Delaware helps seniors cover the cost of home health care through a combination of the state Medicare and Medicaid programs. Medicare can be used to pay for in-home medical care, including visits from a nurse and physical, occupational or speech therapists if a senior is homebound and a doctor or other medical specialist has assessed the senior as requiring a specific type of care.

Medicare does not cover the cost of personal care services, but seniors who have limited mobility and who need help with the activities of daily living may be able to access help with the cost of this type of care via Medicaid. Seniors can use consumer-directed Medicaid waivers to put together a care plan that suits their needs. This may include a combination of home health care services along with home-delivered meals and hiring a friend or family member to provide personal care services. 

Medicare Has a Clear Definition of Homebound

To be eligible for home health care, a senior must be classed as homebound. This means they are unable to travel without extensive support and planning. Homebound seniors may still attend services at a place of worship, or use accessible transportation services to attend adult day health care services. However, they should not be able to leave home without help from a third party.

Medicaid Runs Several Waivers for Seniors

Delaware Medicaid has several waivers for seniors, including the Elderly and Disabled Home and Community Based Services Waiver Program and the Assisted Living Waiver. Both of these waivers help seniors who would otherwise require a nursing home level of care live relatively independently, either in their own homes or in an assisted living community.