While keeping elderly relatives at home has been shown to dramatically improve quality of life in most cases, paying for home health aides can be very difficult. Homecare agencies can cost upwards of $35 an hour for non-medical related care. In many cases, home bound patients only need very intermittent nursing care, but more frequent care from home health aides. Unfortunately, Medicare will only pay to cover sixty days worth of in home care. Home health aides perform services such as:
- Light Cleaning/Senior transportation
- Assisting with bathing and grooming
- Coordinating travel
- Providing companion services
Medicare Coverage for Home Care
The services performed by home health aides are the most comprehensive and remove the most stress from family members attempting to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable. Medicare will only pay for home health aides when the patient is homebound, needs intermittent nursing/therapy care, has a doctor’s order and a doctor has provided a coverage plan. After Medicare cuts off home care services at sixty days many families are left with no recourse but to either care for their relatives on their own or pay the bill for in home care on their own. At that point families have very few options. They can:
- Struggle to provide those services themselves.
- Hire homecare agencies to take over caring for the elderly relative.
- Work with Medicare to permanently place them in a nursing home.
- Surrender guardianship to the state and cease being a part of care decisions.
Most families have a difficult time facing these options. Homecare agencies can be very expensive and many people are not in a position to afford them. If the elderly person doesn’t have long-term care insurance the entirety of the cost of homecare agencies rests on the family. Even if the elderly person does have long-term care insurance, in many cases they will only allow the use of state accredited homecare agencies. Since many states don’t require accreditation to provide non-medical related home care, this can be difficult depending on the state where you live.
Contact an agency near you to find out more about the services available to help you care for elderly relatives.