January 6, 2015 by Dean Bellefeuille

If your family is like many, spending time with elderly loved ones during the holidays makes it apparent that it may be time to consider some additional help at home to keep them safe. But where to begin? It can be a huge undertaking just to sort through the plethora of options. But At Home Independent Living is here to help! Our next few blogs will address the top concerns and criteria to consider in shopping for home care. Let’s start with the basics:

Who Is Eligible?

Home care comes in a variety of offerings from government subsidized to free market, privately paid services. Anyone is eligible for home care services for which one pays a fee, sometimes called Private Duty Home Care or private pay home care. A professional home care agency will come into the home first, before services are started, to perform an assessment and help determine the right amount of care for that person’s specific needs. A personal plan of care is standard and is also the result of that first step when assessment for care is completed. Although most people prefer to remain in their own homes, it may be determined that care in a facility is more appropriate for the particular situation. This will depend on the physical and mental capacities of the person needing care, the support system in place to provide ancillary services, and the person’s ability to pay for services.

Who Pays for Care?

There are many different sources to help pay for care, including federal veteran’s benefits, Medicaid, some long-term care insurance policies, worker’s compensation and some local disease support and advocacy organizations. Eligibility does come into play if you are looking for help paying for care from any source other than private funds. Elder law attorneys and estate planners can be very helpful when planning for the payment of long-term care.

What About Medicare?

It is a common misconception that Medicare will pay for long-term care needs, when in fact the opposite is true. Medicare is health insurance coverage provided by the United States government for people over age 65 that covers skilled medical care; it does not customarily cover assistance with daily living activities such as bathing, dressing and grooming. Some benefits may be available for short-term home health care, but only if certain conditions are met.

For more information on home care eligibility and payment options, call on the aging care experts at At Home Independent Living in Syracuse, NY. We understand how crucial it is to make the best choice for your loved one, and the multitude of questions each family struggles to answer. You can reach us any time at 315-579-HOME (4663), or share your questions or concerns with us through our simple online contact form. We look forward to hearing from you!