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Home Care vs. Hospice Care


Monday, October 31st, 2011 12:35 am | by San Diego Home Caregivers

San Diego In-Home Care & Hospice Care: The Difference

Many people in San Diego ask “What’s the difference between hospice care and in-home care?” It can be very easy to get the two services mixed up, but the differences are significant.

Hospice Care Services In San Diego

Hospice care involves a team-oriented approach to expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support for patients and their families affected by a life-limiting illness. Hospice care is usually provided in a patient’s home or wherever a patient calls “home” such as a skilled nursing facility or assisted living facility. Care is provided by a team of healthcare professionals all working together with the patient, the patient’s physician, and the patient’s family members. The team makes intermittent visits to a patient’s home, depending on the needs of the patient and family members. And hospice care is very affordable, as it is covered under Medicare, Medi-Cal (Medicaid), most private insurance plans and HMOs. The goal of hospice care is to help the patient live the best quality of life possible, for as long as life lasts – whether that’s weeks, months, or years.

In-Home Care Services in San Diego

In-home care services in San Diego are available for those in need of assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), or for family caregivers who may need a break, or additional help, in caring for their loved one. Non-medical home care agencies provide assistance with ADLs, which require no medical intervention. These activities include supervision and assistance with personal care, such as bathing and dressing, feeding, companionship and light household tasks. Important Note: It’s important to note that non-medical home care (also known as Companion Care) is not covered by Medicare or other commercial insurance policies (i.e. PacifiCare, Secure Horizons, etc). Generally, agencies in the San Diego area can range from $13 to $20 per hour. If your loved one needs assistance 24 hours per day, sometimes known as a “live-in” home care, prices may range from $150 to $250 per 24-hour period. Some services may be covered by long term care insurance, review your policy for details. Medicare, Medi-Cal and private insurance usually cover the cost of visits from a Physician, RN or therapist (if ordered by a Physician). Services must be provided by a Medicare certified Home Health agency. Here's the main difference... The main difference is that hospice care team members visit patients on an intermittent basis – they do not “live-in” with the patient or stay with the patient all day (except in cases where the level of care is determined to be continuous care, based on the medical needs of a patient). And services provided by the hospice team are usually covered by insurance. In-home care workers provide non-medical care, can stay as long as needed (depending on the service agreement between the in-home worker and the patient), and services are usually not covered by insurance. To determine which type of care is best, talk with your doctor or call a San Diego hospice provider for more information.   -by Melissa DelaCalzada

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