How Long Can a Home Health Care Nurse Help Out?

Families often worry about the cost of having caregivers at their parent’s homes. While it’s true that home care services (housekeeping, laundry, etc.) are paid for out-of-pocket and not covered by Medicare, home health care nurses may be covered for a limited amount of time. Understanding the policies is important if you want to avoid surprises.


Home Health Care in Lexington MA: Home Health Care Nurse
Home Health Care in Lexington MA: Home Health Care Nurse


How long that is, depends on the situation.

Intermittent care is defined as the care needed for no more than 21 days and less than 8 hours per day. If your mom’s doctor recommends additional days of care, it may be possible with a renewal. It’s important that you stay in touch with your parent’s doctor and remain involved in her care decisions.

What Can Home Health Care Offer?

Home health care services vary. Skilled nursing care is one of the services. Nurses will come to the home and change dressings on wounds and surgical incisions. They’ll manage feeding tubes, catheters, and IVs.

Generally, Medicare limits this care to no more than 28 hours a week and 8 hours per day. If your mom’s care needs are more intensive, she may need to go into a nursing home until her care needs decrease. In limited cases, up to 35 hours of home health care are permitted.

Therapeutic services like occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy are offered at home. You’ll encounter these services if your mom had a stroke, fell, and fractured bones that lead to limited mobility, etc. You’ll probably find that it’s easier to have therapists come to her home than having to get her out of the house on time to get to the therapist’s office.

Your mom’s health issue may require a drastic change in her diet. If she needs to make dietary changes after heart surgery or battle to stabilize blood sugars due to diabetes, home health care includes in-home sessions with dietitians to learn how to prepare meals and make the right food choices.

Questions to Ask a Home Health Care Team

Work closely with your mom’s doctors to make sure she has the care she needs at home. Her doctor can help you plan accordingly for her recovery. A hospital social worker may have advice on getting insurance to cover the home health care services that your mom needs. You’ll also get information on how long that care will be needed.

Ask for regular updates from your mom’s home health care team. When possible, be on-hand during therapy sessions to see what the nurses and therapists do while working with your mom. If home health care coverage runs out, it’s important to be able to step in and help your mom.

Talk to a home health care agency after talking to her doctor. Make arrangements as soon as you know what help she’ll need during her recovery.


If you or an aging loved-one is considering Home Health Care in Lexington, MA, please contact the caring staff at Visiting Nurse & Community Care today. (781) 643-6090