What is senior health?

by the Editor, SeniorInsider | Jun 01, 2011

Senior home health care offer a wide range of services which can be done in the comfort and familiar surroundings of your own home. Overall, senior home health care can be less expensive, more convenient, and every bit as effective as what you would receive in a skilled nursing facility. The ultimate goal of senior home health care is to treat your illness or injury, as well as your recovery from an illness or surgery, while helping you to regain your independence. Senior home health strives to return you to your previous level of self-sufficiency, or, in some cases, teach you to deal with a lesser level of independence.

What Does Senior Home Health Include?


When a healthcare professional provides in-home senior health care to a qualified person, then this is considered home health care. This type of care is distinguished from non-medical care, which is provided by caregivers who are not licensed medical personnel, and usually includes such services as help with daily basic activities such as getting dressed, bathing, eating, or help with light housekeeping tasks, shopping or cooking. Informal senior care can be administered by friends, family or a voluntary caregiver.

Senior home health care can include wound care for surgical wounds or pressure sores, speech, language, physical or occupational therapy, administering injections or monitoring serious illness or an unstable health status. If you are hoping to have Medicare pay for these services, you will typically need to be considered “homebound.”

How Much Will Senior Home Health Cost?


The cost of senior home health care can vary widely, depending on where you live. It’s important to plan carefully when considering senior home health care, weighing the options and benefits against your budget and other anticipated expenses. Generally speaking, for a home health aide to visit three times per week, it can cost you as much as $18,000 per year. The average United States cost per hour of hiring a senior home health care aide is approximately $29 per hour, although it can be as little as $16 per hour (Kentucky) or as high as $49 per hour (Alaska).  

Medicare may pay for intermittent or part-time skilled nursing care, but only when prescribed by your physician and provided by a Medicare-certified senior home health agency. Medicaid does pay for some level of home health care, but your state may limit certain services.  While some private insurance policies will pay for senior home health care, others may not, so do your research before hiring a home health care aide.

Will I Qualify for Senior Home Health?


The majority of seniors will likely qualify for home health care, especially should you have a chronic illness which requires monitoring, or have recently had a surgery and need medical assistance throughout your recovery. Whether you qualify for a few hours per week of elderly home care or round-the clock-care, this type of medical care is a good option for those who want to remain in their own home for as long as possible rather than moving to a nursing home or assisted living facility.

Non-medical senior home care can provide meals, medication assistance and transportation to appointments or social outings, while medical assistance will focus strictly on your health needs.
Many people arrange a combination of the two types of assistance and end up paying some of the costs out of their own pocket. If remaining in your own home in familiar surroundings is important to you, then senior home health care is definitely an avenue you will want to explore. Discuss the issue with your primary care doctor as well as family members to ensure you get the best care possible.

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