In-Home care is a wide range of health and social services delivered at home to persons recovering form an illness or injury, or persons who are disabled and need some assistance with activities of daily living. There are two main categories of licensed in-home care services: medical caregivers (Class A) and non-medical caregivers (Class B).
- Medical (or Class A) agencies also known as Home Health Agencies provide services by licensed or certified health care practitioners, such as nurses, occupational therapists and respiratory therapists.
- Non-medical (or Class B) agencies also known as Homemaker-Companion services provide personal care services that assist with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, toileting and, in some cases, housekeeping.
Medical Home Health Agencies
They provide “skilled services” such as nursing, social services and therapeutic treatments (physical, speech and occupational therapy). They also provide non-skilled services like help with bathing, dressing and eating. Medical equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers and oxygen may also be provided.
Home health services can be purchased privately by an individual expending his/her own funds; private health insurance may cover home health services; they can be paid for by Medicare and Medicaid. As with any insurance, coverage of certain benefits will vary and it is best to check your benefits when deciding on care options. Home health agencies can be for-profit or not-for-profit. They may be operated by hospitals or even local health agencies, such as county nursing services or local health departments.
It is recommended that you consider choosing a “certified” home health agency, even if you are not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid. If you are on Medicare or Medicaid, you can only use a certified agency. Certified agencies provide safeguards because they meet specific standards established by the federal government and are monitored by the state through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Health Facilities and Emergency Medical Services Division.
Non-Medical Caregivers, also known as Homemaker-Companion Services
Non-medical homemaker-companion agencies are licensed by the state. They provide assistance with personal care services that assist with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and toileting. Often housekeeping.services are provided such as meal preparation, light housekeeping, errands, activities, and social outings. These services may be provided in a home or to an older adult living in a retirement community.
Homemaker-Companion Services are often purchased privately by an individual expending his/her own funds. Long-term care insurance policies can reimburse policyholders a daily amount (up to a pre-selected limit) for services to assist them with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, or eating.
Medicare/Medicaid Recipients: Eligibility for Home Health Services
Medicare and Medicaid’s home health benefit allows people with restricted mobility to receive needed care at home. Services and supplies are provided by nurses, aides and therapists under a physician’s plan of care.
- Medicare will pay for home health services if your physician certifies that you:
- Are homebound – i.e. confined to home except for infrequent or short absences or trips for medical care, and
- Require one or more of the following services: physical therapy, speech-language pathology, or skilled nursing.
- If you need only personal or custodial (non-skilled) care, you do not qualify for the Medicare home health benefit.
If you have Medicaid, you may be eligible for both skilled and non-skilled services. To find out more about Medicaid home health benefits, phone your local county department of Social Services or the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing at 303-866-3864.
Community Based Non-Profits Providing Assistance
There are also community based non-profits that provide assistance to older adults. These organizations typically have vetted volunteers or paid staff that provide very basic services – LEARN MORE
Contact your local Area Agency on Aging and 2-1-1 and they may know of additional resources on this topic.
Area Agency on Aging (AAA)
An Area Agency on Aging (AAA) is a public nonprofit agency designated by a state to address the needs and concerns of all older persons at the regional and local levels. AAAs are primarily responsible for a geographic area, also known as a planning and service area (PSA), that is either a city, a single county, or a multi-county district. AAAs coordinate and offer services that help older adults remain in their homes, if that is their preference, aided by services such as home-delivered meals, homemaker assistance, and whatever else it may take to make independent living a viable option.
Find your local AAA by visiting their website or calling 1-800-677-1116.
2-1-1 is a confidential and multilingual service connecting people to vital resources across the state. No matter where you live in Colorado, you can find information about resources in your local community. Dial 2-1-1 from your phone or visit their website.
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