Non-medical In-home Care Explained

What to Expect from In-Home Care
carer and elderly lady

What It Is

Homecare, also known as in-home care, is nonmedical 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 home care services for your loved one? provides a FREE Homecare Referral service that matches the appropriate agencies to your needs.

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 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.

SEE ALSO: Find In-Home Care Help Near You

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

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.

SEE ALSO: Find In-Home Care Help Near You


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.

about 1 month ago, said...

Thanks for sharing! It's very useful!

7 months ago, said...

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

9 months ago, 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 1 year ago, said...

Criminal back ground check? Felony convictions and my caregiver?

about 7 years ago, 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!