32 LONGISLANDPRESS.COM • NOVEMBER 2018
LI ELDERLY CLAIM
INDEPENDENCE AT HOME
In 2016, the Bureau of Labor
Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department
of Labor reported 2,927,600 home
health aides and personal care
aides employed in the United States.
The BLS predicts a 41 percent increase
in this industry by 2026 with
4,136,400 active employees.
“People want to age in their
homes and in their communities
as long as possible and not go to
institutions for services,” says Bill
Ferris, associate state director for
advocacy for the American Association
of Retired Persons (AARP).
“Home care is one of the ways that
keeps people who need services in
WHAT IS HOME
There are two different types of
home care agencies: licensed and
“The certified agency provides
skilled services, such as physical
therapists, to go into the home and are
primarily reimbursed by Medicare,”
explains Nancy Geiger, director of
Gurwin Home Care Agency, Inc., a
licensed agency that provides health
aides and companions to Nassau and
Suffolk counties. “Most people access
this type of service upon being discharged
from a rehabilitation facility
Agencies like Gurwin also provide
such skilled services as nursing,
speech therapy, occupational therapy
and social work.
“The licensed agency provides
paraprofessional services that are
delivered by home health aides,”
Geiger explains. “Specific services
include showering, dressing, meal
preparations, laundry, etc.”
They can also support services
provided by a certified agency, for example,
motivating patients to exercise
according to a plan prescribed by a
“Anyone qualifies for home
health care, but those who are in
the most need are the elderly and
people with disabilities,” says Greg
Massimi, chief operating officer of
TLC Companions in Bethpage.
When considering home healthcare,
Massimi says it’s important
to recognize if the patient is able to
live independently or not.
“Can the patient do all of their
necessary tasks independently?” he
asks. “If not, then home health care
would certainly be able to provide the
patient with a higher standard of life.”
WHAT ARE THE
“An aide can alleviate the feeling
of having no one to talk to while also
assisting with tasks around the
house,” says Massimi. “An aide also
allows for the family members of
the patient to continue to live their
lives uninterrupted while having
the peace of mind that their loved
one is being taken care of,” he adds.
But family members should do
their due diligence.
“When you’re looking for an
agency, you really have to do your
homework,” says Amy Recco,
co-owner with husband Michael
of Friends for Life Homecare in
An assessment or consultation
will help determine what is covered
by Medicare or long-term
healthcare insurance, what can
be afforded out of pocket, time or
supervision required from an aide,
and specific needs of your loved
one, she says.
Transitioning to home health
care is not always easy. Both patients
and their loved ones need
compassion and support.
“It’s a big change for the patient
because they have come from a
place of living alone — being totally
functional by themselves — to
becoming more dependent,” says
Geiger. “A lot of times, they feel like
they are a burden to their family.”
Rocco notes that caregiver support
groups offer much-needed
“It’s very important that the caretaker
gets as much support and help
that they need, knowing that they
are not alone,” she adds.
continued from page 31
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