Home care is an arrangement for providing personal or health care services for an individual in the comfort of their home. In the case of senior citizens, it helps them stay in the familiar comfort of their home rather than entering a long term care facility. Often the task for home care falls on a spouse or another family member. This can become stressful and exhausting for caregivers, and there are other options available.
Seniors living independently in their own homes, or residing with family, can access additional supportive care and assistance when necessary by using home care services . Home health services and home care services can provide custodial care, which is also termed skilled care, or supportive care, which is known as unskilled.
Unskilled Home Care
Unskilled home care services consist of non-medical support services offering assistance with the activities of daily living, such as dressing, meal preparation, bathing, shopping, cleaning and transportation. These services can be for the short term following an illness or to relieve the burden of the primary caregiver, as well as for a long term, full-time basis.
Skilled Home Care
Skilled services are normally medical related services offered by home health agencies for nursing care, physical therapy, respiratory therapy, hospice care and medication administration. The skilled workers work under the guidance of a specific care plan and are supervised by a nurse or therapist. The care plans are normally specific treatments ordered by a physician. A certified home health aide may also overlap duties by providing unskilled services for a short time as well.
Certified home health care agencies provide skilled home care workers and are regulated by the State of New York to ensure they comply with federally established standards. Referrals to these agencies may come from physicians, hospital discharge personnel or the patient or family can look for them via the internet or phone book. Services provided by skilled workers can be reimbursable in certain situations by Medicaid, Medicare and some health insurance plans.
Planning for the expenses of home care is part of the estate planning process. These issues can be addressed by an attorney with experience in Medicaid planning and estate planning as they have the knowledge and experience to address elder care issues.