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When Caregiving is  Not Enough -
Finding Good Homecare

By Leah M. Pavela, LCSW

(Page 3 of 3)


Many people who look for home care erroneously assume that if their loved one needs assistance in the home, Medicare will cover the service.  This is not always the case.  Medicare limits itself to “reasonable and necessary part time or intermittent skilled nursing care and home health services,” and does not include 24 hour care, services which are limited to “homemaking” services, assistance with transportation, or companion services.  Unless a person has a long-term care insurance policy which provides for these services in the home, home care can be cost prohibitive.  Although most people prefer to “age in place,” there are times that due to financial resources and the availability of finding good, reliable, continuous care, that an assisted living community may be a better choice than in-home care, both financially and for the assurance of the safety and health of a loved one.

As one popular commercial for menswear states, “An educated consumer is our best customer.”  There is possibly no arena in which this is truer than in the search for good, reliable home health care.  Ronnie Thomas, who is a part owner/administrator for a home health agency in Broward County, states that when a person is considering home health care for a loved one, one should make an informed decision and weigh all the options.  She believes that first and foremost to remember is that the services the patient is receiving is paid for by insurance (usually Medicare) and since this is money the loved one worked hard for and paid into the system, they are entitled to and deserve good, quality care which puts the patient’s needs first, out of the system.  “Attentive, kind, quality care from committed professionals who involve the family as much as possible,” are things she believes should be insisted on.  Kathy R. believes the same.  “Compassion and good communication between caregiver, patient, and the home health provider are paramount,” she states, and although she has had many sleepless nights worrying about her stepmother’s health, she knows that the home health provider she now uses provides her with one less thing over which to worry.


Leah M. Pavela, LCSW is a psychotherapist in Deerfield Beach, FL who specializes in working with the mental health concerns of older Americans and their loved ones.  She is currently in private practice with TheraCounsel, Inc., www.


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