There are many options for elder home care available to you and your loved ones here in Northern Virginia. If you have started thinking about senior home health care, you may be feeling overwhelmed with your choices. What do you need? Which should you choose? The type of care that is best for you will depend on your specific situation, and may vary as your needs change. However, knowing your different elder home care options and how to pay for them will help you and your loved ones plan for the future.

Home Health Care

What is it?

While home health care is officially the umbrella term for all types of in home care services available to seniors, most often it is the term used for “Skilled” or “Medical” Home Health Services. Generally speaking when someone is getting services such as skilled nursing, Physical, Occupational or Speech Therapy, in their home it is referred to as Home Health. These services are initiated based on medical need, require a physician order, and are intermittent or temporary in nature.

How do I pay for it?

With a doctor’s order and a qualified need, Skilled Home Health Care is covered by Medicare and most other insurance providers. Medicare Part A pays for Skilled Home Health Services provided in the home, while Medicare Part B pays for outpatient therapy in a clinic.

Non-Medical In-Home Care

What is it?

While still technically falling under the category of elder home health care, non-medical in-home care is less medical in nature than skilled home health services. It is designed to help people with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), such as dressing and bathing, and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs), such as laundry, light housekeeping and meal preparation. The goal of in-home care is to help seniors continue living in the comfort of their own home as they get older. Non-medical home care companies, such as Allegiance Home Care, employ caregivers who go to the client’s home and provide these services.

How do I pay for it?

Most Non-Medical In Home Care is paid for privately by the client. However, a client may be able to use their long term care insurance to pay for all or some of their home care. In some states, Medicaid also has a program to assist clients that are unable to pay with access to this type of service. The price range for non medical in home care varies widely depending on the type of services requested, the geographical location, and the qualifications and certifications of the caregiver. National averages range from $21-$36/hour.

Hospice Care

What is it?

Hospice care is designed for individuals during the final phases of life. It focuses on enabling patients to be comfortable, alert and enjoy a better quality of life while dealing with terminal illness. In addition to focusing on the physical health and comfort of a patient, hospice care also focuses on the emotional needs and spiritual well-being of the patients and their loved ones. Hospice care usually takes place in the comfort of an individual’s home, but there are also residential care facilities where patients can go to receive hospice services.  Hospice care providers also provide bereavement services and ongoing support to the patient’s family after the patient has passed away.

How do I pay for it?

Most hospice patients have their costs covered by Medicare Part A. Medicaid also provides coverage for hospice services that are very similar to those covered by Medicare.

Confused about which type of elder care is right for you and your loved ones? Allegiance Home Care is here to help! If you live in Northern Virginia and are considering in-home elder care, please contact us today for guidance on how to begin the process. 

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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