How Do You Prepare for Home Care?

Author: Andrea Miller

Reviewed by: Catherine Braxton

You prepare for home care by understanding your loved one’s care needs and arranging the necessary services. Many families share caregiving responsibilities with a home care agency, so consider professional support to supplement care provided by loved ones. Research resources in your area as part of your preparation, including programs to assist your family member and benefits for family caregivers. Medicare covers part-time, intermittent home health care services for homebound adults older than 65 who need skilled nursing care or rehabilitation. 

Does Home Care Make Sense for Your Loved One?

Home care makes sense for your loved one if they prefer to age in place but need help with some tasks to stay independent. Home health services usually cost less than assisted living and nursing home care. There are benefits to aging in place. Older adults who receive home care report stronger connections with family members, less loneliness and improved comfort and confidence.

What Tasks Do Family Caregivers Perform?

Family caregivers perform tasks such as transporting loved ones to medical visits, giving medication, assessing symptoms, keeping track of health data and assisting with personal care. They also provide practical support by paying bills, managing finances, preparing meals and keeping the home clean and safe.

Family caregivers coordinate care with the senior’s health care team, including home health providers, primary and specialty physicians and social workers. It is important to communicate with the senior’s friends and loved ones to arrange visits and share necessary information about the person’s health status. 

Do Family Caregivers Receive Payment?

Family caregivers receive payment through state Medicaid if their loved one qualifies for coverage and they live in a state with this type of program. Some states and employers also provide paid family leave for those caring for a loved one at home. Contact your state Medicaid office office to learn if a long-term care waiver program exists in your state and find out about the application process.