Navigating the Health Care Maze
On August 17, 2018, Vernon Atwood, Co-owner and president, led a lively discussion about what is available in home care and what is paid for by insurance and what is not. There will be a follow-up presentation, before Medicare enrollment, in December that will talk about how to pick the best Medicare plan to get the most out of Home Health benefits. There was a standing room only crowd that attended the event. These seniors are very interested in what is covered and what is not covered when it comes to in-home care and home health.
The first discussion was about why in-home and Home Health care is being talked about now. The audience was quizzed about what was the life expectancy back in 1776, at the turn of the century and now, in 2018. We gave prizes to each audience member that guessed closest to the answers for each year. The take-away message here, was, life expectancy in the US went from 35 years, to 50 years and now is 80 years.
One of the benefits of these years we all have gained, is that we need to get rid of the word, “retirement”. You retire an aircraft carrier after it no longer is good for anything. Now that we live longer, when we stop work at 62 or 65, we have a whole 20-30 year chapter that we can do many things that we couldn’t do when we were younger, as long as we take care of ourselves. For the last 4 years Vernon and his team have presented here, every month, on topics that help the seniors do just that.
We can live vibrant lives if we take care of ourselves and use in-home and home health care. There was a lively discussion about differences between these types of care. It is very confusing because people use home health to describe in-home care.
Home Health is covered by insurance and needs to be ordered by a doctor and it includes the following:
- Physical Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Cognitive Care
- Medical/Social Worker
- Home Health Aid - limited
In-home Care is usually private-pay, with exceptions described in the presentation. This care includes the following and more:
- Meal preparation
- Medical reminders
- Light housekeeping
In-home Care can also include the following, also:
- Personal hygiene
- Transfer assistance
- Monitor vital signs
- Lotions & ointments
We also discussed, in detail the difference between having a private caregiver and a caregiver from a registry versus a caregiver from an agency like Right at Home.
In addition to the differences between registries and agencies, we also talked about the risks with going with a private caregiver, in California. Some of these are summarized here: