When people mention home care, it is unlikely they realize how broad that statement really is. When people refer to Home Care they are talking about care provided in the home. Home Care can also referred to as “home health care” or “in-home care”. There is no strict definition of what these terms mean or whether they are referring to private pay services or not. It is also not clear if they are referring to skilled or unskilled services.
There are primarily two kinds of home care – skilled and unskilled. The term “Home Health Care” is usually used to describe skilled care whereas “Home Care” refers to non-medical care. Within these definitions there are many levels and types of care that are provided by a whole range of skilled or semi or unskilled people.
The help that one receives can come from multiple sources. The help can also be paid for in different ways. It all depends on what kind of care is needed. If one is eligible, one can receive care that is paid for through Medicare or Medicaid. The caregivers that provide this care will come through an agency. The agency will pay for the caregiver and be reimbursed through Medicare or Medicaid. Caregivers can also be paid for privately or “out of pocket”. These caregivers can be hired privately or come from some kind of agency. Long term care insurance can also be used to pay for these caregivers depending on the policy.
What is listed below is a general sense of what care is available.
At the most basic level of care is what is commonly known as Homemaker or Companion Care. This service generally involves meal preparation and laundry, companionship, accompanying to doctors appointments etc. Many seniors use these services to allow them to remain in their home safely and healthily. This service is also very useful in the post-hospitalization recovery process.
The next level up in care is Non Medical Home Care. This care can involve more “hands on” care by a more skilled caregiver. It is preferable that the caregiver have experience and is licensed as Certified Nursing Assistant The caregivers usually have This care can include help with bathing, dressing etc. Commonly known as “activities of daily living” or ADL’s – the things a person does to take care of themselves. If someone needs help with their ADL’s then they usually have to make a choice. They can go to a facility or they can remain at home with help. The great majority of people would prefer to remain in their own homes rather than moving to a facility.
The next level up includes services that can be termed invasive or clinical care. These are skilled services provided by a skilled technician who is licensed to provide these types of services. These services are more likely to be covered through Medicare and the caregivers will most likely be coming from an agency. These include such services such as a Registered nurse would provide. The patient can also receive other types of therapies including occupational or physical therapy etc.