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In home care constitutes health care to patients in their own home, and is generally given by either health care professionals or family and friends. There are varying degrees of in home care. “Home care” usually suggests that the caregiver is offering non-medical services, such as transportation services or daily needs assistance. Whereas “home health care” usually means that licensed health professionals are administering the care.

What is Home Health Care?

The amount of assistance and services provided in home health care is dependent upon the needs of the individual. It can include assistance with daily living needs such as bathing, dressing, housekeeping, and cooking. Special provisions can be provided, such as transportation, running errands, exercise or walking companionship, and bathroom assistance. Home health care could also include rehabilitation programs, with visits from physical therapists and/or nurses, as well as visits from respiratory nurses, occupational nurses, social workers, mental health workers and physicians.

Who Pays for Home Health Care?

This will depend upon the individual situation, but there are several sources of payment. If able, the individual or family of course could pay for these services. But there are additional resources available. Medicare and Medicaid and employer-sponsored health insurance plans are often options for home care payment. Medicare is usually for shorter term needs, they generally will not assist for long term home health care. Whereas, Medicaid is more likely to assist in paying for home health care, especially for low-income families with little to no assets. Employer-sponsored home health care is also likely to be on a short-term basis unless the insurance plan was bought for that specific purpose. In many cases, the family is responsible for paying for this home health care.

When to Choose Home Health Care Rather Than Assisted Living

Assisted living facilities do offer some features that an elderly person may enjoy. It depends upon the individual. In addition to aiding in daily tasks, there is a socialization benefit to assisted living facilities. Most of these homes offer outings, trips to stores, the movies, and other social activities. If the individual is very social, doesn’t have these social opportunities at home, then an assisted living facility may be a good option. However, many elderly patients would choose home health care, if cost and other factors were acceptable. They would prefer the independence and privacy that staying in their home affords.

Depending upon the needs of the individual home health care costs can equal or surpass that of an assisted living facility or nursing home. That is why at Ryan’s Caring Hands, we offer several care options for everyone. We work with you to assess your care needs, then offer the best plan to fit those needs and your budget. We also will help you in accessing all the resources available to you in paying for these home care services.

Seniors who are in relatively good health and can easily get around are perfect candidates for home health care. They may only need occasional assistance with doctor appointments, some general housekeeping help, help with meals, etc. But also, as needs increase, home health care remains an option. Even full-time care is available. As previously mentioned, we will work with you to determine the best care option for your situation. All our workers are screened and highly trained to provide the best care for your needs.

More on home health care in Northern Virginia