Common in-home care questions.

The following are common questions our clients have when considering an in-home caregiver. If you have questions, it is always best to speak with one of our in-home care professionals to discuss your specific situation. 

A Florida Nurse Registry is a state licensed referral service that maintains a list (registry) of carefully screened caregivers and matches those caregivers with a clients’ needs.

Some individuals due to a poor understanding of this type of business, or due to intentional misdirection, may use certain tactics to convince individuals not to utilize a Nurse Registries’ services. At Abby Services we believe that an educated customer is a happy customer. We believe that by referring excellent prescreened caregivers clients can manage their own care in a cost effective manner. 

HHA stands for Home Health Aide. They have received training from an accredited institute reviewing many of the skills required to safely care for an individual. 

CNA stands for Certified Nursing Aide. CNA’s receive training that reviews the skills necessary to safely care for an individual but are also state-certified. The certification that Certified Nurses Aides have is a state certification and is important largely for state-funded programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. 

Privately HHA’s and CNA’s function interchangeably. Both HHA’s & CNA’s are referred to as caregivers.

All caregivers Abby Services works with are independently employed.

Companions are sometimes referred to as “Sitters”. They can assist individuals in their homes with very basic tasks. They cannot however provide any hands-on care or touch an individual under any circumstances. 

The fact that they cannot touch an individual limits the scenarios where their services are beneficial. They have been likened to hiring a babysitter whom you instruct not to touch your child. It is because of these shortcomings that we work exclusively with HHA’s and CNA’s who have the training to assist with companion type care and more.

Our experience in this industry & an extensive pool of caregivers allows us to find the help you need with little notice. We have been successful in referring caregivers with as little as a 1-hour notice.

There was a time when Abby Services did offer 1, 2, & 3-hour visits. However, we found that patient satisfaction was negatively affected. This was due to a number of factors including cost and caregiver turnover. Therefore you may request care for anywhere from 1-4 hours consecutively but would be billed for a minimum of 4 hours. We are happy to discuss your specific needs and how we can work to refer a caregiver to meet those needs.

In-home care for the elderly  is supervised by family, friends, guardians, etc. If a client has any issues we will take them very seriously and address them promptly as you see fit. We do not attempt to insinuate that we could possibly supervise your private caregiver in an effective manner while they are in your home without being there.

If you wish to receive professional supervision, Abby Services works closely with Certified Geriatric Care managers who can oversee and manage even the most involved cases.

As part of our extensive screening process, we recommend to all caregivers we refer that they carry their own individual Malpractice Insurance. The minimum amount of coverage we recommend is $500,000 per incident and $1,000,000 aggregate. We maintain copies of these policies for referred caregivers and they are available for anyone wishing to review them.

No, the caregivers Abby Services works together with are not required to carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance. However, Workers’ Comp does not provide the consumer protection many are falsely led to believe.

If a caregiver who is an employee of an agency is injured in a client’s home, Workers’ Comp prevents the caregiver from suing the agency, and in turn, provides some coverage for medical expenses and lost wages. It does not prevent the injured caregiver from suing the client.

 Workers comp only protects the employer (agency) from litigation. Furthermore, if workers’ compensation is involved, the client could be exposed to the risk of a lawsuit from both the caregiver and the Workers’ Comp legal team.

Beware of individuals who give false assurances that Workers’ Comp will protect the client from litigation. For honest answers about workers comp, we suggest visiting the website that the Florida Department of Financial Services maintains. Here you can have your Workers’ Comp questions answered in an unbiased manner. Specifically, “Does Workers Comp protect the consumer or employer?”

The most appropriate protection for a client is their homeowner’s insurance policy. Well-written policies should include protection for injuries occurring in the home. There are umbrella policies available that can provide even further protection. 

Remember, if no negligence on the part of the client is determined, the client has no legal financial obligation for an injury a caregiver may receive on the job.

Occupational Accidental Insurance is available for caregivers or their clients to purchase should they desire additional Workers Comp type coverage.

Registries are required by the IRS to notify caregivers of their tax responsibilities and to annually issue 1099 forms which are used to report annual earnings to IRS.  Per industry leaders, past IRS data demonstrates that Independent Contractors who receive a form 1099 have a 97% compliance rate. Employees who receive a W-2 have a 99% compliance rate.*

*IRS data indicates that employees who receive Forms W-2 generally report 99 percent of the income appearing on those forms. E.g.,  IRS National Headquarters Office of Research, Interactive Tax Gap Map for Year 2001,22-23 (Feb. 24, 2004).

With respect to Forms 1099, the Government Accountability Office testified that: Past IRS data have shown that independent contractors report 97 percent of the income that appears on information returns.

No, you are not locked into a contract. We have a service agreement outlining payment terms and details of services, but you may cancel anytime with just four hours’ notice.

We strive to refer only the best caregivers available but sometimes personality issues arise. Your satisfaction is our #1 priority. Should any issues arise simply contact our offices and we will immediately work to find a caregiver more suitable to your needs.

We will work together with any insurance company to complete the documentation they require and provide them with the paperwork necessary to process your claim. Every Long Term Care Insurance Policy is diffrent and may have specific requirements that must be met before they will pay for care. To help you receive the insurance benefits you are entitled to, we will bill your insurance company on your behalf, and assist you with completing all necessary paperwork, but ultimately the responsibility for payment is with you the consumer.

Due to popular demand, we have begun accepting assignment of benefits from Long Term Care Insurance Providers. What this means is that we will work together with you to accept payment directly from your insurance company to minimize the expenses incurred by you the consumer. This option does have further details that can be reviewed when meeting for your initial consultation.

Rates for in home care vary depending on the location where services are requested, the time frames requested, and the rates requested by the caregiver who is providing services to you. We strive to be the most cost effective option available. Please contact our offices at any time for current rates.

Abby Services is committed to providing outstanding service to all of our local residents seeking In-home care provided by professional private caregivers. We are happy to assist any individual regardless of any disability. We want individuals who may have a disability to access information about our services online and in person without issue. 

In an ongoing effort to serve all customers, we strive to have the information contained on our website available and accessible to individuals with disabilities. Unfortunately developing web-based information that accounts for any and all disabilities is a challenge and takes time. While we work toward the goal of 100% accessibility we encourage any user to provide feedback should they encounter any problems accessing information or services from our website. 

To report any issues simply contact our compliance officer at [email protected] or by calling 239-590-0861. We are happy to offer immediate assistance to accommodate any disability. We will also use your feedback to further address accessibility issues and website development in our ongoing efforts as promptly as possible.