An Extensive Guide to In-home Care for Adults With Disabilities


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Key Takeaways

  1. Home care provides adults and seniors with disabilities care services in the comfort of their homes. In-home care services cater to individual lifestyles and care needs.
  2. There’s a difference between home care and home health care for disabled adults. Home care services are nonmedical, whereas home health care involves medical support.
  3. Family caregivers receive support through home care services, too. Extra help with a loved one’s day-to-day tasks can reduce the burden placed on family caregivers.
  4. Assisted living may become necessary for disabled adults. If care needs exceed the capabilities of a family caregiver at home, look into communities that provide specialized, round-the-clock support.

In-home care services for people with disabilities

Nonmedical in-home caregivers are trained to assist with an individual’s activities of daily living as well as homemaking. Personal care will vary widely between clients since individuals have their individualized needs, abilities, and preferences.

Most home care agencies offer the following services:

  • Help with bathing, dressing, and grooming
  • Transportation to errands, activities, and appointments
  • Grocery shopping and meal preparation
  • Pet care
  • Companionship
  • Medication reminders
  • Light housekeeping and laundry

These services can be life-changing for disabled adults, as home care enables clients’ continued independence and peace in their homes. The spectrum of care services available across home care agencies is broad, and care plans can be tailored to the client’s needs, whether they just want to be more social or they need advanced nursing care.


Home health care services

In-home health care is a medically specialized form of home care provided by licensed medical professionals, like nurses and therapists. These medically specialized individuals are trained to provide not only the general home care services mentioned above but also the following skilled nursing care services:

  • Health status monitoring
  • Medication administration
  • IV therapy and injections
  • Respiratory therapy
  • Physical, speech, and occupational therapy
  • Wound care
  • Medical testing and labs
  • Medical device assistance
  • Incontinence care
  • Dietician services

To receive in-home health services, a client should have a prescription from a doctor stating that care services are “medically necessary” for the client’s long-term health. This is because these nursing care services are more specialized than general home care services.

Most health care providers aim to keep disabled adults and seniors out of institutional nursing care facilities, so home health care services are preferred by both parties. These types of services are not only convenient and help to keep clients out of the hospital, but they also promote aging in place in a comfortable environment. Services can be received in the client’s chosen residential community, like a home or senior living establishment, instead of a nursing home.

Home care supports family relationships

By helping with nursing and personal care tasks, both general home care and home health care professionals reduce the burden on family caregivers. With that extra help, family caregivers have more time for other priorities, like focusing on their careers, participating in hobbies, and spending quality time with loved ones. In this way, professional in-home caregivers help family caregivers avoid burnout.

The option of in-home health care services means family caregivers don’t have to worry about lacking the skills or knowledge to provide quality medical care to their loved ones. Most importantly, both home care and home health care professionals help adults and seniors with disabilities safely age in the place they know and call home.

Home care coverage for adults with disabilities

There are many public health care options for disabled adults and seniors that meet financial and functional requirements. Depending on your loved one’s situation, Medicare, Medicaid, or VA benefits may help them pay for home care and home health services. Each program has different eligibility requirements and benefits.

As far as the cost of home care services, that’s not so straightforward. The median cost of in-home care in the U.S. is $30 an hour, according to A Place for Mom’s 2023 report on the cost of long-term care. However, the amount your loved one will pay for home care ultimately depends on a few factors, including the type of services they need, how often they need those services, and what their insurance provider covers.

Some long-term care insurance (LTCI) plans cover home care services, but if your loved one doesn’t have LTCI, consider the public options below.


All Americans who are 65 or older are eligible for Medicare benefits, as well as some people under 65 who are unable to work due to their disability. Adults under 65 may be eligible for Medicare if they must meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • Have been on Social Security Disability for over 24 months
  • Have a cancer diagnosis
  • Have end-stage renal disease (ESRD)
  • Have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

Medicare doesn’t cover long-term care services, but Medicare Part A and Part B may cover short-term medically necessary home care and home health services, like hospice or rehabilitative care. Beneficiaries must meet strict medical eligibility requirements, and care providers must be Medicare-approved.[01]


Medicaid is a government assistance program for long-term care for seniors or disabled individuals who can’t afford the care they need. Medicaid programs vary from state to state, but home health care is an entitlement to most beneficiaries across states if requirements are met.

Typically, disabled seniors are entitled to home health care services through their state’s home and community based services (HCBS) programs, like the Community First Choice program in some states. These programs make it possible for disabled adults or seniors to receive the care services they need in their chosen place of residence through Medicaid-approved care agencies. Functional eligibility standards must be met, meaning a person has a medical necessity for care services prescribed by a doctor. Financial eligibility requirements also vary from state to state.

If your family member plans to apply for Medicaid, contact your state-specific Medicaid office to get help with Medicaid and learn more about eligibility details.

Veterans benefits

Various VA benefits can help disabled veterans or their spouses receive home care and home health care. VA-approved home care agencies may provide these services to eligible veterans, or the VA may provide funds directly to the seniors to pay for their own private care. What your loved one gets approved for depends on many complex factors, like their service history, the specific disability they have, and their current living situation.

The following VA programs may help disabled veterans access home care services.

VA Pension. The VA Pension provides a monetary benefit to eligible wartime veterans who meet certain financial criteria. Pension benefits can be used however a veteran wishes, such as paying for home care services.[02]

VA Aid and Attendance benefit. A VA Pension recipient (or their surviving spouse) who is ill or disabled and requires help with activities of daily living or is currently living in a nursing home may also qualify for the VA Aid and Attendance benefit. These additional monthly payments are meant to cover anything that improves the person’s quality of life, like home health care in their chosen place of residence.[03]

VA Housebound allowance. A VA Pension recipient (or their surviving spouse) who has a permanent disability that causes them to spend most of their time in their home or place of residence may qualify for the VA housebound allowance.[03] This monetary benefit is added to the person’s VA Pension (or survivors pension) payment and is meant to help pay for supports that allow them to continue living at home.

VA disability compensation. This is a monthly tax-free payment for veterans who became sick or injured during their time in the military or who had a preexisting condition that was worsened by their military service. This benefit is not based on financial need and can be used to pay for home care services.[04]

VA survivors pension. This benefit is available to surviving spouses of eligible veterans. Monthly payments can be used however the recipient sees fit, such as paying for long-term care services at home.[05]

VA health care. The VA offers several home- and community-based care programs to veterans who are enrolled in VA health care benefits and need assistance managing a disability or medical condition at home. Available programs include homemaker and home health aide care, skilled home health care, veteran-directed care, and more.[06]

How to find in-home care for disabled adults and seniors

There are many factors to consider when choosing the right home care agency for your family’s needs. The first step is deciding what type of care services are needed and how often. Next, you’ll need to reach out to local agencies with questions about their services, costs, caregivers, and policies.

This can be a time-intensive process, but that’s why A Place for Mom’s Senior Living Advisors are here to help. We do the research for you using our comprehensive directory of senior care providers.

With help from a local Senior Living Advisor, family caregivers can find the care option that suits their loved one’s lifestyle, needs, and preferences. Sometimes home care services aren’t enough, and your loved one might require advanced community care with 24/7 oversight. Our knowledgeable advisors will assess your situation, comparing service needs as well as helping you compare costs. They can also connect you with home care providers and even schedule tours of local care communities, all at no cost to your family.

This article originally appeared on APlaceForMom and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

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