About Nonmedical Home Care Services
Although most home care is provided by family, friends or volunteers, there is a growing trend to hire paid individuals or professionals to provide this care in the home. The hiring of care is prompted by a growing trend for traditional caregivers to be employed full-time and unable to offer much help or for family to live hundreds of miles away from the loved one and find it difficult to offer hands-on long-distance care.
Personal Care or Nonmedical Home Care
Non-Medical Care Services In The Home.
These providers represent a rapidly growing trend to allow people needing help with long term care to remain in their home or in the community instead of going to a care facility. The services offered may include:
- grooming and dressing
- recreational activities
- incontinent care
- handyman services
- teeth brushing
- medication reminders
- bathing or showering
- light housekeeping
- meal preparation
- respite for family caregivers
- errands and shopping
- reading email or letters
- overseeing home deliveries
- dealing with vendors
- transportation services
- changing linens
- laundry and ironing
- organizing closets
- care of house plants
- 24-hour emergency response
- family counseling
- phone call checks
- and much more...
A search of your local Yellow Pages under "home health agencies (or services)" will reveal that a large number of the advertised providers are personal care or non-medical home health companies. This causes some confusion since the yellow pages choose the same classification to list non-medical and traditional home health agencies together.
Personal care agencies are different from traditional home health agencies in that they do not provide medical services or skilled services and they are not paid by Medicare.
In addition, many states do not require personal care agencies to license with the state health department. In some states a person desiring to start a business like this need only advertise, get a business license and start hiring employees. On the other hand, some states require these companies to meet the same stringent rules under which traditional home health agencies operate. This might include hiring trained employees, the use of care plans, periodic inspections by the state health department and bonding.
If you live in a state which does not require regulation of these companies, it is important for you to check the background and history of these providers before using their services. Another benefit for the public is that many of these companies are part of a national franchise system. There are a number of these home care provider franchises around the country. Being a franchise, it is more likely that you can trust the services of the company and not have to worry about theft or abuse with your loved one.
Many larger traditional home health agencies are integrating non-medical services into their care delivery. This means Medicare and Medicaid are not paying the bill for this portion of a home health agency's business. Also many large integrated facilities providers (combined nursing homes, assisted living and independent retirement arrangements) are offering more non-medical or personal home healthcare.
The number of these companies is literally mushrooming all over the country. It is evident from this growth that there is a growing need for traditional family caregivers to contract help from paid care providers. This is probably due to the fact that many of the traditional caregivers are now employed fulltime or are living a long distance away from their loved ones and find it difficult if not impossible to provide long-term care.