It’s rarely a time when people are in a ‘good place’ emotionally when they begin searching for in home health care services. In most cases, an emergency has arisen in which a loved one -be it a spouse, aging parent, or possibly even a sibling- needs care at home before the search for proper support begins.
Because of this, too many men and women simply don’t know where to turn and the questions they have can often feel a bit overwhelming. These questions often involve understanding the differences in services offered by home care providers, what an ‘independent’ caregiver is compared to one who works for an agency, and how much will Medicaid cover.
There are numerous challenges to overcome for some individuals before they fully realize that Medicaid does provide financial support for home care services, but only under specific conditions, including the individual’s ability to pay for these services themselves and whether a doctor has specifically recommended them.
As noted by PBS in its question and answer blog, My husband needs at-home health services. Where do I start? By Philip Moeller:
“Medicare does cover at-home care services if they are prescribed by a physician or other licensed caregiver. So, this would be your first step. Medicare does not cover so-called custodial care, so your husband must require medical care.
Medicare requires that people use only agencies it has licensed to provide this care. This would be your next step. Here is an online search tool to help you find an agency near you. If your husband has a Medicare Advantage plan, you should call the plan to see if it has a list of approved home health providers.
There have been reports that people have either been improperly denied this benefit or have had trouble finding a home health agency who will work with them. I would appreciate you letting me know your experience in this regard.”
Home care agencies and other organizations have been taking a more active role in helping to educate the general public, but there are also numerous opportunities for greater awareness being brought to the men and women who may need this level of support (or who have family who might need it) at some point in the future. Home care agencies and other providers can provide both information and resources while also marketing their services through workshops, clinics, and other public sources.
As people become more educated about aging care options, it will lead to less confusion, fewer poor choices, and an improvement in the quality of care for elderly and disabled during some of the most trying and emotionally difficult moments in their lives.