Confused by Senior Home Care Options? We’ve Got Answers.

Confused by Senior Home Care Options? We’ve Got Answers.If you’re new to helping a loved one find senior care, you may quickly feel overwhelmed by the varied types of terminology you’re beginning to hear: home health care, private duty care, nonmedical home care, medical home care, live-in care, companion care, etc. Which is right for your loved one and what’s the different between the options?

Never fear; the registered nurses of Nightingale Homecare are here to help! In this two-part blog series, we’ll explain the different senior home care options available to you, starting with one of the most needed services: home health care.

Home Health Care/Medical Home Care

The terms “medical home care” and “home health care” are used interchangeably. This type of care is given in the home under a doctor’s order. It is usually less expensive, more convenient, and just as effective as care given in a hospital or skilled nursing facility. The goal of home health care is to treat an illness or injury, helping an individual to get better, regain independence, and become as self-sufficient as possible.

In general, home health care includes intermittent home visits to provide nursing care or other skilled services like physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy services. Services may also include medical social services, dietician services or assistance from a home health aide. Nightingale Homecare is the leading home health care agency serving Phoenix, Sun City, Peoria, Mesa, Tempe, Glendale, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Chandler, Gilbert and all of Maricopa County, AZ. Nightingale works closely with each patient’s physician to determine which of these services is required, and is responsible for providing all of the in home care needed.

In order for Medicare or other insurance to cover home health care, there are generally four requirements that must be met:

  1. Care must be ordered and overseen by a physician.
  2. The patient must have been seen by a physician for the condition requiring home health care no more than 90 days prior to the start of home health care services or no later than 30 days after the start of home health care services.
  3. The individual must be “homebound”, meaning that leaving the home to receive care is unsafe, requires the assistance of other people and/or requires considerable and exhausting effort.
  4. The care needed is “skilled” rather than “custodial” (see below for clarification these terms).

Skilled care is only provided by trained professionals. For example, skilled nursing care is required for a complicated wound, and skilled therapy care is required for the development of a home exercise program to recover from a hip replacement operation.

Custodial care is care that can be given by a non-professional (i.e. nursing assistant or home health aide). Look for our next blog in this series to learn more about custodial/nonmedical home care and how it can improve the overall quality of life and wellbeing for the seniors in your life.

For professional Phoenix home health care services, call on the compassionate care team at Nightingale Homecare. We can provide complex medical treatments in the comfort of home, allowing for maximum comfort, safety and healing. Contact us for a free in-home assessment any time at 602-504-1555.