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Frequently Asked Questions

 Q: What is private duty home care?

Private duty home care agencies provide a broad range of clinical and non-clinical in-home care services that help people in need of care remain safe, independent and empowered in their homes. 

 

Q: I’ve never used home care before but there are so many available now. Why should I choose LifeStyle Options, Inc.?

LifeStyle Options, Inc. is the largest, independently-operated, licensed agency in the state of Illinois. We have deep roots, strong commitment and we're closer to home. Learn more about what sets us apart here

 

Q: Will you find the right caregiver for us?

We start with a complimentary care conference to develop a specific plan of care.  After the day-to-day services have been addressed, we complete a “LifeStory” history; notes about your loved one's hobbies, interests and needs. Our sophisticated technology system reviews our extensive caregiver pool to find the person with the matching personality and skills.

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Q: What do I do if I don't like my caregiver or if our caregiver can’t come that day?

YOU are the client and you have to be completely satisfied. Just let us know and we’ll find a different caregiver.  You won't hurt anyone's feelings. And, if your caregiver is unavailable, you can rely on us to find a good substitute. One of the many benefits of using an agency rather than hiring privately is that we have a large pool of trained caregivers available.

 

Q: What does a typical day look like?

We follow the Plan of Care that we developed as you, your loved one and your medical professional directed. Using our Family Portal, you can make changes to that Plan of Care at any time, or just send us a message.

 

Q: How do I communicate with the office?

We have several ways in which you can communicate with us. We are available in the office during regular business hours but a Care Manager is always on-call 24/7 should you need us. We also offer a Family Portal that allows you to log into the system to see the schedule, see the Plan of Care, view invoices and send messages.  If you have an eCaring tablet in your home, that too, has a family portal for viewing daily activities. You’ll also receive monthly CARE (Customers Are Really Everything) calls from our Care Managers. We count on you to call us absolutely anytime for any reason. We’re here to make certain you and your loved one receive the best service available.

 

Q: Do I pay the caregiver directly?

No, you should never pay a caregiver directly. Caregivers are our employees and we are 100% responsible for all payroll, benefits, liabilities, insurance, etc.

 

Q: Why should I choose an agency instead of a caregiver registry or private individual for care?

Hiring private caregivers may often seem like a less costly alternative, but in reality, you are putting yourself at far greater risk than you may realize.  When you are the employer instead of being the client, the risks escalate.

 

Supervision:  When you choose to be the employer, you are responsible for your employee.  If your caregiver calls in sick, you need to find back up. If your caregiver does not come at all, you are responsible for providing care.  You are responsible for training, supervision, coaching and counseling, hiring and firing. You are responsible for protecting your family member from potential abuse.


Workman’s Compensation:  Worker’s Comp can be the biggest risk of all.  If your employee strains her back while lifting, for example, she may very well look to you for all her medical expenses and disability coverage.


Negligent Hiring:  The shortage of qualified applicants and your own immediate needs may sometimes combine to compromise your hiring procedures.  Careful background checks, including criminal misconduct, and thorough interviews are part of the routine of any reputable home care company. 


General and Professional Liability:  Private caregivers rarely carry general or professional liability insurance.  If the caregiver trips and falls at your home, you may very well be the party with the major liability.


Bonding:  Bonding protects you from theft or breakage.  Without bonding, you have limited or no protection.


Taxes:  The IRS states individual employers are liable for:

  • Social security taxes not paid
  • Unemployment compensation taxes not paid
  • Payroll taxes not withheld, including an additional tax assessment of up to 100% of the amount owed the IRS if the employer is considered to have “willfully” failed to withhold the taxes
  • Interest on underpayments found to be owing
  • Possible civil fines of up to $100,000
  • Possible criminal penalties, including imprisonment for up to five years

Why risk it?  You be the client.  Let the home care company be the employer.

 

Q: We are all looking for safe, secure home care from caregivers we can trust. That means excellent screening, great training, and 24/7 availability. But how do you choose?

It is important to make informed decisions about your or your loved ones in-home care needs. Understanding the differences between agencies helps you to evaluate the risks and decide what type of care is best for you. LifeStyle Options is proud to be licensed in both home nursing and home services. 

 

  Licensed Home Health Agency (Medicare) Home Nursing LSO Icon transparent-3.png Home Services LSO Icon transparent-3.png Registry or Private
Services Offered 2 or more skilled Skilled Care Home Care Client Request
Doctor's Orders Required Required Not Necessary Not Necessary
License IDPH IDPH IDPH NONE
Payment  Medicare/Insurance Private Pay or LTC Private Pay or LTC Private Pay
Background Check/Fingerprints Required Required Required NONE
Responsible Party Agency Agency Agency Client
Insurances Required Required Required NONE
Supervision Required Required Required NONE
Training Required Required Required NONE