At the Integrated Memory Care Clinic, we often field questions from family members and caregivers who are confused about the types of in-home care available for their loved one with Alzheimer’s or related dementia. It can be difficult to know where to start. But you’re already on the right path—learning more about the types of care available is a great first step. If you’ve already decided to support your loved one with care in their home, there are many great services available to give you much needed support. We’ve outlined the differences in types of care available below, and are happy to help our patients and their families navigate the options.
Home Care is the basic level of 24/7 care that many people with dementia need. This companion care typically involves making sure your loved one has meals, gets to where they need to go, and can involve help with feeding, getting up and around, and personal care like showers and hygiene.
Medicare does not cover Home Care. You will have to pay for this privately, but it may be covered by long-term care insurance policies or VA benefits. Medicaid waiver programs also provide vouchers for in-home care for low-income patients and families.
Home Care can be hired privately or through an agency. Each has benefits and drawbacks. When hiring through a Home Care agency, you’ll have a large pool of people to pull from, so if your caregiver has an illness or needs to miss work, other team members can fill that shift. The agency will handle the liability insurance, payroll, and other issues that come with hiring an employee. You will, however, pay more for these added benefits.
If you hire someone privately for Home Care, you’ll probably pay less and have more flexibility. You may also have more options for a better personality fit when hiring privately. However, you also assume the responsibilities of an employer. You’ll need to have liability insurance, manage payroll and resolve the other issues that come with having an employee.
This type of care requires a doctor’s order and may be provided by registered nurses and physical, speech, or occupational therapists. It includes services like changing IV fluids, injections, physical therapy, monitoring of vital signs and wound care. We often see a need for Home Health Care after a dramatic change in condition. Medicare does provide coverage for these kinds of services on a very time-limited basis.
Aging Life Care Managers
Aging life care management is a holistic, client-centered approach to caring for older adults or others facing ongoing health challenges. This service will be private pay. The service provider may act as a case manager that will coordinate care between doctor’s appointments, arrange for transportation, serve as a high-level patient advocate if needed, and even provide services like making sure there’s food in the house. This can be helpful when your loved one can’t always remember their doctor’s instructions or if you are providing long-distance caregiving. Visit the Aging Life Care Association’s website for more information.
Home Delivered Meals
This service can help keep your loved one in their homes longer, as people suffering from Alzheimer’s and related dementias often struggle following recipes and preparing meals. It will include delivery of hot, cold or frozen prepared meals. This service is not covered by insurance. Organizations like Meals on Wheels or other private community-based organizations will also deliver meals for low-income patients who cannot afford this service.
Visit the Integrated Memory Care Clinic to learn more about how it can help or call 404-712-6929.
The Integrated Memory Care Clinic
The Integrated Memory Care Clinic (IMCC) is a nationally recognized patient-centered medical home that provides primary care individualized for someone living with dementia and is designed to replace your current primary care provider. Our goal is to provide the best dementia-sensitive primary care. If you’d like to learn more about the IMCC, or think one of your patients or family members could benefit from our services, please contact our patient services coordinator at 404-712-6929.
To learn more, please visit Integrated Memory Care Clinic.