According to a report by the Pew Research Center, 12 million Americans over the age of 65 live alone. Sixty-one percent of older adults say they would rather age in their own homes with help from a caregiver than move to an assisted living facility, move in with family or go to a nursing home. Applying for in-home care can be confusing, making sure you know how can help the process.
For many people, the idea of spending their golden years in their own homes is an appealing one as it is often full of great memories, not to mention a lifetime of belongings. This deep familiarity with one’s surroundings can be especially comforting to people as age-related memory issues start to take effect.
When elderly or sick people start to struggle with performing daily tasks and taking care of their health, in-home care can be a great help. In some cases, it can even prevent people from having to move to residential care facilities.
In-home caregivers are usually nursing assistants who have the training and experience needed to help people with all aspects of care, including activities of daily living. They can help people maintain their independence while assisting with tasks that are important for their physical health and mental well-being. Tasks often include taking medication, monitoring vital signs, eating, bathing, dressing, hygiene, toileting and transportation to medical appointments and other errands.
Applying For In-Home Care
The specific process for applying for in-home care depends on a variety of factors, such as the type of Medicaid or Medicare coverage needed, whether or not a person is covered by a private insurance plan and the individual’s specific needs.
However, the process generally entails three main steps: ensuring eligibility based on insurance coverage and need, getting a referral from a medical professional and determining which services are required.
Outlined below is a closer look at the general steps in applying for in-home care.
Meet All Eligibility Requirements
Before applying for in-home care, it is important to check the eligibility requirements. These can vary depending on the program and the source of funding.
For example, Medicare will cover home health care services for elderly people who need medical assistance following an illness or injury, and it may enable them to get needed care for free. The in-home care provider must be approved by Medicaid or Medicare for the application to be successful.
Individuals should check with the in-home care provider they are considering to determine which costs will be covered by Medicare. For example, some patients might be responsible for a small percentage of durable medical equipment costs, but others may not have to pay any of it. Services such as psychical therapy, occupational therapy, social services, medical supplies and speech-language pathology might also be covered.
Other programs are available to people without Medicaid. For example, the In Home-Aide Services (IHAS) program helps elderly or disabled Maryland residents get help with personal care tasks, such as bathing, dressing, eating, and household chores, such as cooking, light cleaning, shopping and laundry. These programs allow adults to continue living at home and avoid prematurely moving to a nursing home or other out-of-home location. The programs are managed by the social services department of the county in which the patient resides.
This program does not have a fixed financial eligibility requirement, although the applicant’s financial position is a consideration when calculating their prioritization and the cost of services. A sliding scale is used to charge individuals based on their household size and income. They are also assigned a score based on their need. This means that even though they may meet eligibility requirements, service is not guaranteed as those who are at risk of being neglected, abused or placed in a nursing home facility, and those who do not presently have a caregiver will be given priority.
With this program, a person’s benefits and services will be based on their level of need as determined by a caseworker. In addition to daily living activities assistance, aides can provide self-care training.
Complete A Health Care Certification
It is necessary to demonstrate that an individual genuinely needs in-home care during the application process. Medical professionals will have to verify that the patient who is applying for in-home care is officially homebound, which means they have difficulty leaving their home or cannot leave without help. This is often the result of an illness or injury.
The doctor will also certify that the patient needs intermittent care from a skilled nurse for tasks such as getting physical exercise as a part of a plan of recovery or administering medication. It is important to note, however, that Medicare will not cover long-term custodial care such as house cleaning and meal delivery. However, many in-home care providers do offer these services, so applicants need to factor in the costs of any desired services that will not be covered by their insurance.
The wait for approval on in-home care can vary depending on the program and volume of applicants. Once they have been approved, patients can start receiving services in their home.
One of the first steps to take place after approval is developing a clearer idea of a patient’s needs. A primary care physician and other medical professionals can work together with in-home care providers to determine what type of care is appropriate. Care plans are tailored to meet the needs of each patient to minimize their discomfort and ensure they are getting the proper treatment, monitoring and attention.
The in-home care provider can offer an in-depth explanation of which services will be covered by a particular type of insurance and which ones the patient will be responsible for covering.
Work With The Premier In-Home Care Providers
Getting older does not have to mean giving up one’s independence. If your loved one is starting to struggle with certain aspects of care but does not require round-the-clock assistance, get in touch with the premier in-home care providers at Comfort Home Care. Their friendly team can ensure your loved ones can continue to live safely, happily and comfortably in their own home as they get older.