Can I Apply for In-Home Care for My Parents?

Author: Andrea Miller

Reviewed by: Catherine Braxton

You absolutely can apply for in-home care for your parents. A legal document called a power of attorney allows you to handle medical and financial matters for your loved one when they can’t do so. Establishing power of attorney while your family member has decision-making capacity gives you the information you need to fulfill their wishes about medical care, including home care. 

How Do You Establish Power of Attorney?

Establish power of attorney by creating the necessary legal documents with the consent of your family member. Each state has its own laws regarding power of attorney, but in general, you and your family member must sign this document in the presence of a notary public. When you have a valid medical power of attorney in place, share a copy with your family member’s health care team. 

When Does Medicare Cover In-Home Care?

Medicare covers in-home health care when your loved one remains homebound because of a medical condition or disability and requires skilled services from a health care provider. If eligible, they’ll receive care for up to eight hours a day or 28 hours a week. Available services include skilled nursing care, occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech therapy.

If you qualify for home care, Medicare also covers the cost of medical supplies and durable medical equipment. When your loved one receives home health care through Medicare, they also qualify for home care services such as help with activities of daily living, housekeeping and meal preparation. 

How Do I Apply for In-Home Care for My Parents?

Apply for in-home care for your parents by arranging a visit with their primary care physician. The Medicare member must have an in-person appointment with their doctor, who will then certify home care if your parent needs this service for medical reasons.

You must choose a Medicare-certified home care provider. When you have a doctor’s order for home health care, contact the Area Agency on Aging specialty group in your county for guidance.