Finding it difficult to maintain your daily routine does not mean that you need to move into assisted living. There are care managers that can help you with tasks that you can no longer do so that you do not need to move out of your home and lose your independence. The difficult thing about in-home care is that there are so many different types of care, and each type has specialists that help with different aspects of elderly aid. The two major types of in-home care are companion care and medical care. As the names imply, these two services offer different types of in-home assistance. Choosing the right one is crucial in maintaining your independence into your golden years.
Companion care typically focuses on seniors who still live in their own home, or in the homes of their adult children. It offers companionship and a sounding board for sharing stories and experiences. It is mostly used to provide emotional support for elderly people who are in good health physically but do not have many social resources otherwise.
In Nursing Homes
Assisted living facilities, or nursing homes, do not generally make use of companion care, relying instead on the interactions between other patients, or with nurses and CNAs. It is, however, possible to enlist the assistance of a companion care worker in a nursing home if necessary.
Remaining social into your golden years is key for maintaining mental sharpness. It can also prevent the depression that results from losing social interaction as a result of an inability to drive, or lack of living or nearby social connection.
Companion caregivers do not provide medical care. They are mostly responsible for socializing with the elderly. They can also do things around your home that you are not feeling up to doing. Examples might be taking you for errands, doing laundry or ironing, doing some light cleaning around your home, watering your plants, preparing your meals, and any number of different recreational activities.
If you require someone to help you with things other than light housework and recreation, you may need to hire a home health care specialist. Skilled medical nursing care services allow you to maintain your independence even though you may face chronic medical issues. Medical home care may provide physical therapy, skilled nursing care, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and primary health care.
As mentioned above, in-home medical care can include a wide variety of services. These services are especially useful for those who have recently had an operation and need help changing their wound dressings or need physical therapy. They can also dispense medication, including injections. General vitals monitoring is also available for those that require it, although these services are widely being handled electronically now.
Many home health companies are implementing digital or otherwise self-monitoring health monitoring devices. These may be as simple as calling in to report your blood pressure and weight every day or as complex as Bluetooth devices attached to an included tablet that automatically uploads the results to the servers of the healthcare provider. These services will even call you when they notice that you have not recorded your results within a specific time. The major advantage of these devices is that they allow for the greatest amount of independence, but if you cannot handle doing these things on your own, you will need to bypass them for in-person care.
Paying for In-Home Care
Neither companionship care nor in home health care are cheap. Luckily, Medicare covers home health care, and Medicaid typically does as well. Private insurance also covers in home health care. Because of these options for insurance coverage, it is unusual to have to pay out of pocket for home health care, but it is possible. Long-term care insurance, however, does not cover home health care.
Medicare does not cover companionship care, but it may be covered by Medicaid depending on your state. Private health insurance does not typically cover companionship care either. Many people frequently pay for companionship care out of pocket unless they have long-term care insurance.