Home is where the heart is and most seniors prefer to remain living independently or with family for as long as possible. Services range from companion care, home health care (private or Medicare), to hospice care.
Companion Care is the first step you may want to take when your loved one is in need of additional help. A companion will keep your loved one company and assist with some household chores such as light house-keeping, cooking and laundry. Companions can also help with personal care and medication reminders. Companions can take your loved one out to lunch or to the movies, shopping or to medical appointments. Companion care is usually private pay approximately at $14-$20 an hour. Most agencies require a four hour shift for their companions. Initially, companions are often needed to help an individual get up and dressed in the morning and get ready for bed in the evening.
Homemaker companions are not licensed for hands-on care such as bathing or diapering. If advanced services like assistance with bathing, eating, dressing, toileting and transferring (ADLs) are required; a Private Home Health Agency or Nurse Registry is needed.
Nursing services requires a Medicare Certified Home Health Agency which provides nursing and therapy or an agency that can provide RN supervision and training. If a higher level of care is deemed necessary by the physician, Medicare may cover the Medicare Certified Home Health Agency if those skills meet Medicare criteria. In both cases, a medical assessment is needed, and it is often free of charge.