Non-medical In-home Care Explained

What to Expect from In-Home Care

in home care

What It Is

Homecare, also known as in-home care, is non-medical care provided in the client's home. It includes custodial care and assistance with activities of daily living such as eating, bathing and providing medication reminders. Homecare workers are professionally trained caregivers who provide companionship and are responsible for maintaining a safe environment for the person receiving care.

What to Expect

Homecare can be arranged without a physician's order and is different from home health care, in that caregivers do not provide nursing care. For example, while they may provide medication reminders, they are not allowed to administer medication. Neither are caregivers housecleaners; although some light housekeeping may be necessary and appropriate, heavy housecleaning is normally not expected. Homecare workers may provide care within a facility setting; check with the agency you have chosen to verify whether it offers this service.

Need help locating the right non-medical home care services for your loved one? provides a FREE Homecare Referral service that matches the appropriate agencies to your needs.

SEE ALSO: Find In-Home Care Help Near You

Paying for Homecare

Medicare, Managed Care, Medicaid and Veterans Benefits do not cover homecare. Medigap policies D, G, I and J, and Minnesota State's Extended Basic Plan cover homecare if the individual is simultaneously receiving skilled home health care. As such, most non-medical in-home care is either paid for privately or by using a long-term care insurance (LTCI) policy. As many people wish to live at home as long as possible, LTCI policies have grown in popularity. Find out more about the latest on LTCI policies and what kind of LTCI policy suits your needs along with detailed description of all reimbursements types.

Some states offer payment for family caregivers, and in some states being a Medicaid recipient automatically qualifies a person for homecare. Check with your state Medicaid office to see what is offered in your area.


What It Covers

SEE ALSO: Find In-Home Care Help Near You

Medigap policies D, G, I and J, and Minnesota State's Extended Basic Plan policies have a benefit that covers home health and homecare. The coverage varies according to the policy you choose. The benefits may include assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, grooming, medication monitoring, meal preparation, light housekeeping, laundry, errands, grocery shopping and transportation.

Conditions and Limitations

In order to be eligible for these benefits, the individual must currently be receiving Medicare-covered skilled home health care.


What It Covers

LTCI policies vary. Some do pay in-home care benefits, but the amount of coverage depends on the individual policy. For information on how to determine what kind of LTCI policy suits your needs, visit our Financing Long Term Care Expert Column.

Conditions and Limitations

Policies differ on conditions required to qualify for homecare benefits. Each policy has a cap on the number of visits. Older policies require a prior hospital stay or time in a skilled nursing facility; the newer policies require that beneficiaries be physically or cognitively impaired.

Finding and Assessing Homecare

Homecare workers can be hired privately or by using either a full-service or referral agency. Gilbert Guide provides national homecare listings for full-service agencies along with information on how to find and assess both agency and private-hire caregivers.

Let us help you find the right homecare agency that fits your need with our free homecare referral service.

9 months, said...


11 months, said...

To kbosel.....Where are you located? I am in Florida the State Community Based Services are in need of conscientious people to serve in the Medicaid Waiver Programs. I suppose most states have the same issues. I am the mother of a developmentally disabled bed-bound son and have a difficult time finding conscientious caregivers for him although they come to us supposedly thoroughly processed through the state's system and agencies. The problem is that the processing requires only a background check and a high school diploma or GED. It does require classes which applicants simply have to attend, but have no testing. And the applicants must prove at least one year of care giving of some kind. Mostly the applicants are single mothers of children which they do not even care for themselves...they have aunties or grannies taking care of their children. Mostly they have no commitment incentive and take off whenever they desire and even go to sleep on the job. I somehow got onto this site while looking for mature able=bodied seniors who might be interested in home care. I find that there are some employment agencies hiring seniors for home care, but their pay scale is higher than the Medicaid Waiver agencies. The pay scale (at this time) for the agency that serves us is from minimum wage up to maximum $13 per hour. If there is anyone in Tampa FL reading this who wants such a job, please contact me.

about 1 year, said...

Thanks for sharing! It's very useful!

over 1 year, said...

Hi was was wanting to know more about how I could become part of the team working with clients at home.

over 1 year, said...

would it be acceptable to get in home care for my husband . he is 34 year old and is in diapers 24/7 due to incontinence. besides that he is active and capable. the only help he would require would be diaper changes. he is a heavy wetter and requires tab style night time diapers with a soaker pad and plastic pants. we've attempted having him diaper himself but he is unable to correctly do it without leaks occurring. so I diaper him. pull ups are not an option they leak every where . but I can't always take him with me and sometimes I'm.going somewhere that it is rather difficult to diaper a 34yr old male . until incontinence is a more accepted health problem I simply can't always bring him . and he is against me having a friend sit with him and change him. but leaving him alone for hours on end isn't an option. just don't know what to do.

about 2 years, said...

Criminal back ground check? Felony convictions and my caregiver?

about 8 years, said...

Desperately seeking detailed information on how to go about scheduling and paying for private 24/7 in-home care for Mother, as well as setting realistic expectations and communication avenues when there are multiple people (about 6)involved. This is not a short term, end-of-life situation. Two parts to this request, the first being most critical: A) How to set pay rates for individuals, time periods, etc., and keep records, and manage to meet government tax requirements. Also, how to "hire and fire" for the family, who have little experience with this. B) How to keep workers and family - in the loop and communicating constructively. (I have found more for this.) Mom lives in a small town, where there are many honest, caring women who can help. However, they vary in skill, experience, abilities, and personality. There have been conflicts among them, which I now understand to be par for the course - frequent vying to be "in charge," etc. Neither Medicare nor supplement pay for any of this, which is much more expensive than assisted living in town. Thanks for referring me to resources!