5 Things You Should Know About Homecare

1. There are two types of home care agencies.
The types of services and caregivers providing them, and subsequent payment options are essentially determined by whether skilled or non-medical care is needed. Home Care is basically divided into two primary types of agencies: medical home health agencies that provide skilled care and non-medical home care agencies.

The medical home health care agency provides skilled services when ordered by a physician such as skilled nursing, physical and occupational therapy, speech therapy and social work. These agencies are licensed by the state and accept 3rd party reimbursement from Medicare, Medicaid, and other private health insurances.

The non-medical home care agency provides supportive services that aide in activities of daily living (ADLs), homemakers, and companions. These services usually include help with bathing, toileting, fall prevention, light housekeeping, companionship and transportation. It is important to note that personal care services such as bathing, dressing and meal preparation are what is needed most and therefore must be paid for out of pocket.

2. Homecare can provide respite for family caregivers.
Many people are lucky enough to have family members that care for them when their health prevents them from caring for themselves. These family caregivers are at risk of burning out and neglecting their own health. No matter how much you love the person you are caring for, you need regular breaks from caregiving. If you won’t do it for yourself, then do it for the person you are caring for. A respite will allow you to return to caregiving refreshed and energized. A respite could be just a day off for you to work on your own personal errands, or it could be several days away from it all. You can rest easy knowing a professional caregiver is with your loved one.

3. Hire a reputable agency.
The price of a trained person with a manager in charge of the worker is worth it. Good agencies background check, screen and interview their workers well and save you that burden. Make sure to choose an agency that directly employs their caregiving staff. Some agencies use independent contractors to save money and offer lower hourly rates. This puts the responsibility on you for taxes, insurance, and workers’ compensation. Another plus of hiring a good homecare agency is that you have backup coverage if your main caregiver is sick or on vacation.

4. Homecare partners with Hospice
Because hospice does not provide round-the-clock care in the home, we rely on family and professional caregivers to assist us with helping fulfill a patient’s daily needs and tracking progress or decline.

5. Medical Insurance doesn’t cover Homecare.
Homecare (non-medical) is not covered by medical insurance. Typically, clients will pay privately for these services. If you have long term care insurance, you may have coverage for homecare included but you should call to find out if there is a limit and what exactly is covered.

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