In-home health care is an attractive alternative to live-in facilities for seniors who require assistance with daily activities. Many seniors would prefer to stay in their own home in familiar, comfortable surroundings as they age. But when it becomes more difficult to maintain an independent lifestyle, how do seniors choose an in-home health care option designed to cater to their specific needs?
What is In-Home Health Care?
There are different categories of in-home health care services tailored to the needs of the individual.
First, personal care services focus on helping with bathing, dressing, eating and all other basic tasks that must be carried out daily. Personal care service may be needed only during daytime hours, but in some cases it is necessary for assistance 24 hours a day.
Homemaker services involve assisting with grocery shopping, meal preparation, laundry and house cleaning.
Skilled care services employ a licensed medical professional to administer medication, tend to wounds and provide therapy for disabilities.
Advantages of In-Home Health Care
Professional home health care provides an ideal level of flexibility. Even when seniors begin to require a small level of assistance, they still may not be ready to give up their freedom and enter a facility. Seniors can adjust the amount of care they receive as they age.
Since they are able to stay within the confines of their home, seniors are not exposed to infections as frequently as in a facility. If seniors do become ill, they heal faster with less of a chance of relapse.
Live-in facilities maintain regulations on visiting hours. When seniors stay home, it is easier to coordinate visits with family and friends.
Insurance Coverage Limitations
Home health care costs can rise quickly, depending on the extent of the patient’s needs. Medicare Part A and Part B cover skilled care services when ordered by a doctor. The doctor must certify that the patient is homebound and that they require regular nursing or therapeutic care due to a medical condition. The home health care agency providing the care must have Medicare certification and the services must be under ongoing supervision by the patient’s doctor.
Medicare does not subsidize personal care or homemaking services. It also does not subsidize 24-hour assistance. However, many private insurance plans can fill in the gaps where Medicare falls short. If you are reaching a life stage where in-home health care is necessary, talk to a specialist at My Senior Health Plan to investigate the many comprehensive long-term care insurance plans that may be a perfect fit for you.