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Types of Home Care for Seniors

Non Medical In-Home Care vs. Home Health

Daughter with Parents - Deciding Which Type of Home Care to Hire

If you're like most people, you'd prefer to stay at home rather than move to an assisted living facility, nursing home, or other facility. For some people, however, health care challenges can make staying at home difficult or impossible. That's where the benefits of non medical in-home care come in; having a professional and experienced home care provider can help you stay in your home longer to age in place as well as recover from a temporary illness or injury while staying at home.

If your doctor prescribes health care at home it may be covered by Medicare. However, home health aide services must be part of the care for your illness or injury. Medicare doesn't cover home health aide services unless you're also getting skilled care such as nursing care or other physical therapy, occupational therapy, or speech-language pathology services from the home health agency.

Medicare also doesn't cover services involved in activities of daily living (ADL's) such as cooking, housekeeping, help with intimate functions, and companionship in most cases. The types of home care for seniors vary considerably depending on the services you need and the company you are using.

Home Health Care services covered by Medicare:

Skilled Care. Skilled care is generally care provided by a nurse or doctor, and is appropriate for usually the most serious of illnesses and injuries. Services covered might include physical therapy, injections, wound care, and help with medical equipment, as well as administering of medication. This service may be covered by Medicare, depending on your situation and the expected duration of your need.

Home Health. Home health aides offer a wide variety of services. Some provide basic healthcare services, such as checking a patient's vital signs, administering medications, helping with some exercises, changing dressings for wounds, and in some cases helping a patient use prescribed medical equipment.

A home health aide might be a Certified Nursing Assistant, who has to undergo more in-depth training, or a personal care aide. The services of a home health aide may or may not be covered by Medicare, depending on your situation.

In Texas, home health agencies that provide home health care are regulated and are required to be registered at the state level. The regulating body is the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services. Most people get home health care by first getting a referral from their doctor; talk to your physician about your needs, and you will most likely be able to find an agency that works for you. 

The following non-medical in home care services are not covered by Medicare:

Personal Care.
These service providers offer help with Activities of Daily Living (ADL's) that usually veer toward the more intimate such as bathing, dressing, eating, using the restroom, and personal hygiene.

Homemaker Services. A housekeeper, sometimes referred to as a homemaker, provides services such as house cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking, and other functions around the house.

Companionship. Companions provide friendship and company to those who are housebound or otherwise unable to socialize. A companion might conduct regular social visits to a patient; read to them; take them on outings; or accompany them to visit friends and relatives.

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DISCLAIMER: Links to other websites or references to products, services or publications do not imply the endorsement or approval of such websites, products, services or publications by Elder Options of Texas. The determination of the need for senior care services and the choice of a facility is an extremely important decision. Please make your own independent investigation.