If you are aging and unsure about your options for in-home care as you get older, this article is for you. We’ll also cover the pros and cons of hiring help through an agency and doing it yourself.
The most important thing to understand is the basics. If you are a home-bound individual or have a home-bound loved one, there are two types of care available: home care services and home health services.
Home health covers things such as:
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
- Skilled nursing services
- Medication management
- Medical social work services
Home health services must be ordered by your doctor because they are all medical services. These home health services are often covered by insurance companies, certain Parts of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Veterans Health Administration. But you will have to check with your specific company or service to see what will be covered for you.
Home care is designed to help home-bound individuals with things like:
- Meal preparation
- Light housekeeping
- Some household chores
- Other general daily activities
As you can see, home care is a service that doesn’t deal with medical issues. It’s crucial to understand that Medicare does not cover this kind of service if the individual does not require them. There are certain circumstances though where an individual may need these services. If that is the case and the individual meets certain income and asset requirements, it is possible that Medicare and other insurances will cover this kind of care. Again, you will have to check with your specific coverage to see if this is an option.
There are generally two options when it comes to home care: you can find a caregiver through an agency, or you can hire someone yourself.
The benefits of getting a caregiver through an agency are that the agency will handle all hiring, firing, and taxes. They also provide mediation in the case of disputes and can provide substitutes if your caregivers are sick. The downside of agencies is that you may not have the same caregiver all the time, and they are usually more expensive than hiring your own help.
Hiring a caregiver yourself can be a good choice because you can form a strong bond with your caregiver, and it is generally cheaper than hiring through an agency. The downsides are that you may not have a substitute if your caregiver is sick, and you have to handle all of the hiring, firing, screening, taxes, and discipline yourself.
If you predict that you may need in-home care or you think that someone you care about might need in-home care, we can provide financial guidance to help you consider your options. Click HERE to sign up with us at Integrity Financial Planning to talk with one of our experts about finances for aging individuals.