Home care services help caregivers keep family members and loved ones at home for as long as possible. The care these programs provide can include both custodial care and skilled health care services.
Home care agencies can provide skilled home health services and/or private duty custodial support. Skilled home health care is a regulated service and allows licensed agencies to provide nursing care, home health aides, and therapy. These agencies are usually certified by Medicare and/or Medicaid. Private duty agencies help clients with personal care (dressing, meals, bathing, etc.) and sometimes with household duties such as shopping, laundry and more.
HOME CARE SERVICES - HOW THEY ARE PAID
If a client is receiving skilled nursing and/or therapy services, Medicare (or their private health insurance) may pay for home health services on a short-term basis. Medicare requires the patient to be homebound and under the care of their physician. The agency must be Medicare certified. When clients are receiving private duty or homemaker services, private funds are typically the source of payment. Some area agencies on aging have funds that assist with payment, and long-term care insurance policies sometimes cover this as well.
HOW THEY ARE REGULATED
If a client is receiving care from a Medicare certified agency, they are regulated at both the state and the federal level. Licensing for private duty varies state-by-state, but most are not licensed by any regulatory agency. In addition, caregivers (aides) can be required to be certified and licensed. Non-medical caregivers are usually not required to be certified. Some states require background checks on all caregivers who work with the elderly.
WHERE CAN I FIND SENIOR HOME CARE?
Call 1-888-485-6212 to speak with a local care counselor.