by Tina Singleton

Home Health Care and Home Care sound the same, but actually they are different. Home Health Care agencies offer skilled services such as nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy or speech therapy. In order to receive these services you must be homebound, and have a doctor’s order telling what kind(s) of skilled care you need. The visits are usually an hour or less, two-three times a week. As long as there is a skilled need, they can also send a home health aide to assist with bathing one-three times a week. This type of service is commonly used for people who have new diagnosis or new conditions in which they would benefit from visits from a nurse or a therapist. Some of the reasons that Home Health Care may be indicated would be: § Diabetes § Wound care § Broken hip or hip replacement § Stroke § Congestive heart failure/ COPD § Frequent falls § New medications
Home Health is covered by Medicare. There is also a benefit for Hospice covered by Medicare.Hospice doesn’t always mean that a patient is lying in a hospital bed waiting to take his or her last breath. As long as a doctor is monitoring a decline of someone with a terminal diagnosis, they are eligible to receive this benefit as long as needed. There is no need to wait until an individual has only weeks left to live to take advantage of this benefit. An example of a terminal diagnosis for Hospice might include: § Alzheimer’s or other Dementia § Cancer § Congestive Heart Failure § COPD § HIV/AIDS § Chronic liver or renal disease
Medicare will pay for medications, supplies, medical equipment, nursing care, aide visits, social work assistance, and chaplain outreach through the Hospice benefits.
Home Care can be received by anyone. It is non-skilled care. A client may be someone coming home after having surgery who just needs a little extra help with meals or laundry, or have someone there to assist them, if they need anything. The typical client is someone who is elderly who is no longer safe to stay at home alone and needs help with their personal care such as bathing, bathroom assistance, dressing, light housekeeping, medication reminders, and meal preparation. Home care can also be companionship. Sometimes just the companionship of another person makes a huge difference. So many times you see the elderly go through loneliness and even depression because they have no one to talk to or to do things with. Services can be adjusted to fit a client’s changing needs, anything from just a few hours a week, all the way to 24 hour care. Home care does not require someone to be homebound, and there is no doctor’s order needed. Home care can work alongside a Home Health Care, or Hospice agency to compliment the services already being offered. Home care is private pay, although here are a few ways you may be able to get some help in paying for the services: § VA Benefits – Homemaker Program or the Aide and Assistance Program § Long term care Insurance § Respite vouchers § Reverse mortgage § Life insurance policy
There are some programs offered to Medicaid recipients also. They can be utilized in a combination of skilled care and non-skilled care. These services have to be arranged by a Medicaid case manager, and provided by a Medicaid licensed home healthcare agency.
To sum this up for you, Home Health is short term, intermittent skilled visits paid for by Medicare. Hospice is care for those with a terminal diagnosis that is declining, and Home care is non-skilled care that can be tailored to the client’s needs and is private pay.
For additional information, please contact Tina Singleton, Right Choice Personal Assistance (405) 595-7066 I hope this is okay.