Caregiving Made Easy: Q&A with Executive Director, Alex Chamberlain

  1. Why doesn’t EasyLiving, Inc. provide “live in” care?
  2. How does your “team approach” to live in caregiving work?
  3. What are the caregiving benefits of the “team approach?”
  4. What if a potential client requires caregiving, but not 24/7?
  5. Please tell us more about your private caregivers.
  6. How do you (and your clients) know if your personal care assistants are living up to EasyLiving’s standards?
  7. Is private in home caregiving affordable?


Why doesn’t EasyLiving, Inc. provide “live in” care?

Rather than providing live in care, we prefer to provide caregivers in 12-hour shifts. We made this decision, based on our years of helping seniors, for several reasons:

  • In a live in care situation, the caregiver is required to sleep six hours per night. We believe that if you are paying for someone to be with you 24/7, they should not be sleeping.
  • The caregiver may be a heavy sleeper and if the client moves or attempts to wander, he or she may not be able to reach the client in time to prevent a fall or an accident.
  • Most companies/families are not aware that if the caregiver does not sleep their six hours per night the client/company may be entitled to pay them time and a half for that week or night. It’s very hard to calculate how many hours of sleep a caregiver gets each night for each day, week, etc. that they work.
  • What happens when the caregiver calls in sick? Or gets sick while in the client’s home? Who will cover their live in care shifts? It is very difficult to replace a live in caregiver with another one. It is even more difficult to find another live in caregiver who knows you and your needs.

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How does your “team approach” to live in caregiving work?

For a client requiring 24/7 care, EasyLiving caregivers work in teams of four to six, all trained in the client’s needs, usually working in two shifts – a day shift and a night shift. This allows each caregiver to have a break and prevent burn out or exhaustion. This is not a constant rotation of new faces, but a specific team designed to maximize familiarity with the client’s routine and avoid disruption as much as possible.

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What are the caregiving benefits of the “team approach?”

Having the team approach means that our caregivers do not and will not sleep during night shifts. If your loved one needs any assistance at all, we will be there ready to act. Taking this approach also means improved quality of care for the client. If one of the caregivers needs a day off because of illness, vacation or for family obligations, another caregiver with knowledge of the case will be able to fill their shift without having to place a “new face” or a new caregiver with the client who is not familiar with the family or the client’s needs.

Dedicating more than one caregiver to a single client also improves client interaction. The client is more stimulated having different people in the home to relate to, allowing for a variety of conversations and experiences to share. Instead of having one story to tell to one person, he or she is able to develop a social experience within their care team.

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What if a potential client requires caregiving, but not 24/7?

We have lived up to our tagline: Home Care for the Way You Live. EasyLiving offers tailored private caregiving services to enable clients to get the care that they want. This includes a morning and evening program, for those that need help getting ready for their day or to go to bed, but don’t need someone with them throughout the day. The company addresses the needs and demands of not only clients, but local hospitals with programs such as a “transitions of care” program for post-hospital or surgery discharge. Such services help reduce hospital re-admission rates which impact hospital and government spending.

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Please tell us more about your private caregivers.

Our highly trained and compassionate Personal Care Assistants provide customized private caregiving based on the individual needs and schedules of each client, allowing them to enjoy life on their own terms. Every EasyLiving private caregiver is extensively screened, insured and covered under worker’s compensation to ensure that our clients receive the highest quality service from trustworthy, experienced professionals.

Our private caregivers go above and beyond for our clients. EasyLiving’s Concierge/Elite Services allow clients to remain active and maintain valued activities while having the support there if they need physical assistance. Specially selected caregivers attend events with a client, such as a symphony performance or charitable function. This service is also used for family outings and travel needs. We have helped plan arrangements and provided a travel companion for clients visiting family up north or moving back to be near loved ones—as far as Canada.
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How do you (and your clients) know if your personal care assistants are living up to EasyLiving’s standards?

When hiring a personal care assistant, the issue of caregiver attendance and tardiness rates must be addressed. EasyLiving has implemented telephony (or telephone time clock) system with online and mobile access for management to quickly address caregivers not showing up or arriving on time. We know if there’s a concern before we even here from the client, so we can already be identifying the cause and finding a solution. This system also provides excellent accountability for billing/responsible parties.

EasyLiving also offers a HIPPA compliant, online program for family members to view and share information about a loved one’s care. This is not only an added benefit for clients and families, but has also created efficiency for the company, enabling cost savings, thus keeping prices reasonable for clients.
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Is private in home caregiving affordable?

EasyLiving can help you design a care plan around your budget and needs. We’re here for you seven days a week, with no increases in cost for night or weekend care.

While Medicare does not pay for private in home caregiving, we are happy to help you determine how in home care can supplement the services that Medicare covers. EasyLiving private in home caregivers can provide assistance around the schedule of your Medicare Home Health provider. You may engage EasyLiving personal care assistants to supplement the care provided under your Medicare benefits. Medicare may pay for some skilled care, usually short term and based around a need for therapy or skilled nursing, but not for day-to-day assistance. We can help answer your questions about what Medicare may cover and how to coordinate and get optimal service. The Medicare company and EasyLiving can coordinate their schedules to provide you with optimum service, and not duplicate each other’s efforts.

If you have long term care insurance, your policy will likely cover home health caregiving services. EasyLiving will help you determine if your policy covers home caregiving that will allow you to stay right at home and get the care you want and need to remain independent. We’ll even assist you with your insurance claims and paperwork. Get personal care right at home often for less than what you’d spend for an assisted living or nursing facility.

Sign up for our EasyLiving Tip of the Week for the latest home health caregiving information and tips by entering your email in the box on the right of your screen.

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