Home Health Aide: A person who assists ill, disabled or elderly in the home. Home health aides (HHA) sometimes referred to as Personal Care Aides, do hands-on personal care for individuals and housekeeping tasks. Medicare reimburses HHAs if the individual is homebound and unable to care for her/himself. The individual must present with a skilled nursing need and the HHA must be affiliated with a licensed, certified home care agency. A physician must sign on to having the need for a home health aide for Medicare to reimburse. However, if you are not eligible for Medicare reimbursement you are able to hire privately through a licensed home care agency.
Home Companion: A person who assists senior and frail elderly with everyday tasks such as going to the store, taking out the trash, remembering to take medications, preparing simple meals, basic housekeeping chores and transport to social activities. No hands-on services such as dressing, bathing or lifting. This service is not paid for by Medicare.
Visiting Nurse: Registered nurse who comes to the home to do an assessment of patients' needs and ongoing treatment as well as coordination of care as needed. Must be referred by a physician and individual must have a skilled nursing need such as physical therapy. If there occupational or speech therapy needs as well they must be in combination with physical therapy. Medicare does pay for visiting nurses.