We can all agree, the more help, the better. As we age, and even before, it’s great to have help around the house to keep things spick and span. However, when it comes to benefits from Long Term Health Insurance and Medicare Advantage plans, it is best to be wise about how and when to these benefits on household care versus personal and health care.
First, a definition of the following types of care.
This includes many aspects of the house, from cleaning and cooking to laundry and shopping. Of course, some may need just a few hours a week to tidy up, while others may need meals prepared and multiple loads of laundry done. The right person exists at different price points, so be sure to look thoroughly for someone ready and able to meet a senior where they are.
Personal care involves more initiate activities that go beyond the scope of a housekeeper or maid: bathing, dressing, and all aspects of grooming fall under personal care. A caregiver who has experience in personal care can be a significant asset to any family, especially one who includes an older who has lost the ability to do even basic tasks. This position requires high amounts of trust, so do intense research before selecting.
Someone who provides emotional care can be a professional therapist or simply a paid companion. This is an excellent service to look into, especially for individuals who live in rural areas or far away from loved ones. Emotional care can include companionship, meaningful activities, or simply just conversation. That being said, having someone to speak to is as important or more important than physical health.
It may be tough to find a nurse who can cover ALL aspects of health care, including but not limited to: physical therapy, medication management, physician’s appointments. However, both Long Term Care Insurance and Medicare Advantage plans will likely cover these expenses so multiple people can be hired for different ailments.
Obviously, different people will have varying types and levels of need, but we can generally categorize them. Some caregivers may have the skillset to cover many of these needs but what is even more important is how many hours to have covered by a benefit plan. Only a certain amount of time will be covered, so using allotments for personal care rather than household care is vital.
It’s understandable that for those with limited mobility, household care can equate to health and personal care. This is when supplemental benefits and free services for older adults can be a huge help. Rather than wasting covered time on cleaning and tidying, these hours can be exclusively used on more expensive and more essential health and personal care. While this may seem more immediate for those already in need of all types of care, it’s also something to keep in mind for those under 80 and those who are not yet in need of any care. Even a small dip into benefits for unnecessary care can shorten the longevity of benefits.