What home services does Coming Home Connection (CHC) provide?
We offer a full range of non-medical home-care services from companionship and supervision, to intimate personal care for the disabled, bed-bound and dying. Our caregivers can assist with the regular tasks of daily living, including meal preparation, light housework, assistance with pets, grocery shopping, rides to medical appointments, supervision of medicines, showering and bathing, dressing and toileting. Caregivers also accompany clients to social activities and outings. Caregivers can be scheduled from once or twice a week for a few hours, to a 24/7 presence for longer periods of time.
What do services cost?
Coming Home Connection operates a sliding scale of $15 - $25 per hour for home care (private agencies in Santa Fe currently charge between $27 - $32 per hour). Clients choose the rate of pay depending on their ability to pay (income and assets), the level of skill and care needed, and the number of hours required. The CHC office staff are trained to discuss this to agree upon an affordable and fair rate of pay. Caregivers are paid directly by clients and Coming Home Connection makes no charge for its referral and scheduling service.
How much choice does a client have in choosing a caregiver?
As a small, community-based organization, we pride ourselves on knowing our caregivers and making referrals to clients based on the needs and level of skill required, as well as personality and interests. Because of this we find that most referrals work out the first time. However, if the initial referral does not work for either for the client or the caregiver, CHC will endeavor to find alternates.
Will I always have the same caregiver?
Once care needs and a schedule has been agreed to, we will schedule regular caregiver(s) to ensure consistency of care. If these caregivers are unavailable, or on vacation, CHC will schedule appropriate coverage in consultation with the client. Heavier schedules, including 24/7 care and volunteer cases, may require a larger number of caregivers, sometimes including caregivers who are new to the client, but CHC tries to keep these circumstances to a minimum.
What if I need to cancel?
CHC asks that clients provide a minimum of 24 hours’ notice; 48 hours is preferred. This enables caregivers to plan their time and to schedule other clients. If you cancel with less than 24 hours’ notice you will be asked to pay the caregiver for the scheduled shift, unless there is an emergency or a reason out of your control.
If I need transportation, whose car does the caregiver drive?
Caregivers will drive clients’ cars if one is available and it is insured for other drivers. If there is no car available, caregivers may drive their own cars. There is no charge for short trips, but if there are long and/or frequent trips in the caregiver’s car, the caregiver may charge $ .54.5 /mile (as per US.gov standard rates) to the client.
Are Coming Home Connection caregivers trained?
Yes, all CHC caregivers attend a two-day introductory training, which covers practical knowledge and skills, including infection control, stroke awareness, working with oxygen in the home, transfers, bed baths, and intimate care, as well as understanding confidentiality and HIPAA, professional conduct, ethics and boundaries, cultural diversity and other issues concerning in-home care employment. Coming Home Connection offers its caregivers ongoing training on issues including dementia, end-of-life and hospice care, and incontinence care.
Are Coming Home Connection caregivers bonded?
No, CHC caregivers are not bonded.
How is the caregiver paid?
Clients pay caregivers directly, as each is considered an independent contractor. Caregivers will provide invoices and can be paid in cash or by check on an agreed-upon schedule. If clients are unable to manage payments on a timely basis, in order to continue to provide services, a family member or friend will be designated as the payor.
How can I receive free services?
Coming Home Connection offers free home-care services provided by volunteers to those without means to pay. Our capacity to provide volunteer care is limited by the number and availability of these volunteers. If you are unable to pay for services, explain your situation and your need to the CHC staff member taking your care request. If CHC is able to provide you with a volunteer care service, you will receive the same degree of care that paying clients receive.
We are in the process of developing a respite care service for people with dementia and their caregivers. This will be a free service provided by volunteer caregivers.
Does Coming Home Connection guarantee to help everyone who requests it? How are those choices made?
No, CHC cannot guarantee help for everyone who requests it. While we would like to help everyone who asks, there will always be greater demand for care than CHC can provide. When CHC declines to accept a case, decisions are made collectively by our staff based on the following criteria:
1) need - whether there are other alternatives,
2) suitability - whether we are the best agency to meet the need, and
3) capacity - whether we have trained caregivers available.
If CHC cannot accept a case, we try to direct people to other services that can help, such as Senior Services, Kitchen Angels, transport agencies and private agencies. Please see this link for additional resources.
How quickly can I receive services?
Requests for care are considered on a weekly basis. The number of clients CHC can help is dependent on the availability of trained caregivers, so there is no set time frame. In many cases, services may start within one or two weeks from the initial inquiry. Emergency cases, particularly those referred by hospitals, clinics and hospice providers, are considered within 24-48 hours. Volunteer care cases may take longer.
How do I get started?
To make an initial inquiry come into or contact the Coming Home Connections office at 505-988-2468. A member of the staff will talk with you about your home healthcare needs and assist you in making a care request if appropriate. In making the care request, you will be asked about the medical history of the client, including name of his or her physician and any other agency involved in care; other people or pets in the home; what assistance is needed by the client; how much and how often; as well as basic information such as name, age, date of birth, address and phone numbers.
How is CHC funded?
CHC is funded entirely by donations from individual donors, and a variety of small grants from foundations, health centers and the City of Santa Fe. CHC does not charge for its scheduling and case management services, and when in-home is paid for, the client pays the caregiver directly as an independent contractor. CHC does not take insurance or Medicare.
What is the difference between paid caregivers and volunteers?
CHC seeks to offer free home-care, provided by volunteers, to those with the least means in our community. We do this in two ways:
1) recruiting, training and placing volunteers who simply want to volunteer their time and skills and
2) providing work to professional caregivers at an affordable rate for clients; in return they are asked to volunteer a few hours each month. We call all our caregivers volunteers, as they all volunteer at some point for those most in need.
How many volunteers do you have?
Since 2007, CHC has trained and placed over 400 volunteers. Over time, some caregivers move away, move on to other activities, or retire, which means that at any given time there are approximately 80 registered, with about 50 actively caregiving in the community.
How many people receive care from CHC, and how often?
CHC regularly provides care for between 40 and 60 clients. Our strategic goal is to double this number. Assistance can range from one or two hours a week to care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In 2007, CHC provided 31,500 hours of care in 10,000 home visits.
We bring comfort and healing to the whole person — to the client and also to the caregiver, combining volunteerism with an opportunity to earn a living in a fulfilling way.