Santa Rosa, CA
(707) 843-5192

Senior client and family

Understanding Your Home Care Choices

You have recognized the need for a caregiver to assist with the in-home care of a loved one. Now comes the challenge: finding a qualified individual who can provide care when it’s needed and at a fair price. In Sonoma County we have a lot of different choices; this can be both good and overwhelming. In the state of California, non-medical home care companies are not regulated. Consumers must understand their options when finding a caregiver.

Here are three common scenarios, with the advantages and disadvantages of each:


Option 1: Hire a Caregiver Yourself

  • Order a Criminal Background Check – Cost: $40 - $80/ caregiver
  • YOU are the employer – responsible for calculating and deducting state & federal payroll taxes. - Additional cost - 19% of weekly payroll
  • Obtain Worker’s Compensation and Liability Insurance. - Additional cost - 4% of weekly payroll
  • What this means to you: If you pay a caregiver $20/hr. you owe Uncle Sam an additional $4.60, now or in the future for a total of 24.60/hr.
  • If the caregiver fails to meet your needs, you will have to start over
  • Ensure the worker is trained/certified to perform the level of care required.
  • Negotiate your pay rate (as you will be paying the caregiver directly). 


Option 2: Use a Registry to Assist with Hiring a Caregiver

  • The registry will charge a fee to help YOU hire the Caregiver
  • The registry will do the advertising and will check references; you make the final selection
  • YOU (NOT the registry) are the employer, responsible for supervision, payroll taxes & worker’s compensation – See above


Option 3: Hire a Home Care Agency to provide the Service

  • The AGENCY is the employer and takes care of screening, hiring & payroll 
  • The agency is liable for the caregiver’s action during the course of employment
  • The agency is responsible for finding a replacement if performance is not satisfactory
  • The agency has liability insurance, covers payroll taxes and provides worker’s compensation
  • We take care of the worries while you get the care you are looking for.


THE FIRST 72 HOURS  after discharge are the most critical for elderly patients who often face these issues:

  • Transportation home                            
  • Medication reminders     
  • Pick up prescriptions                          
  • Grocery shopping
  • Reinforce diet and PT/OT                       
  • Check refrigerator for foods
  • Arrange / transport to follow-up appointments

Right Transitions: Reduce Readmissions

  • Frequent follow-up with families and discharge planners
  • Transportation to appointments
  • Arrange follow-up  appointments
  • Coordinate  communication between providers
  • Support patient compliance with prescribed diet, medication, and PT/OT

Package A
1 Day, 4 hours of service
Basic services: Transportation Home, Medication Pick-up, Grocery Shopping, Light Housekeeping

Package B
5 Days, 4 hours of service
Additional services: Bathing Assistance, Meal Prep, Medication Reminders, Follow up apt at PCP

Package C
7 Days, 8 hours of service
Additional services: Caring companionship, Transfer assistance, Physical therapy, All day coverage 


Adult Caregiving Guide


As a person begins to age, family members often feel the need to help with everyday tasks that are now challenging for a loved one.

Caregiving for a loved one can take its toll and can change family dynamics. And providing care for a loved one can become highly stressful – whether your family member lives next door or thousands of miles away.

If you need help, you’re not alone.
Right at Home provides caregiving services for thousands of families across the nation just like yours.
If you or your loved one lives in Sonoma County we can help you, too.

Click on the link to access our Adult Caregiving Guide.  Follow the simple steps within the document to ensure that your loved one is getting the assistance he or she needs.


How to Tell if Your Loved One Needs More Care

It can often be hard to tell when aging is affecting a family member. Don't ignore the warning signs, because small things can add up to a larger challenge incredibly fast. If you notice certain changes in your loved one, it might be time to seek outside help:

  • Changes in relationships with family and friends.
  • Withdrawal from social interactions.
  • Unusual behavior, such as increased agitation, speaking loudly or little talking at all.
  • Neglecting personal care, such as hygiene or nutrition.
  • Signs of forgetfulness, such as piles of unopened mail, unwashed laundry and scorched or dirty cookware.
  • Mismanagement of finances, such as unpaid bills or unusual purchases.

Thank you so much for all you do.  In the past several years, I have used a variety of agencies and private care people.  It was not until I starting using Right at Home, that I clearly had peace of mind in leaving Mom in someone else's care.  Thank you for that.

Jeanne D.


Statistics on In Home Senior Care

According to a recent study by the American Association of Retired People (AARP) and the National Council on Aging (NCA):

  • Someone caring for a parent has been doing so for an average of 20 hours a week for four years.
  • One in three adult caregivers is also raising a child under the age of 18.
  • One in three adult caregivers is helping their family member get dressed or go to the bathroom.
  • Nearly two-thirds of adult caregivers take time off during the workday, while 17 percent take a formal leave of absence and 10 percent take early retirement.
  • About 70 percent of adult caregivers get help from family members, friends or neighbors.
  • About 40 percent rely on help from paid caregivers.
  • Someone caring for a spouse spends more than 30 hours a week directly caring for their loved one and is less likely to get help from relatives or friends.

Your Right at Home caregiver was wonderful. She was so helpful - and after working with many agencies - was the best caregiver from any agency that we had in the past year!

Sandy B.


Avoiding Caregiver Burnout

Studies consistently show that people who provide care to loved ones suffer from higher levels of depression than their non-caregiving peers. In fact, some studies show that as many as half of adult caregivers show signs of depression.

When you're faced with providing care for a loved one, do not set aside your own needs. You are the most important person in the process. If you allow yourself to "burn out", you can no longer care for your loved one and may find that it's hard to take care of yourself.

To avoid the high levels of stress associated with caregiving:

  • Monitor your health. Inadequate sleep and high levels of stress can easily take a physical toll. If you find yourself physically or mentally weaker, schedule an appointment with your doctor.
  • Set aside a few hours a week of down time outside of the home, maybe lunch with friends or an afternoon at the park. 
  • Stay connected to others. Do not allow yourself to become isolated from friends or other family members.
  • See a counselor to discuss the effects of your newfound role as caregiver.
  • Attend caregiver support group meetings.

Thank you so much for all you do.  In the past several years, I have used a variety of agencies and private care people.  It was not until I starting using Right at Home, that I clearly had peace of mind in leaving Mom in someone else's care.  Thank you for that.

Jeanne D.


Helping Your Aging Loved One

As you notice changes in a loved one, there are a few things that you can do to help them and ultimately your family as a whole:

  • Download a copy of our Home Safety Checklist. By going through these steps, you can significantly reduce any harm that may come to a family member as you decide on your approach to care.
  • Download a copy of our Needs Assessment Worksheet. It will help you define your situation and the kinds of services your family may need.
  • Arrange for a family meeting to discuss your care options. Be sure to include the wishes of the loved one who needs care in the discussion. Use your answers from the Needs Assessment Worksheet as a guide.
  • If there's a noticeable decline in thinking and reasoning in a loved one, schedule a doctor's appointment and ask the physician to test for cognitive function.
  • Have everyone in your family (including spouses) check with their employers to see if their companies offer any caregiver benefits.
  • Approximately 25 percent of employers offer basic senior care provisions to employees, including referrals to caregivers or legal services. Almost one in 10 companies offer substantially more to employees, including financial assistance with in-home care and extended leaves for emergencies.
  • If you decide on a path of care, ask the agency for a Custom Care Plan specifically based on your loved one's physical needs, cognitive needs and goals.

My family and I were quite pleased with Right at Home's efforts. They provided first class service, and provided a healthcare provider who really knew what she was doing. It is not necessarily easy to transport a person who is not feeling well across the entire United States, and Right at Home did a great job in providing this service. Our experience with Right at Home was just perfect.

Jim H.


Questions to Ask When a Loved One Needs Care

If you decide on home care, there are several questions you should ask to ensure that your loved one will stay safe, healthy and happy:

  1. What happens if you or your caregiver becomes ill or are otherwise unavailable? What are the alternate arrangements?
  2. Do you pay your federal and state taxes, Social Security (FICA) and unemployment insurance, so that our family is not legally responsible?
  3. Can you verify that you and your caregivers are legally able to work in the United States?
  4. If you or your caregiver are injured at a client's residence, who is responsible? (Many homeowner's insurance policies exclude injuries to "domestic employees.")
  5. Do you perform criminal background checks and state abuse registry checks? Do you check caregivers' references from prior work history?
  6. Are you bonded or insured in case one of your clients is injured or there's a theft?
  7. How do you document that your services were indeed completed?

From the get-go, Right at Home was welcoming, helpful, and immediately responsive to my Father's care. We instantly responded to their friendly and service-oriented approach and felt that we could work with them. They also seem to hold the bar pretty high for the caregivers working with them, and their high standards and extensive selection process reassured and impressed us.

Debra M.

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