There are many in-home care providers in Santa Monica. However, the major distinction lies between knowing non-medical and medical home care services. While medical home care services have been there for a while, the demand for non-medical agencies is increasing.
The significant difference between these two categories is in their funding sources, the scope of services and the level of client’s independence. Choosing a home care provider is an important decision for the patient and their family.
Therefore, we review the various types of in-home care agencies to help you make an informed decision. Your choice of the agency will significantly depend on the type of senior care your loved one needs.
Non-Medical In-Home Care Agencies
They are also referred to as custodial care, companion, personal care, homemaker or private duty agencies. As the name suggests, they provide services that are not considered medical or skilled. Non-medical agencies use home health aides, certified nursing assistants, homemakers, personal care aides, caregivers, non-certified nurse aides, caregivers, personal attendants, companions, and sitters.
Their services include personal care, preparing meals, light housekeeping, errands, companionship, managing medication, managing money and using the telephone. In general, non-medical agencies provide senior care services that help with self-care and also help the individual live independently.
Medicare does not cover unskilled care expenses except when it is part of an authorized period of home care. The severity of a senior’s ADL needs (bathing, eating, dressing, walking and using the toilet) is often used to verify whether an individual qualifies for long-term care insurance.
These agencies play an undeniably huge role to fill a void in non-medical in-home senior care. Personal care services and assistance with other household duties is often what is needed most by many seniors to have them remain in their homes.
Home Health Agency
Home health agencies are the most common providers of medical in-home care services. These agencies are usually certified by Medicare and can also accept third party health insurance. Their primary purpose is to provide skilled senior care for the treatment or rehabilitation of homebound patients.
Skilled in-home care providers have to strictly follow a plan of care that is approved by a physician which has to be updated after every 60 days to continue with Medicare benefits. Their services include home health aide, skilled nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and social work while under professional scrutiny.
Regardless of being eligible for reimbursement, Medicare only covers the cost of skilled senior care for a short period. Home health aides are authorized to provide supervised personal care and cease as soon as medical care needs are non-justifiable.
Hospice Care Agencies
Hospice care agencies provide a unique type of skilled in-home care for individuals who are beyond cure. Their services include pain management, palliative care, spiritual care, psychological and compassionate services.
Hospice agencies provide in-home care so that families may participate in the care of their loved one. Their professionals are available around the clock, and they ensure that the individual stays comfortable and painless and that their wishes are honored. Hospice care costs can be covered by Medicare.
Pharmaceutical and Infusion Therapy Companies
These companies deliver nursing services, medicine, and equipment for people who need IV fluids, treatment or nutrition. They also give special nutrition through feeding tubes placed in the intestines or stomach.
Nurses teach family members to administer these medications, food, and fluids at home. Some of these companies are certified by Medicare.
Home Medical Equipment and Medical Supply Dealers
Just as the name suggests, these companies provide various products to assist in senior care such as respirators, walkers, wheelchairs, wound care supplies and catheters. After delivering these products, they install them and teach the family how to use them.
Here’s the bottom line, while there are major differences between medical and non-medical in-home care agencies, most individuals requiring one type of senior care may require the other at some point in their rehabilitation. The increase in high-quality and affordable non-medical in-home care agencies in Santa Monica and the country as a whole indeed meets the rising demand for in-home senior care services.