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3 Choices for In-Home Care Services, Part 1: Non-Medical Home Care

When you or your senior loved one needs help at home, you want someone you can trust and who understands your specific care needs. Thankfully, there are many choices and different levels of care available. However, making sense of the types of care, payment options and what you can expect from a provider can be tricky.

There are three common types of home care services that we will discuss in a series of three blog posts.

  • Non-Medical Home Care
  • Home Health Care
  • Hospice Care

Your best option will depend on medical and/or non-medical needs, desired frequency, financial situation and doctor’s orders. Take time to familiarize yourself with the options available, the requirements of each and how to determine the kind of service best suited to meet you or your loved one’s needs.

This blog will look further into what Non-Medical Home Care offers for clients. Non-medical home care provides a client the opportunity to remain in the comfort of their own home all while maintaining independence. Not limited by regulations that restrict frequency of care, care can be provided daily, weekly or around the clock. Non-medical care services may include:

  • Homemaker services, meals, light housekeeping, etc.
  • Companionship
  • Medication reminders
  • Bathing assistance
  • Respite
  • Live-in care

Non-medical home care is typically paid for out-of-pocket or through some long term care insurance plans. Medicare does not cover non-medical home care (custodial care). Since it doesn’t usually involve skilled nursing care, non-medical home care may be less costly than home health care.

Non-medical home care remains unregulated in many states, including Michigan, and unfortunately this means that the quality of care between providers can vary greatly. It is important to know that within non-medical home care there are two types of providers:

Home Care Agencies

Caregivers are employees of the agency and are bonded and insured. The agency assumes all responsibilities for payroll taxes, and all employees are covered with worker’s compensation insurance.

Registries or Matchmaker Services

Caregivers are independent contractors and are employed by the client. As the employer, the client assumes responsibility for background and reference checks and liabilities for taxes and workers’ compensation. Some registries may offer payroll services, scheduling, limited screening and match caregivers with clients, but there is no employee/employer relationships.

Before hiring non-medical care, you’ll want to understand the differences between agencies and registries and what it can mean in terms of the quality of care and client responsibilities. Use the Questions to Ask When Looking for a Home Care Agency to help you differentiate between the types of providers and what these differences might mean for you.

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