Home- and Community-Based Services

Most older Ohioans prefer to live independently in their own homes, in their communities, surrounded by family and friends, for as long as they can. But, many need some help to do so. In your own home or the home of a loved one, the services you may receive vary considerably, but most provide meals, housekeeping, laundry, transportation and social activities. They also offer personal care, such as assistance with eating, bathing, grooming and personal hygiene. Some nursing care is also provided, including medication administration and dressing changes.

To determine if home- and community-based care is a good option for you, contact your Area Agency on Aging and request a free assessment. Local communities can have services available, such as transportation, adult day services, senior centers, congregate meal sites and others. Your Area Agency on Aging will be able to connect you with available services.

How to select a service provider

How do you choose the best senior service provider? You should consider the following factors:

  • 1. Location: Verify the senior service provider is within a comfortable travel distance (if you need to visit them).If the senior service provider will be visiting you at your home verify they offer their services in your community.
  • 2. Service needed: Verify the elder care provider provides the service you need.
  • 3. Availability: Verify the senior service provider can schedule appointments when you need them.
  • 4. Fees: Some senior service providers are covered by insurance and some are not. Verify the elder care provider takes your insurance. It’s best to shop around for the best prices for the services you need.
  • 5. Recommendations: Word of mouth recommendations can tell you whether you can get along with providers on a personal level. Ask friends, family, and other associates if they have had experiences with the senior service providers on your list.
Resources for selecting a service provider:


Paying for care in your home

Home care services can be paid for directly by the patient and his or her family members or through a variety of public and private sources, such as Medicare, Medicaid or the Veterans Administration. Some community organizations, such as local chapters of the American Cancer Society, the Alzheimer's Association, and the National Easter Seal Society, also provide funding to help pay for home care services.

  • Private Pay:

Costs for home-based care vary according to the services offered. In 2010 in Ohio, a home health aide received an average hourly rate of $20.00 and homemaker services cost an average of $19.00 an hour, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' National Clearinghouse for Long-term Care (http://www.longtermcare.gov/LTC/Main_Site/Tools/State_Costs.aspx?rand=2&nameclass=County&map=OH&full=Ohio#data ). Based on these figures, in 2010 you would have paid more than $19,000 a year on average for a home health aide to assist three times a week.

  • Medicare:

    Most Americans older than 65 are eligible for the federal Medicare program. If an individual is homebound, under a physician's care, and requires medically necessary skilled nursing or therapy services, he or she may be eligible for services provided by a Medicare-certified home health agency. Depending on the patient's condition, Medicare may pay for intermittent skilled nursing; physical, occupational, and speech therapies; medical social work; and medical equipment and supplies. The referring physician must authorize and periodically review the patient's plan of care. With the exception of hospice care, the services the patient receives must be intermittent or part time and provided through a Medicare-certified home health agency for reimbursement.

  • Medicaid:

    Medicaid is a joint federal-state medical assistance program for low-income individuals. Under federal Medicaid rules, coverage of home health services must include part-time nursing, HCA services, and medical supplies and equipment. Your Area Agency on Aging can discuss the eligibility requirements for Medicaid and can help you apply.

  • Veterans Administration:

The Veterans Administration (VA) provides home health care coverage to veterans who are at least 50 percent disabled due to a service-related condition. A physician must authorize these services, which must be delivered through the VA's network of hospital-based home care units.

  • The Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA):
CHAMPVA (http://www.va.gov/hac/forbeneficiaries/champva/champva.asp) is a comprehensive health care program in which the VA shares the cost of covered health care services and supplies with eligible beneficiaries. The program is administered by Health Administration Center.
  • Tricare
Formerly known as the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS): Tricare is a health care program of the United States Department of Defense Military Health System. It provides civilian health benefits, on a cost-shared basis, and covers skilled nursing care and other professional medical home care services for dependents of active military personnel and military retirees and their dependents and survivors.