Home care is in-home care brought to seniors wherever they call home. Home care can be paid for by Medicare or the senior may choose to pay privately. Goals for the senior can be to improve a condition, reach a specific rehabilitation goal, or move through end-of-life with support. A care plan is authorized by a physician.

Nursing, physical therapy, and speech therapy qualify to open a Medicare case and then additional services can be provided. Skilled care services may include wound care, intravenous (IV) services, and other nursing care. The client must meet certain criteria to qualify: be homebound, use an assistive device to move about, be under the care of a physician, and require intermittent care (not daily care).

Medicare-eligible home care services may include:
medical social services
home health aide
nursing care
occupational therapy
physical therapy
speech therapy

Paying for home care Medicare:
For those 65+ with qualifying criteria, skilled services are most often covered at 100 percent under the Medicare home health benefit. A specific hospice benefit is offered by Medicare for those moving through end-of-life.

For more information, visit www.medicare.gov

Home care private duty is in-home care paid for out of pocket. Home care agencies are issued a license by the state to provide care. Some agencies offer health services and basic assistive tasks, and other agencies are allowed to provide companion and homemaking services. Home care givers are under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN) who creates an individualized care plan.

Get to know the variety of services a home care agency offers, as they provide different levels of care, ranging from basic to more skilled services and are billed at different prices accordingly. Some agencies offer staff with specialty training for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and mental health care.

Basic home care services:
incidental transportation
light housekeeping
meal preparation
stand by assistance with daily activities (mobility, bathing, toileting, grooming, and dressing)
verbal or visual medication reminders


Skilled home care services:
hands-on help with daily activities (mobility, bathing, toileting, grooming, and dressing)
live-in services (24-hour care)
medication management
nursing services

Paying for home care:
An individual’s own funds are used to pay for the assistance. Some agencies will accept Medical Assistance and the state’s home and community-based waiver program.
For more information, visit www.minnesotahelp.info