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What Services Home Health Care Usually Provide?
Depending on your needs, you may be able to get help with your personal
activities (for example, help with the laundry, bathing, dressing, cooking, and
cleaning) at home from family members, friends, or volunteers. If you think you
need home care, talk to your family to see if they can help with care or help
arrange for someone to come to your home to help.|
As part of long-term care, some
home care can only be
given by licensed health workers, such as if you need skilled nursing care and
certain other health care services that you get in your home for the treatment
of an illness or injury. Skilled nursing care includes services and care that
can only be performed safely and correctly by a licensed nurse (either a
registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse) or a licensed therapist.
Remember, Medicare only pays for home care if you meet certain conditions. For
more information, look at the Medicare booklet, Medicare and Home Health Care.
You can also hire a home health care agency for care in your home if Medicare
doesn't cover it. In this case, you will need to pay for this care on your own.
Home care costs can vary depending on where you live, the type of care you need,
and how often you need care. Usually home care is charged by the hour.
The following home health services may be available in your community:
- Skilled nursing care
- Homemaker/Health aides
Homemaker/health aides provide medical and personal care if you are
elderly or disabled living in your own home or a residential care facility.
Home health aides work under the supervision of a registered nurse, licensed
practical nurse, or therapist to provide health services. The home health
aide is required to record the services performed and your condition and
Personal and home health aides also called homemakers, caregivers,
companions, and personal attendants provide housekeeping and routine
personal care services. They clean clients houses, do laundry, and change
bed linens. Aides may plan meals (including special diets), shop for food,
and cook. Aides may also help clients move from bed, bathe, dress, and
groom. Some accompany clients outside the home, serving as a guide and
Medicare may pay for home health aide and homemaker services only if the
individual requires skilled nursing care or therapy. The individual must
also be homebound, have a plan of care that is prepared and signed by a
physician, and the services are performed by a Medicare-certified home
health care agency. Your state Medicaid program or Medicaid waiver program
may pay for home health aides and homemakers if you qualify. Private
long-term care insurance may also pay for health aide/homemaker services.
- Personal care aides
- Respite care
- Medical equipment
- Home repair and modification
Home modifications and repairs improve your safety, helps you perform
daily activities such as bathing, cooking, and climbing stairs as well as
maintain the value of your home.
Occupational and physical therapists are helpful in suggesting additional
ways to adapt your home for safety and accessibility. Medicare does not pay
home adaptations but does pay for some durable medical equipment. Medicaid
may pay for home modifications and medical equipment. Many state and local
governments have programs to provide loans and grants to help you pay for
If you have a terminal illness, hospice care may provide health and
personal care services for you. Hospice also provides assistance to
caregivers working in your home. Hospice staff will assess your health and
provide additional care or services with regular visits. Hospice staff is
on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week and focuses on supportive care and
pain relief during the last period of an individual s life. Hospice care may
also be provided in freestanding hospice centers, hospitals, nursing homes
and other long-term care facilities.
Medicare may compensate you for hospice care if a physician certifies that
the individual has less than six months to live if the disease runs its
normal course. Medicaid may pay for hospice care in some states. Many
private insurance plans, HMOs, and other managed care organizations will pay
for hospice care. Individuals can pay privately for hospice care if they do
not qualify for other funding.
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