Are you considering home health? You may find that you Medicare doesn’t cover you. Medicare will cover home health if you are home-bound, being treated by a physician with a documented care plan and require intermittent care for a finite amount of time. If you qualify, you’ll be treated by a registered nurse, physical therapist, or occupational therapist.
Take note however, that Medicare will not cover daily activities such as bathing, dressing, eating or toileting. Medicare will also not cover transportation to appointments, cooking and housekeeping. So what can you do to ensure that you get home health help and stay in your own home for longer?
Ask your Family to Help
You can rely on family or friends. Years ago, unpaid care from family or close friends was the norm. But things have changed. In many cases, the family caregiver may not be able to manage the stress. Caregiver burnout is a common phenomenon among family caregivers.This happens because the family member isn’t a trained carer. It especially happens when the need for care is long-term.
Hire an Independent Caregiver
One way to stay at home is to pay someone by the hour. Your paid companion can come in and help you with the daily life activities that aren’t covered by Medicare or other health insurance policies.
Hire a home care or personal care agency
A second option is to find a home care agency. Finding good help isn’t easy and rates for an agency can be 20-30 percent more than an individual caregiver. But using a reputable in-home care service provider is probably your answer. Home care agencies will give you the option to choose between skilled and private duty health care. Private-pay home health providers come directly to your house to help you with many tasks. Your helper will take you to appointments and go shopping with you, help you prepare meals, and even help you with personal grooming.
Levels of Care for Private-Pay Home Health
Depending on your needs, you will want to choose between the different levels of home health care. There are several levels of care for private-pay home health. Here are the two main ones:
- Skilled care professional This is a licensed practical nurse or registered nurse. This professional can perform duties such as managing medication.
- Homemaker companion A homemaker companion is usually only allowed to do things like provide social companionship or help you with errands like shopping and cooking.
Worried about Loss of Independence?
Many seniors are worried that home care will reduce their independence. But it’s quite the opposite. When you have someone on hand who can help you get out of the house, you’ll be more willing to go on outings. Becoming more socially active, can impact you positively. Not only will your moods benefit, but you may find that your physical health improves too.