Navigating In-Home Care

June 2

Navigating In-Home Care Dennis Financial

This article is aimed towards those who are getting older and are uncertain about their choices for in-home care. It will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of hiring assistance through an agency versus hiring assistance independently.

The fundamental concept to grasp is the distinction between home care and home health, both of which are options for individuals confined to their homes.

The category of home health includes various services, namely physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, skilled nursing, medication management, and medical social work services.

Home health includes the following services:

  • Speech therapy
  • Skilled nursing services
  • Medication management
  • Medical social work services
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy

It is important to note that home health services are considered medical services and therefore require a doctor’s order. Fortunately, insurance companies, Medicare, Medicaid, and Veterans Health Administration often cover these services. However, it is advisable to confirm with your specific service provider or insurer to determine what services will be covered for you.[1]

Home care is to assist individuals who are unable to leave their homes with various tasks, including:

  • Light housekeeping
  • Some household chores
  • Dressing
  • Bathing
  • Meal preparation
  • Companionship
  • Other general daily activities

The service of home care is not related to medical issues and is not covered by Medicare unless it is deemed necessary for the individual. However, there may be situations where an individual might need this kind of service and meet the income and asset criteria, in which case Medicare and other insurance policies may cover it. It is important to check with your insurance provider to determine if this is a viable option for you.[2]

When it comes to home care, two choices are available: hiring a caregiver through an agency or employing someone directly.

Hiring a caregiver through an agency has its advantages, such as the convenience of having the agency take care of hiring, firing, and taxes. Additionally, the agency can serve as a mediator in case of any conflict and provide substitutes in case of illness. However, the downside is that the caregiver may not be consistent, and the cost is usually higher than hiring someone on your own.[3]

Opting to hire a caregiver independently can prove beneficial as it allows you to establish a personal connection with your caregiver and is typically more cost-effective than hiring through an agency. However, the drawbacks include the absence of a backup caregiver in case of the primary caregiver’s illness and the responsibility of managing the recruitment process, termination, vetting, tax obligations, and disciplinary actions solely falls on you.[4]

What Are Your Next Steps?

If you anticipate the possibility of requiring in-home care for yourself or someone you know, we can offer financial advice to assist you in evaluating your choices. Our team of professionals is available to discuss financial matters related to aging individuals, so reach out to us now to schedule a consultation.


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