caregiver holding senior's hands

The calls back and forth to senior home care agencies in Raleigh, the hours spent scrolling on the internet, wondering if you’re making the right decision – we understand the journey. Selecting and starting home care services can be confusing, and you want to ask all the right questions to ensure that a senior you love will receive the best care possible. There are many common questions about home care as families start the search for care, and TheKey can answer them!

To start, there are a few different types of services for care at home, and it’s important to know the difference between them and which one an aging loved one could benefit from most.

What types of care are there?

  • Home Health Care – Home health care includes skilled nursing services that one would need for support with a chronic condition or following a serious health crisis. These services could include diabetes care, blood pressure monitoring and wound care. Home health care can also provide rehabilitation services such as speech, physical and respiratory therapies. Under certain conditions, home health care can be partially covered by Medicare.
  • Private Duty Care – Unlike home health care, private duty care provides services for in-home non-medical care, such as personal care, companionship, meal planning and preparation. Generally, private duty care is paid for by the family or the person receiving care, although there are instances where worker’s compensation, long-term care insurance, Medicaid and veteran’s benefits can provide financial help. TheKey is an example of a private duty care provider. We do not provide Medicare home health care, but do provide a wide range of private duty care services. See our Services page for more information.
  • Home Hospice Care – Home hospice care is designed to provide comfort and support to patients and their families at home when a life-limiting illness no longer responds to cure-oriented treatments. Hospice services include nursing care, as well as support with emotional and spiritual needs. Hospice care is also often covered by private insurance providers, as well as Medicare under certain requirements.
  • Care Management Services – Care Managers help manage the coordination of an aging adult’s care needs, which may include coordinating medical and other care providers, family communication, or assisting with a move into another living arrangement and the closing up of a household. They are most often an out-of-pocket expense.

Who qualifies for home care?

Private pay home care services are available to anyone who needs the services and does not require special qualifications. However, to qualify for Medicare reimbursed home health care, the care must be referred by a doctor as medically necessary, the care provided must include skilled care and be intermittent (not full time), the patient must be considered homebound, and the home health agency must be approved by the Medicare program.

How can I pay for home care services?

Cost is a major concern for families starting their home care journey. Outside of private pay options, there are requirements to access home care payments from sources such as veteran’s benefits or long-term care insurance. You can learn more about those requirements by scheduling a consultation with an elder law attorney, the agency you’re interested in, such as TheKey, or your local Agency on Aging.

Medicaid can provide financial support for families who cannot afford in-home care. To be eligible for Medicaid home care benefits, the aging adult does not have to be homebound, but the senior does have to be assessed and approved by the appropriate state agency that oversees the program.

Is home care a safe option?

Ultimately, statistics show that aging adults prefer to age at home, and there are professionally trained caregivers, like those at TheKey, that are specially qualified to keep aging adults as safe and as comfortable as possible as they age at home.

To be sure that you are making the safest choice for an aging loved one, start by confirming that the home care agency you want to use requires background checks for their caregivers. Then, ask the agency about the training the caregivers undergo and how you can be informed of an aging loved one’s condition at the end of each visit.

TheKey can help!

This list of questions about home care is far from exhaustive! We understand that starting home care services can create a lot of questions, and we’re here to help! If you are ready to start your care journey, but still have questions about home care, contact us online or at (919) 436-1871 for more information on how our services for senior home care in Raleigh and the nearby areas can help!