Dispelling the Confusion About Home Care
2 Types of Home Care, 3 Types of Agencies
Your family recommended home care. You’ve heard Medicare will pay for it—if you go with a certain kind of agency. What kind’s that? Is it the one you need? What is home care anyway?
Home care actually isn’t as confusing as it seems. You just need to understand a few aspects, and soon, you’ll be on your way to picking the agency that’s right for you.
The 2 Types of Home Care
There are two basic types of home care: skilled home health care and nonmedical care. You may need one or both.
Skilled home health care consists of services provided by a licensed professional such as a nurse or therapist. It’s also called skilled nursing care and medical home care. Services include intermittent visits for things like dressing changes; medication education; and physical, speech or occupational therapy.
Nonmedical home care, which is what Preferred Care at Home provides, encompasses other types of help. It’s also known as personal support services, private-duty care and custodial care. Sometimes it offers just homemaker companion care. Often, people who need skilled home health care also need nonmedical home care.
Nonmedical home care can include assistance with what are called “activities of daily living” *:
- Bathing and bathroom needs, including continence care
- Transferring (such as from a wheelchair to a bed)
Nonmedical care can also provide help with everyday needs, called “instrumental activities of daily living,” such as:
- Housekeeping (including laundry)
- Medication reminders and prescription pick-up
- Grocery shopping and cooking
- Appointment reminders
- Transportation to and from appointments or social activities
The 3 Types of Home Care Agencies
The agencies that offer home care are divided into three types: home health care, hospice and nonmedical home care. Which type you need depends on which kind of care you want.
1. Home health care agencies
Does Medicare cover their care? If the agency is Medicare-certified and you meet certain qualifications, Medicare covers intermittent visits by a licensed professional for a limited time (usually lasting a few weeks). It also covers brief visits from a home care aide to provide personal care (such as a bath once or twice a week) if needed while receiving the skilled care.
How do I qualify? Your doctor must write an order saying you need intermittent skilled care and are homebound, meaning leaving home is hard or not recommended. For more details, download this Medicare document.
2. Hospice agencies
What is hospice? Hospice provides end-of-life home health care and nonmedical care. Services involve various providers, including doctors, nurses, social workers, counselors and clergy members. The goal of hospice is to improve your quality of life rather than cure an illness. Hospice care can also be provided at a facility.
Does Medicare cover their care? Yes, if the hospice is Medicare-approved. For more information, download this Medicare document.
How do I qualify? Your doctor and the hospice medical director must certify that your life expectancy is six months or less. You must also agree to forgo curative treatment and focus on comfort care. (You can always change your mind and go back to regular medical care.)
3. Nonmedical home care agencies
As you’ve probably guessed, home care agencies, such as Preferred Care at Home, provide nonmedical supportive care. They help people stay in their own home, whether or not they need skilled care. Services vary a bit from state to state. You can receive the services for a few hours a week to 24 hours a day.
Does Medicare cover their care? No, but there are other options to pay for home care, including Medicaid waivers (need-based financial aid), the Aid and Attendance Improved Pension (for qualifying veterans), and long-term care insurance. Preferred Care at Home strives to provide reliable, compassionate care that is also affordable.
Who Benefits From Home Care
Preferred Care at Home caregivers can help you keep your house in order, run errands, and get up and about for some healthy physical activity. They can also remind you to take your medication; ensure you’re eating nutritious, home-cooked meals; and help you with personal-care needs.* Your caregiver is your companion, encourager and assistant.
You may benefit from home care if one or more of the following is true:
- You’re recovering from an illness or injury.
- You’re transitioning from the hospital to home.
- Medicare-provided services aren’t enough.
- Hospice-provided services aren’t enough.
- You’re struggling with everyday tasks, such as bathing, eating healthfully, or getting out to see friends and family.
- Home is your place of choice for long-term care.
- You care for someone yourself and need breaks to rejuvenate or get other things done.
How Do I Begin Services?
To start receiving home care services, just give us a call. We’ll take it from there. We’ll design a personalized care plan and then match any special needs you have with our pool of experienced, compassionate caregivers. We guarantee 100-percent satisfaction.
To schedule a meeting or learn more about what home care is, please contact us today to experience the Preferred Care at Home difference. We’re dedicated to supporting your independence with compassion, respect and reliability.
*Homemaker companion agencies cannot offer hands-on personal-care services.
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