Home Care and Hospice

Home Healthcare

Home healthcare refers to any healthcare service either “skilled or unskilled” that is provided in one’s home. Homecare can also mean that you are receiving rehabilitation and recovery services in your home rather than in a skilled nursing facility after a hospital stay. Registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, occupational therapists, speech therapists and physical therapists, provide “skilled” services. This can include such things as complex nursing care, cardiac and pulmonary care, dialysis, chemotherapy, wound care, and pain management.

Home health aides, who are sometimes referred to as certified nursing aides, (CANs), provide unskilled services. These aides can live-in or work just a few hours a day. When contracted through an agency their services are provided under the supervision of a registered nurse. They provide such things as, meal preparation, housekeeping, companionship, medication reminders, help with errands and transportation.

Medicare Home Healthcare Agencies

Private Pay Home Healthcare Agencies

There are several ways to pay for home care. The one that offers you the most options is called Private Pay (this means you pay with your own money). When you are paying for services yourself, you get to choose exactly what you want to pay for, which agency you want to work with, and how many hours each week you want service. If you are 65 or older or if you have been determined by Medicare to be disabled, you are covered by Medicare and may be eligible for some home health care services to be paid by Medicare. If you use Medicare to pay for services, you must use a home health care agency that is Medicare Certified. This is explained in the section Medicare Home Health Care. Other ways to pay for home health care are private insurance, Veteran’s assistance, and Medicaid.

Home Care

Non-medical home care is just what the name implies and focuses on types of care that do not require the caregiver to do anything medical in nature. Whether help is needed for a long time, in case of a chronic condition, or for a short while as when recovering from surgery, the non-medical home healthcare is flexible enough to adjust to the specific needs of the person. Basically there are three types of non-medical home care; services, companion and personal.

What can a caregiver do for you or your loved one? Here are just some of the ways they can assist:

  • Personal hygiene, such as, bathing, hair washing,
  • Dressing,
  • Grocery shopping,
  • Preparing meals,
  • Light housework,
  • Medication reminders,
  • Providing human interaction and companionship.

Care Manager

Care Managers are health care professionals with a specialized body of knowledge and experience related to the care of the older adult. Sometimes they are known by different names such as Geriatric Care Managers, Professional Geriatric Care Managers, Elder Care or Aging Care Managers. The Care Manager is an experienced guide and resource for families of older adults. They help develop personalized and compassionate recommendations based upon an extensive evaluation of the individual’s physical, psychological, social and environmental needs.

Some of the services they can provide are:

  • Evaluates the needs of the individual, guides planning,
  • Identifies service and housing options,
  • Sorts information and answers questions,
  • Advocates for the older adult and family,
  • Prevents unnecessary expenditures,
  • Assures continuity of care among services and professionals, and
  • Identifies gaps and duplications in services.


Hospice is a package of services and programs provided to terminally ill persons and their caregivers. Hospices offer palliative care and supportive care. Some Hospice providers care for people where they live while others require a move to the residence that provides the care. Hospice providers who care for people where they reside will provide care wherever the person resides, which may be a single family home, a nursing home, an apartment and so on. The list of hospices here is comprehensive for the metro area. For more information, call Hospice Minnesota, 651-659-0423.