About Home Care


What is “non-medical” home care?

Non-medical home care provides indispensable services such as basic personal care for bathing and grooming, assistance with mobility to prevent accidents, shopping, cooking, escort transportation to appointments, companionship, important medication reminders, and close supervision of your loved one with Alzheimer’s. Agencies provide non-medical home care services full-time, part-time, intermittently, or daily. These non-medical, custodial services accommodate your parent’s declining abilities and assists them with aging in place in the comfort of their own home.

What is “skilled” home health care?

Skilled home health care is intended for short-term rehabilitation following hospitalization or nursing home stay. Skilled care is provided by a nurse (RN or LPN), physical therapist (PT), occupational therapist (OT), or speech therapist (ST). Examples of skilled home health care include your mom needing PT services when she gets home following knee surgery or your dad needing nursing services during the final stages of a terminal illness.

 How is home care paid for?

Skilled Home Health Care

Medicare covers care for your loved one after a hospital or nursing home stay related to illnesses and/or injury. It also covers rehabilitation services and hospice for end stage illnesses.

Non-Medical Home Care

Private self-pay means paying out of your own pocket. It is the most common method of payment for non-medical home care. Non-medical, in-home care services are not covered by Medicare. 

Medicaid assists individuals with limited income and assets. In some states, Medicaid offers community-based programs for seniors who need assistance with personal care services in their homes, thereby avoiding institutionalization.

Long-term care insurance policies provide coverage for home health aide services through a licensed home care agency.  Policies and plans vary.

Veteran aid and attendance benefits is available to Veterans who served at least 90 days, with at least one day during wartime. Families with Veterans or surviving spouses can benefit from Veteran   Aid and Attendance benefits.

Reverse mortgages are available for seniors who are 62 or older and need money to pay for certain home care services. 

Family caregiver support programs reimburse family members who care for loved ones. These programs are not widely available.

Read more about Home Care Payment Options.

What is the cost of non-medical home care?

Home care agencies provide non-medical home care services on a private-pay basis. The cost of home care is calculated based on the nature, frequency, and amount of time your loved one requires to receive care. It is also affected by geographic location. On average, in the United States, Home Health Aide services cost $21 per hour in the United States. 

What happens once I contact a home care agency?

One you contact a home care agency, together you will schedule an in-home assessment to be performed by an agency representative at a convenient time for your family. During that visit, the representative, oftentimes a nurse, will evaluate your loved one for the needed service and both parties will work together to develop an agreed upon service agreement, a plan of care, and a schedule of future visits.

What caregiver is most qualified to provide non-medical home care?

Certified nursing assistants and home health aides are highly trained to perform personal care and companion services. Companions/sitters and homemakers are qualified to provide basic services such as grocery shopping, preparing meals, light housekeeping, and other “hands-off” tasks.