Home Care Service involves providing personal care services to the patient in his own home rather than visiting a facility for care. It is a growing trend and most people now prefer it to visit a nursing home for getting complete treatment. Home care is provided by an individual professional caregiver within the patient’s home, rather than care given in specialized nursing homes or group facilities such as clinics. Home care is also referred to as domiciliary support, private care, or in-house care. It is a welcome change for senior citizens who don’t need regular assistance but are otherwise independent and able to handle daily activities on their own.
Some of the important services included in the service include daily personal care, companionship, meal preparation, and assistance with daily housework, dressing, and grooming. These services can be given by the caregiver alone or by specially trained volunteers or staff members. The level of care needed will depend on the patient’s condition, age, type of illness or physical handicap, and living situation. For some, receiving care at home provides the most convenient way of caring for their loved ones. However, there are some instances wherein receiving care at home is still more beneficial than going to a nursing home, clinic, or other institution.
There are some home care providers who provide customized services to cater to the needs of seniors. This can be in the form of assistance with medication management, medical consultation or professional training for those who wish to become certified in various medical areas. Some provide companionship services to the seniors including assistance with common activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and feeding.
While some home care providers offer these services for a fee, there are others who charge a lesser fee and have no set charges for long-term nursing care. Generally, these companionship carers are employed by long-term nursing care facilities. Others are self-employed independent contractors.
There are an estimated three million people in the United States who need long-term care from home. This figure includes adults between the ages of sixty and eighty-four as well as children between the ages of sixteen and seventeen. The majority of individuals who require long-term care live in their own homes or with relatives. There are also two million people who live with a spouse and dependents. One million people in this group are in need of assisted living facility and another thousand are in a position where they would prefer to stay at a residential care facility on a 24-hour basis.
Of these three million individuals in need of long-term care services, nearly two million are aged sixty-five and over. Almost one percent of this group requires in-home care services. Of those requiring this assistance, almost one percent are aged fifty to sixty-five. Those needing assistance in maintaining their independence include persons aged fifty-five and over, people sixty-three and over, and individuals seventy-one and over.
The cost of long-term assisted living care services ranges from a few thousand dollars to several tens of thousands of dollars per day. Some families are able to cover the cost themselves by supplementing their income, while others must rely on public or private aid. Many individuals who live with a disabled or injured family member may qualify for financial assistance through federal programs such as Medicaid and Medicare. On average, a family’s annual income is approximately twelve thousand dollars.
Those who are receiving care from a traditional in-home health care provider will most likely not qualify for medical insurance coverage under the government’s Health Insurance Pool (HIP). The HIP is voluntary and not all providers participate. Although most providers are required to participate in the HIP, many choose not to. In addition, if a person chooses to use a private pay health insurance plan instead of receiving care through a public program, he or she may have additional options, such as additional coverage options, a lower deductible, or the ability to choose a primary care physician other than the hospital that they receive their medical care through.