Many think that home health and home care are the same, and they are not. One deals with health, while the other deals with care. Medical insurance covers home health but does not cover home care, which is an out-of-pocket expense. Individuals with a Long Term Care (LTC) or some life insurance policies may help cover home care costs. Speak with a licensed insurance broker/agent for details.
What is home care?
It’s bringing in a professional caregiver or having a family member or friend help with someone’s care or activities so the person can remain independent and live at home. Though it may seem related to medical because the person’s medical condition is why they cannot care for themselves, it is different. Caregivers’ work is non-medical because they provide companionship or help with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) or Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs).
What are Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)?
Ambulating – helping an individual to move from one position to another or help walk independently.
Feeding – Assist with feeding a person.
Dressing – Aid with selecting appropriate clothing and either supervising or assisting with dressing.
Personal hygiene – Assist with bathing, grooming, dental hygiene, nail, and hair care.
Continence – Aid a person with bladder or bowel issues, including clean-up.
Toileting – Help an individual to and from the toilet, using it appropriately and cleaning up.
What are Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs)?
Transportation and shopping – Help with shopping, including means of transportation via driving themselves or having someone drive them.
Managing finances – Assist with bill pay and managing financial assets.
Shopping and meal preparation – Assist with grocery shopping, meal preparations, and anything to ensure the person eats the right foods daily.
Housecleaning and home maintenance – Clean the kitchen after meals, including properly putting food away and dishes, light housekeeping, and maintaining and managing home maintenance.
Managing communication with others – Assist with phone calls and mail.
Medication management – manage medications so the person is taking them as prescribed.
What is home health?
It is a service prescribed by a person’s primary care physician (PCP) to help them reach their medical goals. Doctors will prescribe this for individuals considered home-bound but still need medical treatment. Some hospital patients, when released, are prescribed home health. The doctor will request a medical professional come to a person’s house for one of the following treatments:
Registered nurse (RN) to monitor or assist with wound care.
Home health aide
A social worker who provides resources for a patient
Home health continues for the duration of the doctor’s orders. Qualified individuals must be recertified every 60 days by the person’s PCP. When a person receives home health, the goal is to reach their maximum goal, but if the patient plateaus, they are considered to have met their limit, and services may discontinue.
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