Supplemental Services and Products

There are a number of services, products and technologies that can be used in conjunction with nursing home, assisted living and home care to supplement and enhance the care provided by these options:

Home Health Care: Consists of skilled nursing, therapeutic care, homemaker services, medical social services provided by a Medicare certified agency, for home-bound individuals, as well supplies and medical equipment. Home health care must be ordered by a physician to be covered by insurance.

  • Applicable for any individual whose medical needs, whether short or long term, can be met with home health care. It allows patients who want to return or remain at home to do so rather than going to a nursing facility for care.
  • Paid for by Medicare, Medicaid and other health insurance.

Hospice Care: Provided at home, in a hospice facility, nursing home, intermediate care facility or hospital and offers services that address the physical, psychological and spiritual needs of patients and their families at the end of life. Hospice Care must be ordered by a physician.

  • Applicable for anyone diagnosed with a terminal illness and six months or less to live.
  • Paid for by Medicare and other health insurance.

Palliative Care: Care provided by physicians and other medical staff to relieve symptoms, such as pain, breathing difficulties and other issues that result from illness or treatment. It differs significantly from hospice care since patients can continue with curative treatments.

  • Applicable for anyone suffering from symptoms of illness or treatment.
  • Paid for by Medicare and other health insurance.

Adult Day Care: Offers seniors suffering with health problems and/or Alzheimer’s disease the benefit of a supervised safe environment, medical care, activities and opportunities for socialization. Some adult day care centers follow a medical model, while others are structured on a social model.

  • Applicable for older adults in need of supervised care who are living at home. Many adult day care programs include health and social services that are beneficial to the older adult. In addition, they provide respite for the daily caregiver who might otherwise begin to suffer from caregiver burnout.
  • Paid for by those receiving care (private pay) and in some cases, via Medicaid waiver programs.

Geriatric Care Management: Provide assessments, care recommendations, care coordination, ongoing monitoring of care and advocacy on behalf of the geriatric care management client via social workers, nurses, therapists and gerontologists whose specialty is working with older adults.

  • Applicable for individuals with financial resources but lacking family living nearby or available to oversee care.
  • Paid for by those receiving care (private pay).

Durable Medical Equipment: Durable medical equipment includes hospital beds, wheelchairs, scooters, bath lifts, hoyer lifts and other assistive and adaptive devices.

  • Applicable for those who need specific types of assistive equipment.
  • Paid for by Medicare and other health insurance when ordered by a physician; otherwise, those receiving care (private pay).

Home Modifications: Home modifications include grab bars in the bathroom, handrails on stairs, lighting, wheelchair ramps or lifts and chair lifts. These modifications are designed to increase safety and convert a traditional home into one that can accommodate a person with functional limitations.

  • Applicable for individuals who want to remain at home and would benefit from added safety measures.
  • Paid for by those receiving care (private pay).

Technology: Technology as part of elder care ranges from simple devices, e.g., medical alert devices and electronic medicine dispensers, to others that help medical personnel monitor status. Technology includes home motion detection monitors and systems.

  • Applicable for individuals who want to remain at home and would benefit from a safety net, such as those who are medically frail and/or fall risks.
  • Paid for by those receiving care (private pay).

Home-based Community Services: Caregiving services, home-delivered meals, adult day care, transportation, legal assistance and other services.

  • Applicable for individuals who are eligible for nursing home care but who would prefer to remain at home and who are able to do so with home-based support services.
  • Paid for by: Medicaid waiver programs for those who qualify.