Is In-Home Care the Best Option for You?
Increasingly more people are choosing to stay in their homes as they age. It’s a logical move – stay in your home where you’re comfortable and familiar with your surroundings. However, the new influx of seniors who are staying at home instead of transitioning into care facilities is posing a bit of a challenge. If you need help, who’s going to help you? You may not need the help of assisted living, but you do need some level of help. That’s why in-home care is now becoming more popular, offering an alternative to more traditional types of senior care. Search online to learn more about in-home care for seniors.
In-home care is ideal for any older individual who needs a bit of help. Whether you need help with a few activities around the house or want someone with you 24/7, in-home care can be the perfect solution. If you’re wondering whether this type of care is right for you, search online to discover your in-home care options.
What is In-Home Care?
In-home care, which is also called home care, is everyday care that occurs in a senior’s home. You decide how much care you’d like – whether you need help every day or a few days a week, for a few hours or both day and night. Then, a home care professional (or aide) comes to your residence to offer their help.
In-home care can offer a wealth of benefits for seniors. A home care professional can help you prepare meals for the week, assist with your daily activities, or even help you pay bills and manage your home. Here are just some of the ways in-home care can offer assistance:
- Meal preparation or delivery.
- Transportation, such as to appointments.
- Assistance with dressing, bathing, and grooming.
- Companionship, such as performing in-home activities together.
- Managing bills and finances.
Home care professionals are not medical professionals. They’re trained in senior care, but they aren’t licensed to provide medical services. So, while they can help you remember to take your medications, for example, they cannot provide any medical care.
Many seniors can benefit from in-home care. If you need help with daily activities, are active but need transportation, or simply need some companionship and a bit of help cooking and cleaning, an in-home care aide could be the perfect choice for you.
Types of Home Care
While home care can cover many different facets of senior living, there are different types of in-home care to choose from. Some are broader and some are more specialized. And the type of care that’s best for you will depend on your biggest needs.
The following are the most common types of in-home care.
Companion care is best for seniors who are still living independently. If you don’t need very much assistance but feel isolated or lonely, companion care can offer you a combination of companionship and light assistance. It’s really more of a form of social support than physical or task-based care.
Opt for companion care, and an in-home care aide will come spend time with you at set times. The aide might read to you, play games with you, or engage in physical activities like taking walks. They can help you participate in your favorite hobbies or even join in alongside you. If needed, your companion care aide may be able to provide transportation too.
Personal care is a great choice for seniors who need a bit more help. Designed for seniors who may struggle with everyday activities, personal care will have you covered when it comes to tasks like grocery shopping, getting around the house, and even performing daily tasks like getting dressed, using the bathroom, and grooming. A personal care aide comes to your home to assist you, making sure you are taken care of as you go about your day.
While a personal care aide won’t be able to offer any medical care, they can help manage your medications. They can also help you stay on schedule with taking any required medications and may be able to offer mobility support if needed. This type of in-home care is best for seniors who have certain tasks they cannot complete on their own.
Home Health Care
Home health care is a more specialized type of in-home care. A home health care aide carries certification and can provide medical assistance. This means that home health care includes medical services, like injections or infusions, injury or surgery recovery, physical therapy, or even wound care. This type of care is typically recommended by a doctor – it may even be prescribed by a doctor with a written order.
Keep in mind that home health care isn’t the same as skilled nursing care. Home health care aides are trained and certified, but specialized certifications are needed in order to be able to administer skilled nursing care at a client’s home. While some in-home health care aides may have these certifications, it’s important to note this before hiring anyone.
Financing Home Care
One of the biggest challenges seniors face in choosing to accept in-home care is the cost. It’s no secret that elder care in general is very expensive. And, depending on how much care you need, it could come at a significant cost.
Most in-home care is paid for via private pay. This means that seniors or their families simply pay for the care out of pocket. Using retirement savings like investments is one option; some seniors will use annuities. It’s also possible to pay for in-home care with life insurance policies that offer cash value or an accelerated death benefit. Seniors can also borrow money via a reverse mortgage or home equity loan.
However, there are different ways to cover the costs of in-home care. There are options, options that can reduce your out-of-pocket costs while still allowing you to get the care you need. You can try the following payment alternatives if you need a more affordable way to pay for in-home care.
Some in-home care options are partially funded or covered by the federal government. You can search the federal government’s Eldercare Locator database online to find your local Area Agency on Aging. These offices can help seniors in need of in-home care find services and options that are covered by services like Medicaid and Medicare.
You can also check your Medicare coverage to see if some of the cost of in-home care might be covered. Original Medicare may cover the full cost of home health care if it’s deemed medically necessary. However, this is typically quite limited in scope and only for those who cannot leave home – or for those whose doctors order it. Medicare Advantage plans will differ, and they may offer more coverage and benefits.
Medicaid may also cover some in-home care services, but you’ll need to qualify for Medicaid in order to access these benefits.
If you’re a veteran, you may qualify for one of the VA programs available to help pay for the cost of at-home care. These include Aid and Attendance benefits, Housebound benefits, Veteran Directed Care, and Homemaker and Home Health Aide Care. In order to find out how much of the cost of in-home care is covered and whether your type of care is included, contact your local VA benefits office.
PACE – Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly – is a growing Medicare and Medicaid initiative. It’s designed to help keep seniors out of nursing homes, and it works with more than 100 organizations in 31 states. It can cover in-home care as well as many other senior needs, and it can even offer support and training for family caregivers. You’ll need to apply for PACE and work with a local PACE organization in order to take advantage of this program.
Make sure to search online to discover the right financial options for your needs. Your choices can vary depending on the type of programs you qualify for or the type of in-home care you’d like to use. If you search online, you can compare all of your available options with ease.