Senior Living



What’s the difference between in home health care and at-home?


Dear Toni,

I need your help regarding my parents who are in their late 80s. My mother has been disabled with Parkinson’s for the past 3 years and my father has been her caretaker, but due to his recent heart attack, he can no longer assist her.

They do not have a long-term care plan, and discussing having live-in help or living in an assisted living facility is out of the question. My parents’ big worry is that they will outlive their retirement money and be unable to provide financially for themselves. My concern is that my parents cannot properly take care of themselves and that something serious could happen to them living on their own.

What is the difference in home health care vs at-home care? Will Medicare pay for at-home care?

--Samantha from Tulsa, Okla.

Hi Samantha:


Do not feel like you are alone with this problem of aging parents, because many baby-boomers are experiencing just what you’re facing. Elderly parents do not want to lose their independence by not controlling their finances. This type of situation is especially difficult when they can no longer care for themselves properly as you, Samantha, are experiencing with your parents.

I had the same stressful issue with my own mother and discussed different options with a home health agency, who explained how to maximize my mother’s Medicare dollars with home health care benefits, not at-home care.

-- Home health care

To receive home health care services from Original Medicare (not a Medicare Advantage Plan):


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