Q What is the difference between Home Care and Home Health Care?
Home care in non medical. Home care agencies provide personal care and homemaking support tasks for individuals. It is not a covered expense through your health insurance although there are some government funded programs that pay for home care services and often times long term care insurance will pay for home care in lieu of nursing home placement. Clients do not need to be homebound for home care services. Home Health Care on the other hand is skilled care. To be eligible for home health care there must be a "skilled need" for either a Registered Nurse, Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist or Speech Therapist. With this skilled service, aides can be assigned to provide personal care support only. These services are usually temporary until the acute medical issue is resolved or the patient can manage the disease process on their own. Home Health Care does not cover homemaking services. Health Insurances including Medicare will cover home health care visits for homebound patients
Q: What services does Lori's Angels provide?
A: Lori's Angels provides homemaking and personal care services to individuals in private homes or facilities. We usually provide care on an ongoing basis but we can provide one time only or intermittent services as well. We can escort individuals with special needs to family events (weddings or family reunions) or stay with the client so that their caregiver may attend events. Lori's Angels also provides emergency care for our established clients if necessary. We can be the PERS emergency contact for individuals if they have no one that can respond to their alarms. All services can be ongoing, intermittent or on a one time only basis. Whatever you need to be able to stay at home safely is what we work to provide.
Q: Are services available 24 hours a day, seven days a week?
A: Staffing to cover cases is available 24/7. Services can be contracted for as little as 1 hour up to 24 hour coverage. We will do our best to get an angel to you as quickly as we can regardless of the time or day you call us. Our on call staff is able to accept referrals for services at all times.
Q: How quickly can services be provided?
A: Generally services can be started within 48-hours of your request. Often times we can start on the same day if necessary.
Q: What are your office hours and is there an on call system for after hours?
A: Lori's Angels office hours are Monday through Friday 9am to 3pm. After hours, our phones are answered by a machine where you can leave a message for the appropriate staff person. The message also gives a cell number to call if there is an emergency or if you need to make a new referral for services immediately. The on call person is one of the scheduling supervisors or quality care supervisor. All are intimately involved with scheduling and consumer care issues so they are able to address every after hours issue that may arise. There is always a Registered Nurse available if necessary to talk with a client/caregiver. If calling after hours, please leave a message and the appropriate person will return your call as soon as regular business hours resume. If you receive the recorded message during regular business hours, please leave a message and we will return your call shortly. It just means that we are all busy on other calls at the time yours came in! We respectfully request that clients, caregivers and aides call us during business hours whenever possible as when we are taking calls after hours, we are not always within reach of a computer and are often preparing our families dinner, driving, doing our personal errands or our own personal care, etc making it difficult to answer general, non-emergency issues.
Q: What kind of training will my aide receive before they start my services?
A: All of our Angels are screened pre-employment to ensure that they have a basic understanding of person centered care. A caring and compassionate personality is important. Preference in hiring is given to applicants that have successfully completed a nurse aide training program. We look for applicants with strong clinical skills as most of our clients require those specialized skills. We check references and conduct an extensive interview with each applicant. We require a clear criminal background check and a child abuse clearance. We provide new employees with an orientation to our agency, advise them of what we as an agency expect of them and instruct them on how to properly complete all of our required documentation. Additionally, all of our employees complete a training packet consisting of 13 core topics relating to the care of the elderly and disabled. Depending on the complexity of the case assignment and/or the experience of the new employee, we provide in home training under the guidance of an experienced home care aide or nurse.
Q: Are the aides provided with any ongoing training?
A: All of our aides receive ongoing training under the supervision of a Registered Nurse. Trainings are scheduled in 3 hour blocks every 3 months. We base our instruction on the needs of our aides and their clients at any given time but include topics such as standard precautions/hand washing, safe lifting, diets, range of motion, dealing with emotional losses etc. We also provide team building activities to motivate our employees to work together for the good of our consumers.
Q: How are your aides monitored for quality care?
A: Lori's Angels staff are supervised by a Registered Nurse. The registered nurse and staffing supervisor are involved with the care planning process for every client, the training of aides generally and for specific cases and make home visits to assess the quality of care each aide is providing. Our Registered Nurse recommends aides for particular clients based on their knowledge of the skills required and personalities involved.
Q: Is there a written plan of care for each client? Are clients and family members involved in putting it together or reviewing it?
A: Our care plans are established at the request of the client, caregivers, Registered Nurse, aide and any supports coordination agency that may be involved with the client. We put our plans in writing so that everyone knows what the aides are to do when caring for a particular client. Our supervisory staff reviews the aide’s Telephony/flow sheets weekly to ensure that the care plan is being followed. Care plans are continually updated based on the needs of the client and requests of caregivers and aides. We do an in home assessment when we start services and re-assessment every 180 days to ensure that we are doing everything we can for every consumer to help them live a quality life both physically and mentally, within our time constraints. We do not charge for the home visits made to initiate or update our plans of care. Of course, we are in contact with all aides, clients and their families on a regular basis to ensure that the services provided are meeting the client’s needs.
Q: Why do the aides ask me to use my telephone when they arrive and depart from my home?
A: Our aides use a Telephony System to log in and out for every visit made. We ask you to let them use your home telephone as a confirmation that they were with you at your home. This system also lets the aide enter all the tasks that they've done for you for each visit so they can be monitored daily by the staffing supervisors in the office. This ensures that the tasks that have been requested by a client, caregiver or identified by our nursing staff on the plan of care, are being addressed with each visit. This allows our scheduling supervisor to know on a daily basis how our clients are doing and how they are responding to the care we are providing. This also ensures accuracy for our billing. You will only be billed for the hours provided.
Q: Can my aide drive me to appointments or run errands for me?
A: Yes, as long as you have signed the waiver of liability. Our angels can drive the client's vehicle as well as long as it is in good working order and properly insured (proof required). Part of our job is running errands however we respectfully request that they be kept to a minimum. Errands should be completed once a week and to the closest stores available. This ensures that the expense to the aide for driving and to the client in time billed is kept reasonable. If there is regular or excessive driving involved we must charge an additional fee for that service. We will bill you at the IRS allowable rate so that we can compensate our employees for their direct expense. For clients who receive services through the Options program or MA Waiver programs, errands can only be done if the supports coordination entity approves of the task.
Q: What type of cleaning can my aide provide?
A: Unlike most non skilled agencies that provide light housekeeping in the client's areas only, our aides can provide all the normal cleaning that would be done in a home on a weekly basis. That includes: dusting, vacuuming, cleaning bathroom fixtures, kitchens, mopping or scrubbing floors, laundry, dishes, picking up mail, taking out the trash. Any task that an aide is competent to perform is allowable. All homemaking services are done as time allows. While we are in your home to care for one individual, we can provide home support as time allows that assists the caregivers as well so that they can concentrate their efforts on providing care to the client when we are not there.
Q: Will I always have the same aide?
A: We try very hard to keep the same one or two aides out with each client. There are times when we must send a fill in to cover for call offs or vacations. We make every effort to match our clients with the skills and personalities of our aides so that they are comfortable with each other.
Q: What if I do not like my aide? Can I request a new one?
A: Not every personality meshes with every other personality. Every effort is made to assign an aide that our nursing supervisor feels will complement you however; we acknowledge that there are times when the aide does not suit a particular client. It does not necessarily mean that the aide isn't good; just not good for you. We will at your request, pull that aide and provide you with someone else. Please let us know as soon as possible if things are not working out to your liking. We will make every effort to find that special angel for you.
Q: Will I be able to change hours?
A: Yes. Sometimes the hours that you requested initially might change over time with a change in your needs or perhaps you have appointments that necessitate a change in your schedule. Changes can be easily accomplished. We schedule our staff a week at a time and appreciate a weeks notice for any changes so that we can adjust your aides schedule to accommodate your need. Our philosophy is to make the schedule work for the client and family not the agency. You come first. Your needs, your requests, your schedule. We will do everything possible to make sure the schedule you want is the schedule you get.
Q: If I need to cancel services, how much notice do you require?
A: We require a 48-hour notice to cancel services. Cancellations without 48 hours notice will be billed for the scheduled hours anyway. We require this notice so that we can reschedule your aide for other hours. Our aides depend on their income and it isn't fair to them to lose time through no fault of their own and without an opportunity to make it up elsewhere. Obviously, in emergency situations, such as hospitalizations, we can cancel services with little or no notice without charging you for the time.
Q: Can my aide cook special meals?
A: Absolutely. Many of our clients have religious restrictions or are on prescribed diets. Our aides are happy to prepare any meals our clients or their caregivers request. The nurses in our office also help our staff with meal planning for special diets and can provide additional information to our clients to help them comply with their doctors orders.
Q: What is the procedure if a staff person does not report to work when scheduled?
A: If a scheduled aide does not show up for work, we appreciate a call from the client notifying us so that we can intervene quickly. Lori's Angels uses a telephony system to ensure that our angels are at work as scheduled. The aides dial an 800 number to Log in at the beginning of their shift and Log out at the end. This system also sends an email alert to our office staff notifying them of a missed visit if the aide does not log in within 15 minutes of the scheduled time. When we receive a missed visit alert, our supervisory staff follow up with calls to the aide and client to ensure the aide is at work.
Q: Is Lori's Angels licensed by the state?
A: Lori's Angels was one of the first homecare agencies/registries to obtain a PA license to operate a home care agency in January 2010. The PA Dept. of Health reviews our application and completes an onsite review of our client and employee documentation to ensure that we comply with the licensure regulations and then reissues our license yearly. Our homecare license allows our aides to provide personal care, housekeeping, meal preparation, errands, etc. for clients. We are not Medicare certified and therefore cannot bill Medicare or private insurance for visits. The types of nursing visits we typically provide are medication set ups, injections such as insulin and hospice private duty support to administer medications, etc.
Q: Are the aides insured?
A: All our nurses are fully insured and bonded. We carry workers compensation, malpractice insurance, general liability insurance, non-company owned auto insurance and a dishonesty bond which covers all employees.
Q: How does the agency bill for services?
A: Billing is processed two times per month (1st thru 15th & 16th thru the end of the month). All Waiver and Options billing is also completed on a bi-monthly basis directly to the Commonwealth or county. New consumers are requested to pay in advance for the first week of services and an adjustment will be done for additional services once the initial service period is completed.