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Helping seniors stay at home to 'age in place' is the wish for most. And with non medical in-home care, seniors and those with special needs, are able to remain in their homes longer vs. moving to a care facility. Many seniors could benefit by hiring a caregiver to assist them with home care services in their home.

What is Non Medical In-Home Care?

Senior home care, also referred to as non medical in-home care, is designed to help people with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) such as dressing, bathing, and meal preparation so they can continue to live in the comfort of home...things like laundry, light housekeeping, and bathing, so that you can focus on being a family rather than a caretaker.

activities of daily living.

Home care can include both professional and informal support networks such as family, neighbors, and friends. These individuals work together to meet your family’s needs. Non-medical home care in particular means that caregivers do not handle skilled care like administering shots or tending wounds. Non medical in-home care can also include: homemaker services (such as light housekeeping), companionship, card playing, taking walks, or simply reminiscing.

In-home care can provided much needed caregiver respite relief for family caregivers, transportation to the doctors, medication reminders, activities and more may also provided offering the caregiver with a much needed break.

If a patient needs only "non medical" home care and assistance (also known as custodial care), such as help with eating, dressing, walking, meal preparation, and housekeeping, Medicare does not cover it.

REMINDER: Medicare DOES NOT Cover the Following:

  • Personal care (custodial care) such as bathing, dressing, and other activities of daily living (ADL's).
  • Homemaker services such as cleaning, laundry, shopping and preparing meals.
  • 24-hour-a-day care.
  • Home-delivered meals

Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) may cover care in a certified skilled nursing facility (SNF) if it's medically necessary for you to have skilled nursing care (like changing sterile dressings). However, most nursing home care is custodial care, like help with bathing or dressing. Medicare doesn't cover custodial care when it's the only kind of care you need.

Trained and experienced caregivers can provide in home care wherever ‘home is’ including a personal residence, assisted living facility, nursing home or hospital. Most offer specialized training in caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s as well as Hospice.

The following 3 min. video is a MUST SEE to help understand how valuable non medical in home care is to senior who want to remain in their home and as independent as possible.

According to the “Cost of Care Survey”, an annual report by Genworth, home care costs less than other options like adult day care, assisted living and skilled nursing. In fact, the national average cost of home care per hour ranges between only $10 to $36. Genworth also reports that the cost of home care services only increased by 1% during the past five years.

By comparison, the average resident at an assisted living community pays $3,450 per month. Nursing homes can cost up to $948 per day. In the past five years, the costs for assisted living and skilled nursing have risen by 4%. Medicare doesn't cover home care.

Resources and Options to Help You Pay for Non Medical In-Home Care

Long-Term Care Insurance

The first step in planning for your loved one’s home care needs is to determine if he or she has a Long-Term Care Insurance plan. Since individuals who require non-medical home care are not sick in the traditional sense, traditional health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid do not provide for their needs. Having a Long-Term Care Insurance policy in place prior to any major changes in the health and mobility of your loved one guarantees that they will have complete home care coverage assistance available if and when they need it.

Veteran’s Benefits

The Veteran Aid & Attendance Pension program offers families and individuals an additional method of meeting home care costs. For qualifying service members and their spouses, the A&A Pension provides up to $1,632 per month to a veteran, $1,055 per month to a surviving spouse, or $1,949 per month to a couple.* Whether or not you or your family member qualifies for the A&A program, the VA allows households to deduct the annual cost of paying for in-home care when calculating their regular pension benefit. This annual cost is then used to calculate the benefit based on a new “countable income” and allows families earning more than the pension benefit to receive a disability income from the VA. This income can be a welcome supplement for families struggling to provide home-based eldercare for their loved ones.

Asset Conversion

There are a number of options available to families with non-liquid assets that allow them to convert those assets to help cover things like home care expenses. Reverse mortgages, home equity lines of credit, Rex Agreements and Equity Key are real estate-based asset conversion programs that provide seniors with financial solutions to their long-term home care needs. In addition to these programs, death benefit loans, life settlements, life care assurance benefits and viatical settlements offer seniors a variety of methods for converting their life insurance policies to pay for home care as well.

Medicaid Programs

Sometimes referred to as “nursing home diversion” programs, there are a number of state-specific initiatives designed to help keep seniors who qualify for Medicaid out of nursing homes and living comfortably in their own homes. These programs will help to cover the cost of home care in cases where that care can be provided at an expense below that of a nursing home.

Tax Credits and Cost of Care Reductions

There are a variety of state and federal programs, initiatives and tax credits that can significantly lower your family’s tax burden effectively reducing the overall cost of care. Research the following options to find out if your family member qualifies: Alzheimer’s Respite Care, Elderly and Disabled Tax Credit, Federal Elderly Care Tax Credit, LIHEAP – Aid for Energy Costs, Medical Expense Tax Deductions, NFCSP Respite Care, State Elderly Care Tax Credit, Veteran’s Administration Respite Care.

Savings & Pensions

Most non-medical care is paid privately via savings or long-term care insurance. In addition to Social Security benefits and private pensions, drawing on savings is very often the most immediate means of covering the expense of in-home care. Since most assistance programs determine eligibility based on an individual’s resources, the amount of monetary assistance available is reduced based on an individual’s resources. As those resources diminish, the amount of care assistance options increases dramatically.

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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.

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