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What is non-medical home care?

Non-medical home care consists of an array of services performed by CNA’s (certified nursing assistants), HHA’s (home health aides) and other home care professionals.

Non-medical home care focuses on the ADL’s or Activities of Daily Living. These everyday activities include:

  • Bathing
  • Transferring
  • Meal prep
  • Laundry
  • Toileting
  • Walking/ambulating
  • Personal hygiene
  • Dressing
  • Light housekeeping and
  • Companionship

Non-medical home care aides can help with all the activities of daily living but do not perform skilled nursing tasks. These nursing tasks include giving IV’s/injections, changing catheters or administering medications. In some states, non-medical home care aides are allowed to assist your loved one with their medications if, for example, they are too unsteady to guide a pill to their mouth. However, they are not allowed to determine which medications to give.


Different medical professionals and home care agencies will refer to home care in different ways. In general – there are two major types of in-home care – medical and non-medical. You may hear variations of these terms but most people are referring to one of the two major types of in-home care.

Non-medical home care is also referred to as:

  • Home Care
  • Non-skilled home care or
  • In-home care

Medical home care is also referred to as:

  • Home healthcare
  • Skilled home healthcare
  • Home health nursing

Payment Source

Another key difference between medical and non-medical home care is the payment source. Non-medical home care is typically paid for by:

  1. Out of pocket.
  2. Long-term care insurance.
  3. Waivers.
  4. And in 2019 – certain medicare advantage plans.

It is worth thoroughly exploring all of these payment sources if you are a senior considering home care.

Alternatively, Medical home healthcare is typically paid for by:

  1. Medicare.
  2. Medicaid.
  3. And private insurance.

It is worth noting that these payer sources require approval by a doctor, sometimes referred to as a “face-to-face”.  The initial approval only lasts for 60 days. This means that after 60-days your doctor must review your home healthcare and certify that you still need these services. This is because patients do not typically need nursing or physical therapy forever. For example, a friends mother recently was discharged from the hospital after a hip replacement and needed home healthcare. She needed home nursing to change her bandages and PT to help get her strength back. After two months, she was much better and home health was no longer required so her doctor chose not to renew her home healthcare.

Given that home healthcare is typically covered by a Medicare/Medicaid or private insurance you might be able to get it for free or at the cost of your deductible.

Carenade’s Take

While it’s important to understand some of the differences between medical and non-medical care, don’t stress too much about the specifics. Carenade is here to help guide you through this entire process.

“We love to talk home care.”

Give us a call at (833)-ShareTheCare.

Carenade is a Lehigh Valley Home Care Marketplace that lists pricing directly on their website. Carenade’s care coordinators are available to help guide you to the best local home care agency.

Updated on June 10, 2019

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