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Jul 29

Are all home care agents certified nurses?

3 comments

I am wondering about this as my brother brought up that ones who are certified nurses typically cost more because they are medically trained and cleared to perform things an uncertified caregiver can't do. Is there a difference here or has he misunderstood something?

Your brother is correct. Typically, nurses do professional tasks like medication management and administration, wound care, evaluating health status, and medically complex care. They usually work through home health companies. Medicare and health insurance pays for Home Health care. Home care is assistance with activities that are usually performed on our own, but that someone is no longer able to do by themselves like help with bathing, dressing and grooming, meal preparation, housekeeping, and driving. The caregivers sometimes are certified nurses assistants, and sometimes they are caring individuals who have had a lot of experience helping people. They can also alert the agency or family if they observe any changes in the client's condition or anything that they are concerned about. This type of care is considered custodial and is private pay unless the client has a low enough income to qualify for Medicaid.

Kelly - it might also be useful to understand some of the lingo you will likely encounter. When looking at home services, the industry differentiates between Skilled needs and Custodial needs. A Skilled need is usually one in which a RN or LVN is needed - services like Laura mentioned above. Most skilled care is considered short term and IS covered by Medicare and other insurance plans. Custodial needs are most likely long term and ones which do NOT require the level of a nurse, and can be preformed by a caregiver with training. This type of care is designed to meet the ADL's (Activities of Daily Living) - like bathing and dressing. These are by far the most common needs families have as the need is mostly for supportive services: meal prep, light housekeeping, grooming, ect. Custodial needs are NOT covered by Medicare or standard insurances but may be covered through a long term care policy.

Thank you for your responses. I ended up getting a few questions answered here. I am glad I asked because I was under the impression that the bathing and everything like that would be done by all caregivers, not just ones who specify it. I think both will be necessary long term. The custodial care is not covered by insurance which is very unfortunate. I know in nursing homes, this is covered but we do not want to go that route unless we had no other option.

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