By Southern Grace Senior Home Care
Often times, the realization that our parents or loved ones need extra care comes suddenly, either as a result of an injury or illness. The options for care can be overwhelming, especially when facing the fact that our loved one’s health has declined. For most families, the job of caring for someone themselves isn’t the best option depending on the level of care needed. The task can quickly become too much for someone to handle alone and other avenues must be explored. There are three key questions the family should ask themselves when they are faced with the decision to seek outside assistance.
Should we choose care at home or care in a facility?
Because an increasing portion of the population is reaching the age of 65 or over, more attention has been given to factors that affect life expectancy. Healthier lifestyles and education have had a significant impact on increasing the life expectancy in the last 100 years. Due to the rising number of people reaching advanced age than ever before, the need for care is greater than ever.
More and more families are faced with the decision of where additional care should come from. Studies have shown that individuals living in institutional care (regardless of age) will have significantly shorter lifespans than those maintaining independent living at home.
Quality of life is dramatically improved in the comfort of home due to familiar surroundings and prolonging the feeling of independence. Care in the home offers more individualized and personal care as opposed to care in a facility. Having a caregiver in your home allows for provision of one-on-one care by a caregiver that is best suited for your needs. Most often, the caregiver becomes like part of the family.
In a facility, this is often not the case as multiple caregivers service the clients. The ratio of caregiver to resident is sometimes as high as 30:1. Your care plan at home can be tailored to fit your needs with as much or as little care as the situation calls for, which also means the cost of care is significantly more affordable than in a facility when paying out of pocket.
In addition, there are several ways to pay for in-home care that can help lower the financial burden. Long-term care insurance, Elderly and Disabled Waivers offered trough Medicaid, and benefits provided through the VA are just a few options out there. When you take all of these factors into consideration, the right choice for your loved one undoubtedly would be care in the home.
Should I choose to hire caregivers through an agency or hire someone privately?
Hiring a caregiver for your loved one can be more affordable if you seek them out yourself, however, there are many factors you need to consider first before going that route.
Most homecare agencies have a tried and true method of hiring caregivers. When hiring from a reputable agency, you can be sure the caregiver has passed a thorough background check, meets company licensing requirements, has been drug tested, and has met the required amount of experience by the company.
When hiring privately, this extensive screening process isn’t possible. Agencies also carry property insurance in case anything was to get broken or damaged; private care does not.
Another advantage is that the agency coordinates scheduling. When the primary caregiver has an emergency and is unable to care for your loved one, the agency coordinates for another qualified caregiver to step in and provide care.
So, while you may be able to get care in the home cheaper when hiring someone yourself, the value and quality in having a highly qualified and reputable caregiver who has been thoroughly screened offers a peace of mind you can only find by hiring through an agency.
What sets Southern Grace apart from other agencies?
There are many agencies to choose from, why choose us? There are no state guidelines governing homecare agencies in Mississippi. This will change, however, and so we have gotten ahead of the game by adhering to the strictest agency standards in the country.
Southern Grace is licensed, bonded, and insured. Our hiring process includes state, local, and federal background checks to ensure a clean history before they are sent into your home. We perform pre-employment and random drug screening by lab testing. We are one of the few agencies that requires all of our caregivers to be a licensed and certified CNA or PCA with a minimum of five years of experience in institutional and private settings combined. Because our caregivers must meet more stringent requirements for employment, we pay our caregivers higher than other agencies around. In spite of this, our rates are extremely competitive.
One factor helping to keep our rates low is that our agency is locally owned and operated, not a chain, so we have no franchise fees or set marketing expenditures to consider. We make every effort to fit the caregiver to the family and not send in someone new every time. This provides a more personal setting for care, and helps the client feel more comfortable having someone in their home if they are able to form a relationship with their caregiver.
Providing the highest quality of care around is personal to us. Our passion is to provide support to families; we strive to go above and beyond care you will find elsewhere. Often, we hear that one of the most daunting tasks for families when caring for their aging parent or loved one is managing their medications. With a pharmacist on staff, we are able to offer the option of providing the family with education and training on managing medications. No other agency offers this.
We feel that when you look at all we have to offer and the standards we uphold, it is obvious that Southern Grace seeks to provide the best in-home elder care possible.
Whether you need companion care, personal care, light housekeeping, meal preparation, or running errands, Southern Grace can provide the services needed to maintain a safe and fulfilling independent living at home. For more information or a free consultation call 601-602-5411 or visit www.sgshomecare.com.
Get to Know the Southern Grace Team
Ben Berteau, owner,
is a native of Hattiesburg and attended PCS in elementary and then went on to graduate from Columbia Academy. From there, he attended JCJC and MSU to finish with a degree in Industrial Engineering and a minor in math. He has over 15 years experience as a business owner in multiple areas, including rental property and home inspection services. The home care idea was formulated in 2014 with his desire to provide a service that makes a difference in a person’s quality of life.
Alisa Berteau, owner, pharmacist,
grew up near Waynesboro and after graduating from Wayne Academy, went on to attend JCJC where she met Ben. After graduating with a Pharm D from the University of Mississippi, she and Ben spent 10 years in Collierville, TN before moving their family back to the Hattiesburg area in 2010. Alisa is a full-time mother of their four children, a part-time pharmacist at Rodgers Family Pharmacy in Petal, and manages the administrative and accounting areas of Southern Grace.
Gregory “Shawn” Elkins, operations manager,
grew up in Columbia MS. He graduated from Columbia Academy and then went on to attend William Carey University for Psychology. Shawn has been a member of a volunteer fire department and received training in emergency medical care. He was a member of the Air Force Auxiliary where he served a team commander and medical officer of a search and rescue unit. He has been in home health for several years and has found his life’s passion to be helping others wherever he can. He started with Southern Grace as a caregiver and now serves as the operations manager.
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