There are times when you or your loved one may need home care services on a temporary basis. One of those most common times is after a hospitalization, when he or she is deconditioned and weak from the injury or illness they have experienced and the time they have spent mostly or entirely immobile. There is often confusion about what services Medicare will may for in this situation. Medicare will pay for the therapies, in home nursing care and even medical social work if needed.

In our blog post from last march, we explored the option of returning home following a hospital stay versus going to a short term rehabilitation and nursing center. Regardless of which choice is best for the individual, sometimes elderly individuals will still need help when they do return home, in terms of custodial care. This can mean assistance with activities of daily living (like bathing, dressing, ambulation, toileting and eating) and instrumental activities of daily living (household tasks like laundry, cooking, cleaning and managing medications). In home care can meet these needs and everything in between while enabling clients to focus on their therapies and recuperate faster.

Can I Use Home Care Short Term?

Many people do not know what kind of care or how much care they will need when they return home. The good news is that home care services can be scaled up or dialed back as they adjust back to their home setting, or their condition changes. It also does not have to be a long term commitment. Home care can be provided with a variety of time frames in mind, limited or unlimited. Home care is a favorable temporary solution for many as opposed to altering their living environment completely for a short time.

Some home care companies, like Allegiance Aging Care Services, have developed special short-term home care packages designed with the transition from hospital or rehab center to home in mind. Allegiance’s Extended Care Program Allegiance’s Extended Care encompasses either hourly or live in home care provided by a qualified & compassionate Care Professional, and house calls by Physicians and Nurse Practitioners. Some services included are:

  • Provide or assist with transportation home
  • Unpacking, laundry, grocery list, etc.
  • Monitor Vitals
  • Light housekeeping and meal preparation
  • Physician or NP to visit within 48 hours of discharge
  • Full medication reconciliation
  • Build an enhanced care plan for ongoing care
  • Assist with medication administration

How do I arrange short term care?

Often times the hospital or rehab center will recommend and arrange skilled home health services. If custodial home care is identified as being a need prior to discharge, they may also assist with the location and arrangement of those services. They may provide a list of companies they have vetted, or they may recommend the family contact a geriatric care manager or the local area agency on aging for assistance with this process. It is always better to arrange for short term services in advance, instead of waiting until going home to “see how it goes”. Waiting can lead to a disastrous situation when an individual finds out he or she cannot manage on her own.

It is important to do your own research, ask for personal referrals and find out specifically how the company plans to manage your loved one’s needs in the home before signing up with any home care agency. Depending on your state, you may also want to verify the licensing and credentialing of the agency with the department or health or human services.

About the Author: Pam Reynolds, CMC is the President and co-owner of Allegiance Aging Care Services. Pam has spent almost fifteen years working in senior care including long term care facilities and home health care. Her higher education is in Social Work, and she has been credentialed as both a certified Geriatric Care Manager and Licensed Assisted Living Administrator. Read more about Pam and her team of Aging Care Professionals here



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