What kind of caregiver services can I find in my community?

There are many kinds of community care services such as:

  • Transportation

  • Meals

  • Adult day care

  • Home care

  • Cleaning and yard work services

  • Home modification

  • Senior centers

  • Hospice care

  • Support groups

  • Legal and financial counseling

What kind of home care is available?

There are two kinds of home care: home health care and non-medical home care services. Both types help sick and disabled people live independently in their homes for as long as possible. Caregivers and doctors decide what services are necessary and most helpful.

Home health care includes health-related services such as:

  • Medicine assistance

  • Nursing services

  • Physical therapy

Non-medical home care services include:

  • Housekeeping

  • Cooking

  • Companionship

How will I pay for home health care?

Medicare, Medicaid and some private insurance companies will cover the cost of limited home care. Coverage varies from state to state. Other times, you will have to pay out of pocket for these services.

The cost of home care depends on what types of services are used. Non-medical workers like housekeepers are much less expensive than nurses or physical therapists. Also, some home care agencies are cheaper than others.

Who is eligible for Medicare home health care services?

To get Medicare home health care, a person must meet all of the following four conditions:

  • A doctor must decide that the person needs medical care in the home and make a plan for care at home.

  • The person must need at least one of the following: sporadic (and not full time) skilled nursing care, physical therapy, speech language pathology services, or continue to need occupational therapy.

  • The person must be homebound. This means that he or she is normally unable to leave home. When the person leaves home, it must be infrequent, for a short time, or to get medical care, or to attend religious services.

  • The home health agency caring for the person must be approved by the Medicare program.

To find out if a person is eligible for Medicare home health care services, call the Regional Home Health Intermediary at 1-800-MEDICARE or visit the Medicare Web site at: and select "Helpful Contacts."

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