Home Care

80% of us get long-term care at home or in the community. Care at home comes in two forms: home care and home health care. Even though the two vary by just one word it is a huge difference. Home care is not trying to cure us or make us better.

Home care is just providing basic assistance with ADLs in order to keep a person alive. It is similar to the care we give kids when they are very young. Examples are: helping someone wash his or her hair, get dressed or get in or out of a bed or chair.

There are two types of home care: formal and informal. Formal home care is typically provided by someone from a company. Informal home care is provided by someone not from a company (examples: spouse, siblings, kids, neighbor etc.). Informal home care providers may receive pay for their services. Of note, most home care given in the U.S. is informal home care.

Home health care is assistance that is trying to cure us. A RN, LVN, occupational therapist or physical therapist making short visits to your home are examples of home health care assistance. A home health care visit does not involve help with doing laundry, cooking, cleaning or shopping, but assistance associated with medical purposes.

Most health insurance policies (and Medicare) provide very limited coverage for home health care and do not cover home care at all.

If home care is your plan you have to decide between hiring a home care agency to provide a caregiver or hiring someone yourself. There are key advantages to using an agency:

  • They screen their employees that are often bonded giving assurance to clients that the employee does not have a questionable background.
  • The agency handles all taxes.
  • The agency trains the caregivers and makes sure they are able to provide the needed care such as being able to lift a client properly.
  • If things do not work out with a particular caregiver the agency can find a replacement. Compare this to how unpleasant it might be to fire a friend or relative that you have hired as a caregiver.
  • Most people who need assistance would prefer not to have a family or friend see them in vulnerable situations (bathing, dressing etc.).

To find a home term care provider click here.