attend a home health aid training program, you should consider that: 

  • You don’t need an HHA certification to work as an in-home caregiver to elderly adults
  • In-home caregivers without a CPA, CNA, or HHA certification receive similar pay to those with a certification
  • Though home health aid training programs cover a lot of practical skills, they often underemphasize interpersonal skills

Becoming an in-home caregiver at a private in-home care company is an excellent alternative to an HHA certification. Rather than requiring expensive certifications, the top in-home care companies:

  • Have their own in-house home care companion training program
  • Give you the knowledge and skills needed to provide quality care to aging seniors
  • Start paying you a salary while you’re in training
  • Resource you with ongoing training and support

Here at Commonwise Home Care in Richmond, VA, we want our caregivers to be prepared to provide the highest quality care to our clients. Because we value caregiver training so highly, we developed a proprietary in-house training program called Caregiver University (CU)

CU ensures you have all the necessary skills by providing you with:

  • An 8-hour online training that’s designed to be fun and engaging
  • A 1-day in-person training so you can practice and master what you learned online
  • Ongoing training and support as you encounter new challenges on the job

We couldn’t offer such exceptional in-home care without our caregivers, so we offer industry-leading wages. Our caregiver salaries start at $15/hour and increase from there.

Receiving home health aid training through Commonwise is a time-efficient and cost-effective way to prepare for work in the home health care industry.  

Apply to our open positions to start a rewarding and fulfilling career as a caregiver today.

We’re hiring caregivers in Charlottesville, Richmond, Williamsburg, VA and Charleston, SC.

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Where Can I Find Caregivers? Hiring Practices That Benefit Agencies and Families

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman


September 7th, 2021

Knowing how to recruit great caregivers is more important than ever—and not just for home care agencies. Good caregiver recruitment processes can also benefit adult children looking into hiring a caregiver for in-home help.

As an in-home care company, do you know how to attract care workers who have the right skills and qualities for the job?

Knowing the best places to find caregivers is only one piece of the puzzle. It’s also important to know how to hire in-home caregivers who have the skills and qualities that will make them successful in their role.  

As an adult child hiring in-home care for elderly parents, don’t you want a caregiver who’s compassionate and provides quality care? 

You want to ensure your loved one is in good hands. Home care agencies that have strong recruitment practices and values often provide better quality caregivers than those that don’t.

So whether you’re an in-home care agency or an adult child with aging parents, knowing where to find great caregivers is the key to success.

In this article, we’ll be sharing what we’ve found to be the best ways to recruit great caregivers. These “hiring a caregiver tips” will help companies understand best recruiting practices and give adult children an idea of what to look for in a home care agency for their aging parents.

Keep reading to learn more about in-home care and get an answer to, “Where can I find caregivers?”

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How to Recruit Great Caregivers

Because an agency’s caregiver recruitment process affects the quality of its caregivers, a good hiring system benefits the agency and family members looking to hire caregivers.

Agencies need to find caregivers that have the skills and qualities necessary to provide great care. Hiring good candidates also helps reduce staff turnover.

Additionally, family members want to know that their loved ones are receiving good care from quality caregivers. 

The ultimate goal is to implement a process that allows you to find the right employees the first time. Here are three ways agencies can recruit great caregivers who will provide the care family members are looking for.


1. Access a Large Pool of Candidates

The first step of caregiver recruitment is to find and reach as many potential applicants as possible. Casting a wide net helps you market your open positions to a large number of people.

Without a large number of applicants, you can’t:

  • Be selective with who you hire
  • Fills employment gaps quickly  

But knowing where to post job listings or how to connect with potential caregivers can be tough. Three good places to recruit employees include:

  • Online: One of the best places to recruit caregivers is online. You can use online job sites like or your company website to promote open positions.
  • In-person: As we’re coming out of the pandemic, you can utilize in-person hiring opportunities like job fairs or open houses at your company.
  • Word-of-mouth: Your employees can also help you recruit other great caregivers. Offering your employees referral bonuses is an excellent way to incentivize them to use their networks of people to help fill your employment gaps.

You can try to think of other creative ways to hire caregivers, but these three examples give you a good place to start.

Once you have access to a broad pool of applicants, you’ll need to give these potential candidates a reason to apply.


2. Attract Top Talent with Desirable Benefits

The second step toward hiring the right caregivers the first time is to incentivize them to apply.

You might be spending large amounts of time and money marketing your open jobs, but it’s all wasted if no one is applying. A great way to attract applicants is with desirable employee compensation packages.

There are many different ways you can incentivize applicants, but four tips for how to attract care workers to your open positions involve: 

For example, Commonwise Home Care in Richmond, VA offers above-average pay and benefits packages (e.g., PTO, medical, dental, etc.) to full-time employees. This kind of compensation allows them to attract and retain top caregivers.


3. Identify and Hire Ideal Candidates

Once you have candidates applying to work for your agency, it’s important to identify which applicants are going to be a good fit. 

A few of the non-negotiables for caregivers should include:

  • Holding a GED or high school diploma
  • Passing a background check
  • Having a valid driver’s license and working vehicle

Practical skills and experience are beneficial, but it’s often the soft skills that make a caregiver great. Use the interview process to look for and assess:

  • Qualities of a caregiver: Identify applicants who will be responsible, communicate clearly, and be positive team players. 
  • Personality traits of a caregiver: Traits such as empathy, patience, resourcefulness, and cheerfulness can indicate someone who will succeed as a caregiver.

To hire the best candidates quickly, Commonwise partnered with an organizational psychologist. She helped design a screening tool for assessing applicants’ personalities and emotional habits. This screening tool allows Commonwsie to identify great caregivers before they’re hired and decreases the number of bad hires

We’ve talked about how to hire caregivers, but the “why” behind caregiver recruitment is also important.


Why Caregiver Recruitment Is Important

With a growing population of seniors and a shortage of caregivers, caregiver recruitment is more important than ever. Perfecting your method of attracting, identifying, and hiring caregivers who are going to be a good fit is a valuable investment.

Knowing how to recruit great caregivers has benefits for home care agencies and families hiring in-home help for elderly loved ones. 


1. Benefits For Home Care Companies

There are many benefits for home care companies who create and implement a comprehensive recruitment process.

As a home care agency, attracting and hiring high-quality caregivers can result in:

  • Keeping your positions filled: When you invest in hiring the right people the first time around, you’ll lower employee turnover and keep your best caregivers around longer. 
  • Better quality of care to clients: By taking the time to hire great caregivers, you’ll ensure better care for your clients.
  • Improved reputation: Valuing your caregivers and providing great care to clients will result in a good reputation as an employer and agency. 


2. Benefits For Families Hiring Caregivers

A reliable recruitment method also benefits adult children looking into hiring in-home help for elderly loved ones. 

When you choose an agency with good recruitment practices, you can:

  • Be confident in the quality of the caregiver
  • Build an ongoing relationship with a consistent caregiver
  • Know that any needs will be heard and met

An in-home caregiver is a great way to preserve your loved one’s quality of life and relieve the burden of care from your shoulder. But it’s even better when you know the care company has done everything they can to hire employees who possess the intangible qualities of a caregiver.

When an agency does its due diligence in the recruiting process, you can be assured that your loved one will receive high-quality caregivers.


Hiring a Caregiver for In-home Help

Caregiver recruitment practices don’t simply benefit home care companies, they’re also valuable for families hiring a caregiver for in-home help.

For agencies wondering how to hire in-home caregivers, there are three main steps:

  • Use multiple different channels to market job openings
  • Offer competitive pay and benefits to incentivize top talent to apply
  • Identify candidates who have the qualities of a great caregiver

Implementing these practices as an agency will provide benefits like:

  • Hiring the right people the first time
  • Providing higher quality care to clients
  • Improving your overall reputation

And as an adult child with parents who need in-home help, choosing an agency with a good recruiting process allows you to:

  • Have confidence in the quality of care
  • Build a deep relationship with consistent caregivers
  • Know any needs will be heard and met

If you’re looking into hiring in-home care for elderly loved ones, make sure your agency values hiring quality caregivers.

At Commonwise Home Care, we know how to recruit great caregivers. We don’t look for just anyone to fill our caregiver positions. Instead, our recruiting process allows us to find and hire caregivers that possess the intangible qualities needed to deliver high-quality care. Then, we invest time and resources to train them in all the hands-on skills that are required for the job. When you choose us for in-home care, you’re getting care that you can trust.

Contact us today to talk with a Care Advisor and hear more about how we can help your aging loved ones.

In-home elder care solutions in Charlottesville, Richmond, Williamsburg, VA and Charleston, SC.

Contact us for a free assessment

Should I Allow Unvaccinated Caregivers To Provide In-Home Care for my Loved One?

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman


August 24th, 2021

As of August 16, 2021, many of the largest healthcare organizations in the United States have opted not to mandate vaccines for their employees. While it is widely accepted that being vaccinated is the best way to protect against the spread of COVID 19, these mandates would nonetheless leave healthcare organizations critically short-staffed. With the Delta variant surging and options narrowing, how should a family weigh the risks of receiving care from an unvaccinated healthcare professional?

Presently, if you visit many large hospitals across the US, you’ll be receiving care from at least some un-vaccinated individuals. Healthcare professionals continue to decline the vaccine in sizeable numbers, and healthcare employers continue to struggle to reach adequate staffing in this climate.

Home healthcare has been impacted by the same challenges. Our charge has been to do all we can to incentivize as many Caregivers as possible to become vaccinated. To do so, Commonwise is offering bonuses in the thousands, paid time off, and educational consultations to encourage un-vaccinated staff to take this important step. However, a number of caregivers remain un-vaccinated, opting instead to subject themselves to strict protocols which include pre-shift wellness and exposure attestations, universal KN-95 masking, and other internal protocols that are even more stringent than the CDC guidance for healthcare workers.

However, with the Delta variant surging, more and more families in need of care are requesting “vaccinated caregivers only”. While this is a very reasonable desire, it is simply not possible given the facts above. In these moments, our role has been to educate callers about the limitations dogging the healthcare industry and invite them to consider a hard question: Are the risks associated with receiving care from an unvaccinated caregiver preferable to the risks of not having care at all?

To answer that question, families need to fully understand those risks. To support clients in that analysis, we have partnered with a trusted source to provide an analytical framework for you to consider. Please note, this framework is not a substitute for speaking with your physician about your specific risks but could provide you with data that supports that conversation.

Key takeaways:

  • Even in the face of the Delta variant, the single most important step you can take to preventing serious illness and death from COVID 19 is to get vaccinated.
  • You can analyze your COVID 19 risk by using this risk calculator which is informed by the latest statistics, immunity prevalence information, and peer-reviewed data pertaining to the COVID 19 pandemic.
  • In many cases, if you are vaccinated, receiving care from an unvaccinated caregiver who is masked and taking appropriate precautions can be a low-risk proposition that enables your loved one to live a healthy and fulfilling life.

We hope this information and resource will be useful as you analyze your risks and benefits.

What to Expect From Elderly Caregiver Training Programs in Charleston, SC

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman


August 23rd, 2021

The current shortage of in-home caregivers has led to an abundance of open positions all across the country. If you’re looking for a rewarding and lucrative career, now is a great time to look into elderly caregiver training in Charleston, SC.

However, not all caregiver training programs are the same. There are some elderly caregiver training programs that better prepare you for the job than others.

For example, many people think they need to take a certified nursing assistant (CNA) course and receive a CNA certification in SC before starting a career in caregiving. This route will give you good medical training, but won’t provide you with the actual skills needed for in-home care.

Instead, you need relevant, specific training for home caregivers taught by experienced caregivers. With this type of caregiver training, you’ll be more equipped and ready to provide quality care to aging seniors.

Do you want to learn more about how to become an excellent caregiver?

In this article, we’re talking all about home caregiver training. You’ll learn what to look for in training classes for caregivers, and the advantages of an agency-specific caregiver training program.

Keep reading to learn how you can sign up for one of the best caregiver training university programs in SC.


What to Expect from In-home Caregiver Training Programs

Not all in-home caregiver training programs are created equal. The best elderly caregiver training programs:

  • Use multiple training formats
  • Provide comprehensive training content
  • Ensure results 

Let’s look at these three components of good home caregiver training in more detail.


1. Multiple Learning Formats

The goal of any advanced caregiver training is to ensure that you have both the head knowledge and hands-on skills to provide quality care to aging adults. Many home care agencies utilize online modules and in-person training to provide a comprehensive learning experience. 

Here’s a quick look at what you can expect from online and in-person caregiver training.

Online Training

The best training classes for caregivers merge multiple different learning formats. They provide training content in a way that’s both informative and engaging.

For example, Commonwise Home Care’s caregiver training university course includes an 8-hour online portion. Instead of pages of text or long videos, the online training includes:

The content is fun and engaging, which helps you learn and retain the information.

In-person Training

When training caregivers of the elderly, a good in-home agency won’t only provide you with online training. Instead, they’ll also include an in-person training session. 

In-person training allows you to practice the caregiver skills you learned online. As experienced caregivers walk you through different scenarios, you’ll receive feedback and tips on how to handle different situations. In-person training also offers you the time and space to ask trained caregivers questions or address any caregiving concerns.  

Online and in-person home caregiver training works together to ensure you truly understand and know how to properly care for aging adults.

But it’s not only the training formats that are important—a good training program also provides you with the skills you need to succeed.


2. Comprehensive Training Content

Home caregivers need various skills to be effective in caring for the elderly. Most training classes for caregivers will emphasize practical (hard) skills but undervalue soft (hospitality) skills and self-care techniques.

Below is a list of the three skill areas that elderly caregiver training in Charleston, SC and other cities should cover.


Hard skills

Caregiver training programs should equip caregivers with practical skills relevant to caring for an elderly person in their home. These skills might include:

  • Ambulating (assisting a client to walk)
  • Transferring (i.e., moving a client from a chair to a bed)
  • Bathing and dressing
  • Driving to and from appointments

Practical skills training better equips caregivers to serve aging seniors with competence and confidence. 


Soft skills

Hands-on skills are important, but it’s often the soft skills that make a great caregiver.

Soft skills allow a caregiver to enter into an elderly person’s home and make this person feel comfortable. A caregiver with hospitality skills can make the client feel safe, respected, and appreciated, while also accomplishing the necessary tasks at hand.  

Invaluable hospitality skills might include:

  • Persuading rather than commanding
  • Soothing a client
  • Resolving conflicts 
  • Encouraging a client with chronic pain
  • Maintaining the client’s dignity

Though much of a caregiver’s role is to provide tangible assistance to a client, caregiving is ultimately about caring for the client as a person. A home caregiver training that provides soft skills training will set their caregivers up for long-term success.



Caregiving is a very rewarding career, but it can also be challenging, both emotionally and physically. In order to maintain high-quality client care, caregivers must be trained to practice self-care skills.

Self-care involves taking steps to ensure that you’re maintaining your physical, mental, and emotional health. Self-care may include: 

  • Intentional nutrition
  • Regular exercise
  • Enjoyable hobbies
  • Effective rest

Consistent self-care is a necessary part of staying happy and healthy as a professional caregiver. The healthier you are, the better you can care for elderly adults.

If your caregiver training program uses multiple learning styles and covers all three skill types, then you can expect the program to set you up for success.


3. High-quality Results

Lastly, you should expect that a top-level training program will get you the caregiver results you’re looking for. 

As a result of good training for home caregivers, you’ll be:

  • Equipped to assist clients with activities of daily life (ADLs)
  • Comfortable interacting with clients struggling with confusion and/or distress
  • Able to overcome challenges that may arise 
  • Conscious of your own self-care needs
  • Confident in your ability to provide quality in-home care

When training classes for caregivers use different learning styles and teach all the necessary skills, you’ll be prepared to start a meaningful and sustainable career in caregiving.


3 Advantages of Agency-specific Training for Home Caregivers

There are many ways to receive general caregiver training. However, if you’re planning to work as a caregiver professionally, receiving your training from a home care agency is the best way to prepare for a career in caregiving.

When you attend a caregiver training university at an accredited home care agency, you’ll have the confidence that your training is relevant, relational, and reliable.



Above all else, a home care company’s training is highly relevant. 

You don’t want to waste valuable time and money learning skills that don’t apply to what you will be doing with your clients. By receiving your training from an established home care company, you’ll ensure that all the training you receive is directly applicable to your role as a caregiver.



Second, attending a training program at a home care agency allows you to build relationships with others in the same organization. 

Care managers will provide professional ongoing support as you handle the daily ups and downs of caregiving. Meanwhile, getting to know other caregivers provides the basis for friendship with others who can relate to your caregiving experiences. 



Third, home care agencies are motivated to develop:

  • Techniques that work well in any caregiving role
  • Training materials that set their caregivers up for success 

Taking a home caregiver training course through an established and respected agency ensures that what you learn has been put to the test with good results.


The Best Elderly Caregiver Training in Charleston, SC

Becoming a caregiver in South Carolina doesn’t require any prior experience or specific certifications, but there is a lot to learn when it comes to providing excellent care to elderly adults. 

The best way to set yourself up for success as a caregiver is to attend a caregiver training program. Specific training for home caregivers will:

  • Use online and in-person training formats
  • Provide comprehensive skills training
  • Ensure the results you want 

But to get the best in-class home caregiver training, you’ll want to look into agency-specific training programs. Attending caregiver training through a home care company will ensure your training is:

  • Relevant
  • Relational
  • Reliable 

Are you eager to participate in this kind of caregiver training?

At Commonwise Home Care in Charleston, SC, we pride ourselves on our in-house caregiver training program called Caregiver University (CU). We designed CU around principles discussed in this article because we realized that other caregiver programs were lacking. Using a combination of online and in-person training sessions, caregivers receive training in all the hard, soft, and self-care skills needed to provide quality in-home care. We’re also committed to continuing to support our caregivers with ongoing assistance, resources, and guidance.

Apply to our open positions and begin your journey toward a rewarding and fulfilling career today.