Frequently Asked Questions

Absolutely. A member of our Case Management Team will visit to assess your parents in their home. We will then work with the assigned Caregiver to ensure that they have all the information they need to provide sensitive and respectful home care services. 

Whether it is honoring the culinary rules within a religious household, appreciating longstanding family traditions, or recognizing a particular way your parents prefer the house to be run, we will do everything in our power to provide culturally aware and sensitive home care assistance. Further, we know that our professional relationship is with both your loved one and with you—the family. If you have concerns or mid-course corrections that need to be made along the way, we are always ready to listen and adjust our services accordingly. We work together to make sure the needs of everyone are met, be it yours, your parents, or our Caregiver’s.

If, for any reason, a particular Caregiver does not seem to be working out, we will do everything we can to find someone that better meets your family’s elder care needs. This is all part of HouseWorks deep and continuing commitment to client-focused care. 

 

She’s hard of hearing and has short-term memory loss. Like lots of people, when she’s in the doctor’s office it can be hard for her to take in what’s being said.

Yes, HouseWorks can accompany your mom to the doctor and even take elderly assistance a step farther. First, a HouseWorks Caregiver will meet your mom at home. If she’s wheelchair bound, we will assist in getting her into the vehicle. We will also help with any personal health care needs that may arise before, during or after her appointment.

During the appointment, our Caregiver will sit in and take complete notes. They’ll write down the doctor-recommended follow-up steps as well as the time and date of any future appointments that are scheduled. HouseWorks will contact you promptly, either by email or phone, to let you know what was learned during the appointment. If you like, we can also email or call your mom to review what was discussed during her appointment and to remind her of any upcoming appointments or new prescriptions.

Finally, since your mom is hard of hearing, our Caregiver will advocate on your mom’s behalf by letting the doctor know to speak up and to speak slowly and clearly. The presence of a second set of ‘eyes and ears’ in the examining room is a great benefit for clients and helps to put family at ease.

HouseWorks strongly advocates for the idea of aging-in-place. Helping elderly clients to remain engaged and present in their lives is the foundation of the HouseWorks home care service model. Health experts tell us that isolation can take a toll in many different ways, both physically and mentally. The continued ability to do errands, visit friends, attend club meetings, pick up some groceries, or simply go to the library represents a key contribution to our clients’ general well-being and to their mental health. 

HouseWorks is happy to provide non-medical transportation and can schedule rides as needed or in advance for events that occur regularly. Our Caregivers are available for trips to the barber shop or hair salon, to play bridge with friends, or just to visit their loved ones. Such outings help elderly clients maintain their independence and feel connected to the world around them, especially for seniors who have enjoyed an active social life in the past.  

Call us today to schedule a ride: 617-928-1010

 

A health care proxy is a type of advance directive, also known as a living will. It is a legal document prepared in advance to ensure that your caregivers understand your wishes about your care. A health care proxy names the person you have chosen to express your health care wishes and empowers that person with medical power of attorney. This person (or ‘proxy’) is recognized under Massachusetts law as the person who can speak for you concerning health care decisions if your doctor determines that you are no longer able to make or communicate health care decisions. This person is often a family member or close friend. Ideally, it is someone who knows your personal wishes, values and beliefs. It’s someone you can trust to make the same health care decisions you would make if you could.

Choosing this person before he or she is needed can help you feel confident that you will always be treated according to your own wishes. On your behalf, he or she can explain to your doctor why you may or may not want certain treatment. Your health care team will still determine what treatment options are medically appropriate in your case, but they will consult with your proxy—as they would with you—regarding your values and the goals of care.

Act now to preserve your voice

HouseWorks strongly supports your basic right as a patient to express your personal health care wishes and actively take part in decisions related to your health care. However, accidents or severe illnesses may occur that can prevent you from participating in decisions about your care or expressing your wishes. HouseWorks encourages people who are perfectly healthy as well as people who are sick to prepare a health care proxy. Many serious health problems arise unexpectedly, so it is advisable to have a health care proxy ready at all times.

The implementation of a health care proxy and the decisions made around such a document are quite complex and require much thought. It is important to note that the rules surrounding health care proxies can vary from state to state. As always, you will be well served by discussing the matter with your family doctor, your attorney, or both. 

For more information and to obtain a downloadable copy of a Massachusetts Health Care Proxy Form, Click here to visit the website of the Hospice and Palliative Care Federation of Massachusetts.

 

Happily—as has been proven throughout our experience with clients—HouseWorks can attest that our aging-in-place focused home care services don’t result in a loss of independence. On the contrary, our home care assistance retains and reinforces genuine independence by allowing clients to feel safe, secure, well cared-for, and free from anxiety. Only then can they focus on the things that truly give them pleasure and provide their lives with a sense of fulfillment. Families can breathe more easily knowing their loved ones have home care assistance without sacrificing independence. 

Not convinced? Consider the following example:

A very elderly couple came to HouseWorks as clients. Dad’s dementia was gradually deepening and, since their adult children lived too far away to be a regular presence or act as a helping hand, Mom was left to cope alone. Between trying to stay on top of household matters and monitoring her husband to keep him safe, Mom was exhausted. But both were adamant—they wanted to stay in their own home where things were familiar, where they knew their neighbors, and where they had raised their family and felt most comfortable. Clearly, help was needed.

Following a home assessment with a HouseWorks Case Manager, the family engaged us to provide a Caregiver to spend a few hours with Dad every day. In good weather, they went for walks, and when he was well enough, they read books together and listened to music. This added assistance gave Mom the respite she needed from the “watch-dog” role with which she had been struggling. Home care services from HouseWorks gave her time to attend to her own needs without the feelings of guilt that she had been experiencing previously.

The presence of our Caregiver helped to keep Dad engaged and active both mentally and physically, while relieving Mom from the pressure of sole responsibility. For the first time in months, she was able to invite a couple of friends in for tea and benefit from renewed contact with old friends. The family enjoyed peace-of-mind knowing that our professional team would be keeping an eye on their parents and would let them know immediately if more help was needed. In turn, home care allowed Mom and Dad to continue living independently in their own home. 

Yes, HouseWorks can help you find an elderly companion. While HouseWorks' staff is predominately comprised of Certified Nurse Assistants and Home Health Aides, we also provide companionship-only services. In fact, it can be very beneficial for your father to develop a relationship of trust with a Caregiver now, before he needs additional care. 

We understand how painful it can be to know that a beloved parent is lonely, and to feel that you cannot always be there. Our staff will take the time to get to know your parent in order to meet his needs appropriately. For example, if a game of checkers or listening to music together is satisfying, that’s what our Caregiver will do with your parent. If your father prefers to go out for a walk in a nearby park, our Caregiver can do that too. If your father likes being read to, or likes to sit quietly just knowing that someone else is nearby, HouseWorks can make that happen.

We tailor our companionship services to meet our clients’ needs, and we know that those needs may change over time. HouseWorks will make necessary adaptations along the way and communicate with you as we do so.

Home care is a broad term that encompasses any service aimed at helping someone with health issues stay at home and out of the hospital. Private home care—or private duty home care—often refers to home care services that, while performed by a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) or HHA (Home Health Aide), are not strictly medical in nature. HouseWorks provides numerous home health care services aimed at helping seniors 'age in place.'
 
This may include of a number of supports: 

Personal care (dressing, bathing, general help with morning routines)

Medication reminders and assistance

Cooking, cleaning, or helping with laundry

Supplemental support for end-of-life care or hospice 

Escorted transportation

Dementia-specific support (companionship, redirection, providing structure, and activities)

 

With an elderly parent it can be hard to know where to begin, especially when the stakes are high and time is short. That said, there are many sources of information and advice available for seniors and their families in Greater Boston.

Words to the Wise

Get help from the start – from family, friends, and professionals. Resist the impulse to do it all yourself.

Never rely on a single source of information or advice when making eldercare decisions.

Expect at least one false start. Don’t rush to fix the problem.

Listen to the experts, but trust your own judgment.

Take control by writing everything down, prioritizing, and delegating just as you would in your professional life.

Be present in the moment. Make time to “do nothing”.

We can answer all your questions

HouseWorks’ goal is to ease the challenges of aging so that our clients and their families can focus on those relationships, activities and interests that are most meaningful to them. If you think the time is approaching when you’ll need help – or if that day is already here – call us at 617-928-1010 or toll free at 800-928-3393. Our Case Managers are available round-the-clock to speak with you by phone. HouseWorks is also pleased to meet with you at home.

Our Case Managers will walk you through the variety of elder care services we provide and can answer any questions you may have, including those related to cost. Moreover, matching clients with the right Caregiver is a huge part of what we do at HouseWorks. Our Case Managers will work with you one-on-one to lessen your burdens, problem-solve, and create order out of chaos. HouseWorks is here to guide you through the toughest parts of helping your parent to age-in-place.