In surveys done by Home Care Association of America, 9 out of 10 seniors want to stay in their own homes. So, before we dive into that, let’s give you some descriptions of what each possibility is.

Home CARE: Is a service provided by a caregiver in your Home, Independent living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, or an Adult Family Home to assist with safety, health and independence.  Home CARE is often paid for privately, and if you need assistance with ADL’s -Activities of Daily Living (eating, bathing, dressing, toileting & transferring) long-term care insurance, Veteran benefits, or Medicaid will sometimes cover the cost. 

  • Home CARE services include but are not limited to:
  • Companionship
  • Respite for family caregivers
  • Grocery shopping, meal preparation and errands
  • Personal care including: bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting & incontinence care
  • Housekeeping
  • Transportation
  • Pet Care
  • Assistance with exercise and activities

Home HEALTH: Is ordered b a physician when discharging from a hospital or skilled nursing community. Patients, families or nurses may request orders for Home HEALTH services from the physician when there is a change in the level of function or experienced an exacerbation of a patient’s diagnosis. Home HEALTH is too often turned down by the patient when in reality they should always take advantage of this opportunity to build strength, prevent falls and to help avoid repeated trips to the Emergency Room. Not to mention that this service is covered 100% by Medicare or insurance as long as

  • There is a skilled need for a Nurse, Physical Therapist or Speech Therapist
  • The patient is “homebound”-meaning it is difficult for them to leave their home unassisted. There are exceptions for medical appointments and necessities.
  • Doctors order Home HEALTH services

Home HEALTH services include the following: 

  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech Therapy
  • Visiting Nurses
    • Wound Care
    • New Diagnosis Education
    • New Medication Regimen Teaching and Training
    • Ostomy Care & Colostomy Care
    • Collaborates with IV Infusion Companies
  • Social Worker
  • Home Health Aid to assist you with bathing. 

Community Living: Is Independent and assisted living communities are places you go to live that usually are 65 and older. Apartment style living. All care provided usually by staff. Included in basic rent is housekeeping, meals, transportation and activities.

How to decide which one is right for you? Let’s give you some numbers to think about.

By the year 2022, there will be 56 million people in the US over 65. In 2050, there will be 84 million. 40% of those over 65 need assistance. 70% will need help temporarily (situational, broken hip, etc.) Up to 75% of seniors have admitted to making some kind of medication mistake.

43% report feeling lonely…..COVID has made this number even higher. 

What are some signs you might need more help? 

  • Isolation
  • Lack of Hygiene
  • Losing weight
  • Missing medications
  • Falling
  • Not paying bills on time
  • Missing appointments
  • Confusion

How do these solutions benefit families? 

Overall health is better when someone is taking care of their loved one

Jobs are not affected due to constant time off resulting in fewer lost wages

Home HEALTH is covered 100% by Medicare or insurance as long as

  • There is a skilled need for a Nurse, Physical Therapist or Speech Therapist
  • The patient is “homebound”-meaning it is difficult for them to leave their home unassisted. There are exceptions for medical appointments and necessities.
  • Doctors order Home HEALTH services

Why would you pick community living? Here are some things to consider:

Care fees start at about $20.00 per day VS $25-45 per hour

Your home has just gotten too big and you are only living in part of your house

You wish you had a more social life

Assisted living communities have trained aids around 24 hours a day in case you need them

Care can be added if needed and can be temporary

Having three hot meals a day is important to you

Housekeeping is done for you!

You can get your laundry done and delivered for a small fee, sometimes it’s even included.

While we all want to stay independent, we often have to look at ways to help us achieve this.  The Value of Home Care Report put out by the Home Care Association of America states that 9 out of 10 Americans 65 and older want to stay in their own homes however 40% need daily assistance and over 70% will need assistance at some point in their lives, so let’s talk about what the options are and how to help someone decide what is right for them. Because moving once is always better than moving twice!  How to define the choices

Home CARE:

Home Care is confused sometimes with Medicare Certified Home Health. Home Health is physician ordered treatment by a nurse and/or therapist for a period of 60 days for those who are home bound and is subject to Medicare rules and guidelines.

Home Care can be contracted by the client and does not require a physician approval. Some of the services will be covered by long term care insurance. The Home Care agency will assess the client and develop a customized care plan that meets the specific needs of the client and their family that may include, but not be limited to the following elements:

  • Personal Care
  • Transportation
  • Medication Assistance
  • Meal Preparation
  • Light Housekeeping
  • Pet Walking and Care Assistance with Exercise Programs
  • Transferring and Positioning
  • Companionship
  • Nurse Delegated Care
  • Respite Care
  • Toileting and Incontinence care
  • Minimal Commitment

Home HEALTH: Provides medical care in the home setting for a limited period of time.  Most insurance programs will fully cover the cost of home health services referred by a physician. Some of these services include;

  • Skilled nursing
  • Physical therapy
  •  Occupational therapy
  • Speech  & swallow therapy
  • Social services
  • Ostomy care
  • Wound Care.
  • Limited commitment
  • Must be homebound to qualify under Medicare.

More information on Community Living coming in Part II

If you’d like more information or just some honest help to decide what is truly best for you, feel free to contact me at or call me at 425-931-2951

Kelley R. Smith

CarePartners Senior Living