POLL: Top Concerns When Caring for an Elderly Parent

By Alyssa Ball

Based on a survey conducted by Caring Senior Service, caregivers and senior care companies that refer their clients to home care companies cite the same the top 3 concerns of families with elderly loved ones: inability to pay for services, lack of adequate care, and elder abuse. Dive into the poll results to learn more. 

In December 2022, Caring Senior Service sent out a poll to caregivers across the nation and medical professionals who often refer their clients to home care services. Both audiences received the same question: From your perspective, what is the #1 concern for adult children regarding the care of their elderly parent? Nearly 300 people responded to the question. View the results below by audience: 

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View text alternative of the data.

Top 3 Concerns 

Across these board, caregivers and home care referral partners cited the same top 3 concerns among families caring for an elderly parent: lack of adequate care, inability to pay for services, and elder abuse. When the poll audiences are combined, these concerns represented the following proportions of the results:  

  • Inability to Pay for Services: 36.0% 
  • Lack of Adequate Care: 35.0% 
  • Elder Abuse: 11.6% 

Together, these concerns represented over 80% of results. 

Why the Difference in the #1 Concern? 

Lack of adequate care was cited as the #1 cause for concern among families with an aging loved one, while inability to pay for services was the #1 cause for concern cited by home care partners. This difference in ranking could simply be due to the role that the particular audience plays in helping a senior take care of an aging loved one.  

A caregiver provides the hands-on care. So, when family members are talking with caregivers, they may reveal concerns for the welfare of their loved one. Many caregivers work through an agency, and thus, the question of payment is handled by the office staff and not the caregivers directly. Family members may express financial concerns to the office staff, but not the caregiver.  

Medical providers who recommend home care services (home health, hospice, physical therapy, rehab, etc.) may have a more intimate knowledge of a family’s financial situation than a caregiver. Families may also ask the professionals who are referring home care services about the cost upfront. Then, they may also discuss cost with the home care company that they choose. As a result, the matter of cost may be largely resolved by the family by the time a caregiver interacts with the family. 

However, this response from home care referral partners begs the question: Do companies simply refer their patients to the home care company with the cheapest price? Or to the companies with the highest-quality service?  

How Caring Addresses These Concerns 

Caring Senior Service has recognized these concerns among adult children and other family members caring for an aging loved one. Here are some of the steps we take to address each concern.  

Adequate Care 

We have developed a system of providing services, called GreatCare®, which helps ensure that our clients receive adequate care each and every visit. Our GreatCare® method starts with quality caregivers. All of our caregivers undergo background checks and a rigorous interview process. We hire individuals with at least one year of experience or a CNA license.  

When a new client comes on board, we review their medical conditions and personal preferences to create a personalized service plan. This plan is unique for each senior we serve and contains specific instruction on how our caregivers can best support the client and keep them safe and comfortable. 

Then, we match each client with a caregiver based not just on their needs but on their preferences as well. For example, if a senior loves the outdoors, we can try and match them with a caregiver who is just as enthusiastic about nature. Once we have a good match, our staff personally introduces the caregiver to the client and continually checks in throughout the length of service. These checks are to make sure that our standard of care is being met and that the client is happy.  

Cost of Services 

We strive to maintain an affordable price for our services while also providing a great wage and benefits for our caregivers. We never charge more on weekends or holidays, as some other home care agencies do. We offer a flat, hourly rate — regardless of the services that we provide our clients.  

However, we know that home care can still be expensive. That's why many of our offices accept long-term care insurance and also work with families who qualify for the VA’s Aid and Attendance Program to help get their services covered.  

Unfortunately, many medical insurances, including Medicare, do not cover home care assistance services like ours. We hope that wider access to home care services will be available in coming years to further address the concern of cost among families needing care. 

Elder Abuse 

Our supervisory visits throughout the length of service help us detect any elder abuse. Our office staff is also available 24/7 should anything ever happen. You will always speak to a real person and will not get transferred to an answering service.  

Additionally, each client is given a tablet to put in their home, and it comes programmed with our Tendio Family Portal. Caregivers leave visit notes in the portal so family members can stay informed. The tablets also have the ability to do video calls. So, you could call your loved one at any time to check in and see how they are doing.  

To learn more about how Caring Senior Service sets the standard in home care, reach out to your local office. 

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Text alternative of poll data

Caregiver Results

  1. Lack of adequate care: 38.8%
  2. Inability to pay for services: 27.6%
  3. Elder abuse: 12.4%
  4. Managing caregivers from afar: 10.0%
  5. Not informed of status of care: 7.1%
  6. Parent would not like caregiver: 3.5%

Home Care Partner Results

  1. Inability to pay for services: 48.7%
  2. Lack of adequate care: 29.2%
  3. Elder abuse: 10.6%
  4. Managing caregivers from afar: 5.3%
  5. Parent would not like caregiver: 3.5%
  6. Not informed of status of care: 2.7%

Tags: Home Care