If you have a beloved elder who currently needs or will eventually need long term, in-home health care, you need to know about new changes to federal labor laws that may not only raise the cost of these services but potentially alter quality aspects. In addition to federal labor and wage laws, state and even local laws may impact what you pay for in home health care and who provides it.
When a person suffers from dementia, alzheimer’s, or or another cognitive health condition, he or she will likely need the aid of a home health care aide to provide even the most basic of care needs. For many years, home health care providers who also lived in the patient’s home were subject to different portions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which made them exempt from overtime and would essentially earn less than minimum wage because the individual was expected to be on call even during the evening.
However, a recent legal decision determined these in-home health care workers were not overtime exempt and must be paid one and a half times their average hourly wage when working more than 40-hours per week. This meant that it became economically feasible for many families to maintain constant care to their loved one from a familiar person that could be counted on to provide attentive, individualized service to the patient.
While there may be no escaping the rising cost of in-home health aides, many families have found that by creating a team of health care providers, from both professional services and other family members, they can maintain their loved one’s standard of living. Just because someone suffers from dementia or alzheimer’s that does not mean he or she can not live a comfortable and dignified life in their home for as long as possible.
Some home health care companies have even begun to specialize in providing much more than contractors and live in aides. These types of businesses have also realized the impact of changes to the FLSA and also provide advisory services to help families understand their role as an employer to a live in health care aide.
As your family as unique as any other, there is no one size fits all solution to providing care for a family member with a cognitive health condition. With a little preparation and patience, families can make tremendous strides in reaching their health and life cares needs of their beloved elder.