All you need to know

Home care is when a professional caregiver comes to you, your loved one, to provide companionship and/or assistance with light housekeeping, laundry, meal preparation, medication reminders, transportation and/or grocery shopping/errands. And for those with more personal needs, caregivers can assist with the activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, transferring/positioning, incontinence/toileting and/or dementia care. And when done right, these services are delivered interactively to ensure the individual receiving the care is engaged mentally, emotionally, physically and socially. In other words, home care is help with just about anything you need to continue to live in your home safely and happily as you age.

It’s often the family who recognizes the signs that an loved one may need help with daily living tasks. This doesn’t necessarily mean that your loved one has to move to an assisted living or a nursing home, but it could be a sign that they require some extra help. If they insist “everything is fine,” how do you know if they need support in their home?

Here are signs that may indicate your loved one needs help at home:

Difficulty with walking, balance and mobility

Missing important appointments

Forgetting to take medications or taking more than the prescribed dosage

Unexplained bruising

Trouble getting up from a seated position

Uncertainty and confusion when performing once-familiar tasks


Infrequent showering and bathing

Noticeable decline in grooming habits and personal care

For most families, home care is the preferred option when it’s no longer safe for a loved one to be completely on their own. According to recent surveys, over 90 percent of people 65 and older want to stay in their home, living in a familiar place with as much independence as possible.

However, setting up in-home care is not the only option. And it may not be the best choice for your family right now.

Adult day care can be a good & economical option when a loved one is independent or has family support at night, but needs supervision and/or care during the day when family caregivers are at work. Adult day care centers often provide a wide range of activities and services plus the opportunity to socialize with others. One drawback, however, is that it can be a challenge to get a loved one up, dressed and to the center (and back) again each day.

If health issues become more serious, a spouse dies, or family members don’t live nearby, an assisted living facility is a good option to explore. While you’ll have the added expenses of moving to the facility (and buying an apartment or paying monthly rent), your loved one will get many benefits - living with some privacy in a small community, organized social activities, a communal dining area, and housekeeping services or other support as needed. One note - be sure to ask about the facilities’ caregiving fees. One-on-one care services beyond the bare minimum are often charged a la carte and can become quite expensive as care needs increase.

Nursing homes are usually the last choice for families since there is little, if any, privacy for your loved one, and the physical health and mental condition of the other residents may have a negative effect on your loved one’s quality of life. But there are times when a nursing home is the best option for a loved one, such as those who suffer from serious medical conditions where frequent medical attention (e.g., nursing care) is necessary

Our professional care team is ready to help when you need it. Everyone’s situation and goals are unique.Give us a call at (215) 366-2878 and one of our Believe Care Advisors or Care Coordinators (RN) will help you understand how professional home care services can help you through this difficult time. The next step is often a complimentary, in-home assessment with a Believe Care Manager (RN). Our RN will listen to what’s important to you and/or the family and tailor a plan-of-care to meet your needs.

Care can typically begin within 48 hours; however, if there is an immediate need we frequently can have a Believe Care Pro (caregiver) to your home within a few hours. Time permitting, the process begins with a home visit during which a registered nurse will perform a free complimentary assessment and create a custom plan of care. We will then match a Believe Care Pro (caregiver) based on the personalities, preferences and skills required to meet the client’s needs as part of our Guaranteed Compatibility promise

Most people do not realize that Medicare does NOT pay for long-term support services. For example, the cost of an assisted living facility is most often paid for privately (from the patient’s personal savings). That said, for many families there are alternatives that can be explored. See below for some ideas and/or give us a call (215) 366-2878 and we’ll be happy to explain your options.

1. Look into insurance

Long-term care insurance – Some people assume that long-term care insurance is primarily for assisted living, but it usually pays for in-home care professionals, too. As a result, you can be reimbursed for your payments to home care agencies that meet the requirements of your policy. If you’re planning for your own future, especially if you want to continue to live at home while receiving care, the earlier you apply for long-term care insurance, the better, since the costs grow as you get older.

Life insurance – If you have a life insurance policy, you may be able to convert it into a long-term care benefit plan, providing cash monthly payouts for in-home care. Check with your insurance provider for details on your plan.

2. Use your personal assets

Most families wind up using personal savings to meet the needs of caring for an older loved one. Paying out-of-pocket can pose a hardship for many family members if the person needing care doesn’t have enough savings or assets to cover their own needs. Here are some creative ways families manage the challenge:

Divvy up the duties – Call a family meeting on behalf of your loved one to determine what needs to be done and who has the time, ability, or resources to do it. Family members who live farther away may be able to offer more financial help. Those living nearby may be able to assist with driving, shopping, or personal care. When outside help is needed, determine together how you will share the cost. It’s best to come to an agreement early and then adjust as the circumstances change.

Tap into home equity – If your loved one owns her own home, consider a home equity loan to defray the costs of professional in-home care.

Move in with Mom – Is there someone in the family who would be a good roommate and also could benefit from free room and board in exchange for help with dressing, cooking, cleaning, and walking the dog? A college student or single adult might be able to shrink out-of-pocket costs for caregiving by being there during non-work or school hours.

3. Access public programs

These programs serve people with very low incomes:

Medicaid waiver - There are number of home and community-based services that are paid for by the government if you can’t afford to pay privately. These programs are often referred to as “Waiver” programs, meaning that the federal government “waives” the Medical Assistance rules for institutional care (i.e., nursing home) in order for the state of PA to provide supports and services in the community / in your home. The qualifications to participate in each of the Waivers varies with your income level, primary and secondary diagnoses, and need assessments. Generally, to qualify your income has to be low and your savings very low. For more information on these waivers, you may visit the Pennsylvannia Department of Public Services website at:
Or for Bucks County residents visit your local Area Agency on Aging website at:

PACE - Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly provides comprehensive medical and social services to certain frail, community-dwelling elderly individuals, most of whom are also eligible for Medicare and Medicaid benefits.

Veterans Affairs - The VA provides veterans and eligible surviving spouses with some in-home care assistance through VA health benefits.

The hourly cost can vary depending on the type of services provided, the length of each visit, and the total number of hours desired each week. Give us a call at (215) 366-2878 and we can discuss your particular situation and the best option(s) for your particular situation.

Do you want to explore the cost of your options online first? A helpful online tool from Genworth lets you calculate the current costs of different types of care (home care, assisted living, nursing home) in Pennsylvania overall, and the Philadelphia region specifically. Visit to see for yourself.

There is no minimum number of hours per day or per visit (shift). We can arrange for shifts as short as one hour or as long as 24 hours.

At Believe our caregiver interview process involves a phone screening, multiple in-person interviews, background checks and a final skills assessment and evaluation. We only hire those who are genuinely caring and share the same values as our founding team.

In fact, we go beyond the Pennsylvania state licensure requirements and run the following background checks:

PA criminal back ground check

Multi-panel drug screening

Nationwide criminal background check

Social security number trace / Alias search

Driving record check (DMV)

Prior employer and personal reference checks

Additionally, we (re)run these background checks on every caregiver annually.

Yes, every Believe Care Pro (caregiver) is both bonded (theft protection) and generally insured (bodily injury, property damage and personal injury) for up to $3 million dollars by our Believe Home Care’s insurance policies. Further, all Care Pros are employees (vs. contractors) meaning we handle all payroll taxes and workers’ compensation payments (should our Care Pro get injured).

Did you know that if you choose to hire a caregiver directly, you are legally responsible to collect and pay taxes on their behalf. Yes - paying caregivers under the table (not reporting their wages) is against the law. You could even be on the hook for their unemployment payments, if you fire them without cause. Further, if they are injured you can be sued for their medical expenses and lost wages. Let Believe Home Care handle these risks for you. We are home care experts.

Every client is assigned a Believe Care Manager. Care Managers are registered nurses (RN) responsible for oversight of the care delivered. Each caregiver assigned to a client’s care team is required to track and report all activities performed and observations collected during each home visit. This allows any missed activities and/or changes in client’s health status to be remotely monitored (in real-time), and when necessary allows the Care Manager to intervene.

Additionally, family members and friends (who have been granted permission by the client) have 24/7 access to the Believe Home Care Platform. This allows you (client, family, friends) to monitor and manage the care your loved one receives. For example, you can opt-in to receive real-time caregiver updates, allowing you to stay in the loop from anywhere and from any device. And, you can communicate and collaborate 24/7 with your dedicated care team via secure text or phone.

Absolutely! Our caregivers can drive their own car or a client’s car to run errands, drive clients to appointments, or just help get seniors out of the house. All Believe Care Pros have a clean driving record (DMV background check), proof of insurance, and a valid driver’s license. Further, Believe (the company) carries an additional blanket auto insurance policy (non-owned auto) to cover situations where damages and/or injuries are more serious.

NOTE: If a caregiver will be driving your car / a client’s own car, we are required to have proof of insurance for that vehicle.

With 24-hour care, our client is in need of round-the-clock attention. They would not be left alone in a room unattended and a caregiver is always awake and on duty. Service is fulfilled by more than one caregiver.

With live-in care, a client is in need of attention during the day when awake but not 24/7. When the client retires for the night, the caregiver is off duty and able to retire to a room at the client’s house for the evening.

Yes, sometimes our clients whose home is an assisted living facility need a bit more help with their day-to-day activities. Our caregivers are welcome in assisted living facilities.

For non-emergency situations, we ask for as little as one week to change the regular schedule and 48 hours if one shift needs to be changed or cancelled. We’ll do everything possible to accommodate our clients’ scheduling needs.