Home Care in Georgia

In Georgia, senior home care services are provided by registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, home health aides, home attendants, social workers, and therapists through senior home care agencies. It is a good option for many because it can accommodate different levels of care all the way from physical therapy to hospice. The goal is to allow seniors to remain as independent as possible while receiving care in the comfort of their own homes. Georgia contains about 689 agencies with an average monthly cost around $3,432. 

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Home Care in Georgia - Cost Comparison

 There are a number of cities throughout GA that have senior home care agencies but the median monthly cost ranges from:

  • Highest Cost: Savannah $3,861
  • Lowest Cost: Macon $3,098

CityHomemaker Services Monthly CostsHome Health Aide Monthly Costs

Recreation & Attractions in Georgia

Georgia has many different types attractions worth seeing like the Forsyth Park, Okefenokee Swamp, Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, Chattahoochee National Forest, and much more. The Forsyth Park is a gorgeous park with beautifully mature trees bordering the walkway leading to a huge fountain; a perfect destination for a peaceful afternoon. The Okefenokee Swamp is swampland full of interesting water paths, endangered animals, and pieces of land that seem to be small floating islands. The Chattahoochee National Forest is full of lakes, rivers, and waterfalls making it a great place for hiking, walking, picnicking, canoeing, and more outdoor activities. 

Even if you aren't as mobile as before, there are still numerous places to go and things to see in Georgia. There are senior centers throughout the state that provide senior-oriented activities like crafts, game tournaments, bingo, and exercise classes. Specialized senior trips are also available to places like Washington DC or Savannah for a weekend getaway. 

Georgia's Climate, Geography & Culture

While the climate throughout GA varies depending on the area, all regions have four seasons. The summers are relatively long with average high temperatures around 90 degrees. Winters are short with average low temperatures around 34 degrees. The topography changes significantly throughout the state including everything from beaches to mountains to swamps. The northern more mountainous areas generally receive several snowfalls, but the annual average for the whole state is approximately one inch. Compared to other states, Georgia receives significant rainfall averaging 51 inches throughout the year, yet it's balanced by 218 days of sunshine. Lightweight clothing and rainwear is necessary for the summer months, while warmer clothing is needed for spring and summer evenings and during some fall and winter months.

Georgia’s culture could be considered the epitome of southern culture with good manners, hospitality, and religion playing major roles. The Peach State prides itself in having a strong sense of community while striving to overcome its history of slavery and segregation. Otherwise, the state has a strong background in forestry, hunting and fishing, and agriculture. The coast is also home to the vibrant Gullah people, originally brought from West Africa and who developed a unique creole language still spoken today. Their cuisine adds to the vast array of flavors found throughout the state with favorites like shrimp, grits, and everything peach!

Crime & Safety in Georgia

Sperling’s Best Places ranked Georgia 45 on a scale of 100 (1 being the lowest crime) for violent crime and 50 for property crime; the United States overall ranked 41 for violent crime and 44 for property crime. Though most of Georgia is relatively safe, Atlanta has a reputation for higher crime compared to other cities. Fortunately, there are many crime prevention organizations to help reduce the crime problem. The Atlanta Police Department is very proactive in dealing with crime prevention and they even have their own crime prevention unit that focuses solely on the safety of the citizens.

Any senior care type will only be made more effective and wholesome by choosing a safe environment. A few of the safest cities in Georgia in 2016 can be found here.

LocationViolent Crimes Per 1,000 ResidentsProperty Crimes Per 1,000 Residents
Johns Creek0.337.05

(source: safewise.com)

Georgia's Home Care Regulations & Laws

As determined by federal legislation (42 CFR 484.36), each Medicare-certified home health agency may only employ home care professionals who meet the state-approved training program requirements. These regulations ensure that each medical professional or non-medical paraprofessional has received a federal minimum of 75 hours of training, including 16 hours of supervised practical training and an additional 12 hours of training every following year. 

Payment Options for Georgia Home Care 

Paying for home care is possible through a variety of different methods, with some more financially plausible than others. After you’ve determined the general price of home care near you, understanding how to pay is next. 

To start, Medicare does not pay for home care aides, and only covers medical home health care very selectively. The benefits of medicare just do not apply to non-medical care, period. Regardless, Medicare Supplemental Insurances do cover Medicare copayments and deductibles for medical home care, as long as it is determined to be necessary. 

Next, U.S. veterans can receive assistance for home care through benefits like the Improved Pension or Homebound and Aid & Attendance Pension. To apply you can contact your local Area Agency on Aging.

Paying privately is also an option for many seniors through several methods. Besides paying with one’s own savings, seniors may choose to pay with a reverse mortgage, by opening a home equity line of credit, or by converting their life insurance policies. Long-term care insurance may also be a reasonable option if purchased earlier in life. 

Finally, Medicaid is an insurance program for low-income seniors and their families that can be used to pay for non-medical home care, home health care, and other home support programs. Since Medicaid rules are state-specific, your eligibility and benefits will change based on location. Care received outside of a nursing home is generally referred to as Home and Community Based Services (HCBS).  

Senior & Elderly Rights for Home Care in Georgia 

Seniors receiving home care from a Medicare-approved home health agency retain a series of guaranteed rights and protections with the intention of keeping your needs met. Before receiving home care in any form, it is required that the home health care agency provides you with information detailing your rights. You’ll be informed that you reserve the right to choose your own home care agency, and to decide what services (medical or non-medical) you want to participate in. Your personal privacy and property are to be respected at all times in circumstances that it does not interfere with necessary medical attention. 

If there comes a point when you are unable to make decisions regarding your own medical care, you have the right to entrust this responsibility to a family member or legal guardian. Remember, you also retain your Constitutional rights and those afforded to you by the Bill of Rights as a citizen of the United States. If you believe that you have experienced a violation of your rights, do not hesitate to contact a lawyer familiar with elder law or have someone advocate for you. 

Georgia Home Care: Medical Record Rules & Regulations

Seniors receiving home care in Georgia have the right to obtain copies of their medical records and other protected health information. Although it’s a common misconception that this information cannot be disclosed due to privacy laws, the fact is that you can submit a written request to your health care provider to receive copies or digital versions of this information. You will likely be charged a fee and the request may be required in writing, but your records belong to you. 

This protected health information will detail information relating to your physical and mental health, including medical records, billing records, claims adjudication records, and other documents used in making decisions about your health care. 

Receiving these records can take up to 30 days, or as long 60 days if your healthcare provider utilizes their single extension period. Beyond this point, it is required that you receive a written statement detailing the delay or denial of your records. 

Finding the perfect senior care community is only part of making your loved one’s senior living transition smooth. At SeniorCaring, we know that it is also equally important to be aware of what other community services and resources are available to your family’s senior. Choose your location and find local resources for your senior.