Is home care right for you?
Choosing your lifestyle and wellbeing for the future can be challenging. You may prefer to remain in your home rather than moving to a nursing home or an assisted living community. Aging-in-place solutions are becoming much more common, with home care services that can cover any needs you might have. We'll help you understand the home care services available and explain which options can suit you best.
What is home care?
Home care provides help for seniors by assisting them with their daily living activities. The assistance they give can range from cleaning and housekeeping to bathing, dressing, and grooming. The level of care they provide will be nuanced to their clients. You can find home care aides that provide these services through agencies or by hiring them privately.
Here are some of the daily needs that they can cover:
- Companionship with in-home activities, conversations, and reading.
- Transportation to their client's appointments.
- Assistance with dressing, bathing, and grooming, and other daily living activities.
- Preparing and delivering meals.
- Managing and reminding clients of their medication.
- Cleaning and organizing the client's home.
- Help with writing checks or managing their client's finances.
How can you benefit from home care?
If you are still active but need help with certain daily living activities. Home care can help make your daily activities much more accessible. Home care can help you ease that loneliness if you are home alone. It can also help your loved ones who are already trying their best at their caregiving efforts.
Although, if you have medical needs of any sort, home care aides are unable to help. Home care aides are not qualified and licensed for medical procedures of any kind and can't administer medicine. Suppose you require medical assistance at home; the next option would suit you better.
What is home health care?
Home health care is different compared to regular home care. Medically trained and certified professionals handle your health care needs whether you are recovering from a hospital stay or require assistance managing your health. Registered and licensed practical nurses and therapists will be able to provide health care at your home. You can find home health care services through health agencies or hospice agencies with a doctor's prescription.
The medical procedures done can include:
- Helping you with physical and occupational therapy for your condition.
- Administering medications or shots that you are prescribed.
- Conducting medical tests to monitor your condition.
- Keeping an overall watch over your health.
- Attending to your wounds and providing care.
How can you benefit from home health care?
Home health care focuses on the medical aspects of your wellbeing if you have just been discharged from rehabilitation, a hospital stay, or moved out of a skilled nursing facility. Maybe you have difficulties going to a doctor's office and prefer the monitoring and medication changes at home. These are just some examples of scenarios where home health care can significantly benefit you.
You have to remember that home health care is not focused on other aspects of your care, such as housekeeping, meal preparation, and personal companionship and assistance. Their aim is your medical needs first and foremost, so they would see to those needs and leave others to home care aides that are more familiar with those aspects of care.
Another consideration to make with home health care is their limited time. Home health services are usually providing their services over sixty days. Certain conditions like neurological ones can qualify for limitless home health care. Still, one medical care professional would come in about two to three times a week. Leaving gaps in your care if you are alone or your family cannot attend to your needs.
Now that you understand home and home health care. You may be wondering if there is a solution if you need both forms of care.
You can combine home and home health care.
You can combine home care and home health care services to give you the best comprehensive assistance as needed. Caregiving staff such as home care aides will accompany you and assist you in your daily activities. While medically trained professionals will visit according to their scheduled times and attend to your medical needs.
Providers can sometimes customize and tailor their services to suit your needs and wants. However, we would recommend contacting providers and asking if they provide personalized services to suit your preferences.
What should I consider when choosing home care?
When searching for a home care service, there are a few things to consider when making your choice.
Do I qualify for home care?
Home care itself does not have any prerequisites or criteria that need to be met beforehand. So you are free to search and get it without any barrier.
Home health care, on the other hand, has qualifications that need to be met:
- A doctor must be overseeing your care plan and reviewing it.
- The doctor must confirm that you need occasional skilled nursing care or a qualified specialist therapist treating your condition.
- Your treatments and therapies are given with the expectation that your situation will improve reasonably within an amount of time.
- The doctor must also certify that you are homebound.
If these criteria are met, then you will be able to apply for home health care.
What is the cost of home care and home health care?
The cost of home care can vary from state to state. Local laws, location, and agency fees can affect the cost of home care. According to Genworth Financial's Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of home care in the United States is $4,290 a month.
Home health care will cost more than home health care due to the medical services and expertise provided with home health care—the average cost of home health care is $4,385 a month. However, the price can vary with the form of treatment that a person would need during their time in care.
With these rough estimates in mind, you may be wondering if there is some way to cover the cost of these services.
Is there any coverage for home care and home health care?
When choosing a form of home care, you will want to consider if your healthcare provider or insurance can cover the costs of these treatments. We will go over a few options that help the financial aspect of your care.
Original Medicare doesn't cover home care, as it is a non-medical service. However, it covers select home health care services prescribed by a doctor and carried out by professionals. To qualify for Medicare's coverage for home health care, you must fulfill the requirements for home health care and receive care from a Medicare-certified agency. However, Medicare can cover assistance with daily living if they are given with the home health care provider.
Medicare Advantage may cover non-medical or home care aides depending on the plan and if the agency is part of Medicare's network. So be sure to check the details of any provided plans.
Medicaid can pay for home health care, although you will need to meet the requirements for medical and financial needs. They may even have you go through a medical evaluation to see if you need that level of care. It is also worth noting that personal care services are not a federally mandated benefit of Medicaid. So the level of care can vary from state to state.
Aid and Attendance Benefit
If you are a veteran, you and your spouse may be able to use the Aid and Attendance benefit to help finance your home care. This extra monthly payment is given on top of your monthly VA pension and is intended for your care needs.
To qualify for Aid and Attendance, you have to be receiving your VA pension and meet all of the eligibility requirements, along with at least one of four separate eligibility requirements. You may also need a letter from a physician that states your need for assistance.
Long-Term Care Insurance
You may use life insurance policies in some cases to pay for long-term care, including home care. Some policies, referred to as hybrid life insurance, are made to cover long-term care, although the covered care can vary. You can transfer even standard life insurance policies to a cash payment or sell your policy to a third-party group. Still, the cash value will be less than the original death benefit. Discussing with your loved ones is ideal should you consider this option.
We hope that this article will help you decide whether home care is right for you and help you find a form of home care that will suit your needs and lifestyle.
How do I privately hire home care services?
Yes, you can find and hire home care aides to assist your daily living activities. You can use registries or recommendations from your family, friends, or community members.
Is home health care less expensive than a nursing home?
Home health care is generally less expensive than a skilled nursing facility. The average cost of a skilled nursing facility can cost $7,513 a month for a shared room and $8,517 for a private room. Compared to the average $4,385 a month for home health care.