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Creating A Plan of Care

Once you have talked with your family, gotten your legal documents in order, and have a formal diagnosis, it’s time to come together and create a “Care Plan”. This is an organized plan that is customized to your family’s needs, requirements and situation. This plan will need updating as your loved one’s needs change. Here are some things to keep in mind and consider while developing your family’s plan

Dementia Training

​There is no other disease in the world that so many people assume they understand how to care for without actual knowledge and training. If you were diagnosed with Diabetes, you would receive Diabetic education. Yet because Dementia is a progressive and varying disease there is no formal training or guidance offered to patients and their families–until now. Aishling Companion Home Care offers dementia training for the public as part of our community outreach program. This education is complimentary to the families of our customers. View our Dementia Training section for details on what you can learn.

Dementia Support Group

Caregivers never take care of themselves. We all struggle to balance our personal and professional lives. If you are taking care of a senior suffering with dementia, alongside your family obligations and possibly even while working, you are probably overwhelmed. You will need support from others who are going through the same thing you are, in a space where ideas are freely shared and no one is judged. Support groups are free of charge and commitment. Visit our support Group page for locations and dates.

Medication Ease and Accountability –

One of the most frequent mistakes elderly clients make is taking their medication incorrectly. Did you know their pills can be pre-packaged in a clear pouch, labelled with the date and time it should be taken? These clear pouches come in one continual roll that takes the guesswork out of everything. No more forgetting, or filling pill containers and dropping them on the floor. Most importantly, no more taking the wrong medication due to confusion. Rolls can be delivered to homes and facilities. Please note that this service does not include over the counter medications.

Easy to See, Clear Package
Clearly Labeled with Description, date and time of day to take Medication
Preparing Your Home –
A home can be modified to meet almost any need. Grab bars in the bathroom, stair lifts, bathtub cutouts so they don’t have to lift their leg up and over the tub can all accommodate the changing needs of the individual. Contact our office for a free and confidential referral.
Personal Safety –
If your loved one does not have 24-hour care, a personal safety device can bring peace of mind. One third of seniors aged 65 and older fall each year, as do half of people aged 85 and older. There are different types of medical alarm systems, but in general they all include a pendant or small keychain-like device with a help button. That help button automatically connects the wearer to an emergency dispatch person when pressed. The best devices can detect when the wearer falls down. Upon sensing a sudden movement and impact, these devices automatically call the company’s emergency dispatcher, who can check with the wearer to make sure everything is okay and connect the individual to emergency services if not. That means that devices with this feature can save lives even if the user is unconscious, panics and forgets about the service, or is too afraid or embarrassed to call for help. Call our office for more information, 708-361-7845.

Personal Care – Some forms of dementia start off with subtle changes and progress slowly. Others start like a light switch and leaves the family scrambling for appropriate care.  Sometimes it is not until there is a fall or injury and the hospital is the one to recommend additional care. However, eventhough the social workers have identified that the senior needs more care, it is not something insurance typically will cover. Home Care services help fill the gap between what the family members can provide and what the senior needs. Home Care services can also grow with the patient as it might start with minimal hours in the beginning to full time live-in care towards the end. It is proven that most people want to stay in their home when possible, and it is certainly a lot more affordable than a facility – even with full time care. If you are considering in home care, there are different categories to understand.

  • Full Service Agency
  • Placement Agency
  • Independent Agent

Full Service and Placement agencies are very different from one another and the differences are not usually explained well by any qualified individual.  In fact, most of the time the end user does not even realize the difference and the possible ramifications of choosing one over the other.

A Full Service Agency is best to use when the family lives in or out of state, or if they do not have knowledge about hiring and paying taxes for employees. This is also best if the family does not want to worry about scheduling, dealing with absences, or investing in additional home insurance. A Full Service Agency will provide professional caregivers and take care of the taxes, insurance, scheduling, on-going training and support, background checks, and care plan communication. In essence, it is the easiest of the options to maintain. A full service agency contribution also qualifies as a legitimate expenditure for “paying down” funds when contemplating Medicaid requirements. **This statement is not intended to guarantee anyone that they will qualify for Medicaid. More information about the Medicaid process in Illinois can be found here:  Medicaid  

The obvious pro of a Full Service Agency is that it is the easiest solution to provide care in the home and it provides the least amount of risk.  However, the one drawback is the inability to “hire” a specific person. Because the caregivers are employees of the agency, the customer is not guaranteed services by a specific person. While some agencies try to grant requests to keep their customers happy, it is not a certainty. However, most people find that with the balance of inter-office software, which easily coordinates and communicates consistent care and instructions, combined with the additional training and support caregivers receive, the benefits outweigh the negatives.

When hiring a Full Service Agency, consider:
Are they licensed in Illinois, and what Associations do they belong to?
You can easily check to see if they are licensed by checking the
 IDHP website.

The Home Care Association of America (HCAOA) works with the Global Aging Coalition and is a non-profit organization designed to strengthen the professionalism of private duty home care providers through education and best practices.
Businesses in the HCAOA:

  •   Collaborate
  •   Set the Standards
  •   Analyze and Report
  •   Educate each other and consumers
  •   Advocate in Washington

Home Care Businesses have the choice to join the association.  They are held to the standards of care as defined by HCAOA and it is the businesses that participate that continue to re-define and raise the bar that is set. In fact some hospital administrations have decided to only recommend Home Care Services that participate in HCAOA.

Placement agencies can vary depending on the specific business, but the main difference is that they are a resource used to find a person for hire. Usually you pay a placement agency to find a caregiver of choice, and you can interview until you find an appropriate fit. Then you negotiate the salary and pay the individual directly. The pro to using a placement agency is the control over personnel. However, the drawback is that it is much more time intensive to calculate income tax, negotiate proper home owner’s insurance, and deal with scheduling issues. The customer must also stay knowledgeable about minimum wage and overtime laws and maintain in good standing. This is usually where the trouble lies.  If this is not an area of expertise within the family, mistakes can be made which will have severe repercussions. It is best to check with an attorney prior to using this service and make sure you are covered. These agencies should also be licensed and found in the registry.

Independent Agents – Independent Agents can be found just about anywhere, from a friendly neighbor to an online free resource. However, we cannot in good conscience recommend the use of an independent agent due to the risk involved. The market is flooded with people who provide care direct to the consumer for lower pay. It leaves you completely responsible and vulnerable and there is absolutely no recourse for mistakes.  We unfortunately hear about this all too often as the resources are readily available. In order to save money people usually turn to this option, only to find out they will now be penalized if they try to apply for Medicaid. In addition, there are tax implications if the employee files for unemployment and possible insurance issues if the employee gets injured. Bottom line–don’t be fooled by the lower price. You will be better off spending down whatever funds are available legitimately and having peace of mind. Always check with an attorney before moving forward.

Additional Resources

Veterans Assistance-
Many veterans and their families don’t know that they may qualify for assistance. If you or your loved one is a veteran, contact us today for a free referral so you can get the assistance you need and deserve. Finding a Facility- If you have made the decision to place your loved one in a home, there are many things to consider. There is a larger variety of types of facilities and there are different requirements and pricing structures for all of them. We can refer you to a qualified, well respected business that can assist you every step of the way. This is a free service to you and they always have your best interest at heart. Allow us to introduce you to a seasoned professional who knows all the right questions to ask and can make sure to find the perfect fit for you and your loved one.



I appreciate all the help when I broke my shoulder.  I would definitely recommend your services to others. I especially thank Eileen and Fred for their patience in scheduling my confusing appointment times for my rehab.



Marilyn T

I recently hired Aishling for my father with live in care as he was stage 4 cancer. I can not tell explain what excellent care my father received. I would like to give a special shout out of gratitude to Jason M. as he had gone above and beyond at comforting and caring for my dad til he passed away on Jasons shift. You have a gift when you employ anyone with Jasons heart.

Johnstone family

Aishling staff were patient, compassionate and respectful from intake to the last day of care. No matter what time day or night, we always new we would be provided the caregivers necessary.Customer

Haley Family

Our family was in the midst of a crisis when we contacted Aishling Companion Home Care.  We received personal care and service from Aishling that allowed us to ensure the peaceful and pain-free transition of our brother.  I truly felt that when Aishling came to our home, God had sent an angel.  The attention and support we received was above and beyond anything we could have hoped and prayed for – Aishling and her team will always be remembered by our family.
Thank you so much

The Callahan Family

Dear Aishling, Kathy, Sharon and staff,
As Thanksgiving draws near I wanted to take the opportunity to express my gratitude in writing for your incredible kindness to my mother Marian, and to our family. Mom never quite understood whey she “needed ” any help but she certainly was happy to have the company especially another “woman  to talk to” and of course, to to drink coffee with. Therefore you can imagine how happy we were that familiar faces, Bola, Marguerite, Nancy, were with her in the last week and our gratitude also extends to Jasmine who took her for her last walk around town and Evelyn, for our conversations about our neighborhood. So much appreciation for the home visits, steady updates, and endless patience with the myriad of phone calls.

Love to all your wonderful people.

The Betty Bush Family

I want to take the time to Thank You for the care that your group was able to provide for my sister over the last months.  I want to personally say thanks for your time, effort and consideration in helping Maggie deal with her cancer and her resulting physical limitations.  The caregivers you provided handled the difficult conditions with which they were confronted with patience and understanding.  They should all be commended.

Thanks again for all your help,

Thomas E Gibbs

My family has been very blessed to have had ACHC for our parents.  You worked with schedules that changed frequently and your office staff, Sharon, Shannon and Kathy were OUTSTANDING.  Marguerite, Kayleigh, Anna, Sabrina and Shannon were our favorites.  Thank You, Thank You!  We would gladly refer family and friends to Aishling.

Warmest Regards,

Teresa Krsich

Perhaps you sent a lovely card or sat quietly in a chair.
Perhaps you sent a funeral spray. If so, we saw it there.
Perhaps you spoke the kindest words as any friend could say.
Perhaps you were not there at all, just thought of us that day.
Whatever you did to console our hearts, we thank you so much whatever the part.


By the family of Marie Costello

On behalf of Robert (Bob) Craig and his entire family, I would like to express our gratitude for the excellent care Bob received from your caregivers.  They were all, to a person, professional in their hands-on-care.  They completed each task with patience, keeping him looking and feeling his best at all times.  With my varied work schedule, I would visit Bob at different times, morning and night.  He was always in the best possible state when I visited.  That was a huge source of comfort for the family.
More importantly, the individual caregivers seemed to express a loving feeling to Bob with all their tasks.  They talked about his family members, his favorite teams and shared their own positive attitudes on a daily basis. They put a special emphasis on any aspect of his care that the family made mention of.  The special music compilation and iPod custom-made by your company for Bob was a terrific relaxation tool.
Finally, the overall guidance provided by Aishling Companion Home Care has proved invaluable to us in this important time.
Thank you for your excellent service.


Dawne Craig

Mary was blessed to have such wonderful caregivers in her life.  We would like to extend our humble gratitude to the Aishling Companion Home Care caregivers – how blessed we were to have you.  No request was ever deemed too difficult.  The everyday gentleness of the caregivers and the enduring question – Can I get you anything? – showed their constant vigilance. The personal touches will always be remembered.


The Taylor Family

Aishling Companion Home Care has been a life saver for us. Our experience with your service has been nothing but good. Everyone has been very helpful, flexible, and has done everything we have asked as well as accommodated our every adjustment, change and at the same time, treating my mother’s needs as if she was their mother. We felt we were treated like we were the only clients. I can’t say thank you enough. Our caregiver has been wonderful. We can’t say enough about her. Not only did she take care of my mother, but she took the time to write us a letter every week with exactly what they did, what they ate, etc., which we all looked forward to reading. Thank You and we wish you all well.


You went beyond a business relationship and sent mom cards, flowers and checked on her through the phone calls. Thank you for the mass card. We felt the strength of prayer.


The Family of Clara Cuthbertson

April 2014
I hired Aishling to sit with my husband – a recovering alcoholic.  When I first talked to Aishling, he had just been discharged after a 10 day stay in the hospital.  His doctor wanted him in a nursing home, but that was just too expensive for me.  Aishling first sent me Gina who came for 20 hours per week.  My husband adored her.  She got him moving, eating, took him to his AA meetings.  He became rehabilitated enough that I was able to cut down to 12 hours per week.  He has now been in recovery for almost 2 months.  He has become an active part of our family again.  I owe Gina, Cathy and Jasiman a big thank you for all they did.  Besides their care, companionship and transportation to AA, they cleaned my house and made meals. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I did something different by hiring Aishling and I am so pleased with the results.

Thank You, L.B.

I had 3 caregivers who did an excellent job offering care in helping me clean my house and making my meals.  Your people were on time each day and very professional with my care.  I would recommend them for any level of personal care.
Being clean and on time were very important to me, as was the companionship each day and being on time to AA meetings each day. Thank you for the professional help.  The bottom line is – thank you for caring for me and my well being.