ARTICLES / Caregiver / When
Caregiving is Not Enough.../
M. Pavela, LCSW
IS THE SERVICE COVERED BY INSURANCE?
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
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. TheraCounsel.com