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04.21.16

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Articles in Category: Hospice

Care Coordination and Home Care for Older Adults

Care Coordination and Home Care for Older Adults

For decades, non-clinical home care agencies, therapists, and aides have been caring for chronically ill patients in their homes.  Rather than moving into a long-term care facility as they age, many older adults prefer to stay at home for as long as possible. For those older adults choosing to stay at home, determining the range of non-clinical home care services available to help maintain their independence can be daunting. Non-clinical home care providers may have meet unique qualifications that help patients and providers reach overall goals for chronic care management, self-care, and independence. This often includes required services and supports not covered under Medicare’s home health or acute care benefit.
Home care is provided by caregivers, generally recognized as home care aides, who are trained to understand the nuances of senior care. Home care aides can help older adults with activities of daily living, or just offer some friendly companionship. Unlike home health, home care is classified as personal care or companion care and is considered "unskilled" or "non-clinical." Medicare will generally provide coverage for skilled nursing or therapy at home, and for limited visits by an aide from a home care agency to help with personal care. For Medicare patients eligible to receive skilled home care benefits, Medicare also covers the services of an occupational therapist to assist older adults with becoming stronger in accomplishing daily personal care and household tasks safely.

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