What is Personal Care?
Personal Care provides services to people who need assistance with activities of daily living (a.k.a. ADL's).
Much of personal care is "private duty" or private pay, meaning that it is not covered by insurance and must be paid for by the beneficiary or some other party. However, many Medicaid and Veteran's Affairs programs do pay for personal care, and the government has now made a provision that allows Medicare Advantage plans to pay for services at their discretion.
Though being private pay may be seen as a restriction for some people, it also allows personal care agencies to offer many types of services that could not be provided by a CNA as part of a Home Health episode. For example, in addition to helping clients to bathe, dress, remind them to take medications, and change clothing or briefs, a Personal Care Aide may perform shopping, meal prep, housekeeping, laundry, errands, companionship, and much more.
Private Duty offerings may extend beyond personal care to include private pay nursing, therapy, and/or social work. Some companies are even beginning to offer private-duty care management to present a more whole-person approach of caregiving as they build a trusting relationship with clients as an advocate and guide through the healthcare system.
Where to Start
If you think that you might be eligible for personal care services through Medicaid or the VA, the best place to start is with your Case Manager or Primary Care Physician. Otherwise, because most personal care is private pay, you or someone on your behalf can call to make an appointment for a free consultation from one or more agencies to learn more about their services and pricing. Questions that you may want to ask include how often the agency has unfilled shifts due to unavailable staff, whether there is a contract or you can cancel services at any time, and what their cancellation policy is for a shift in case you need to cancel a visit. Also be sure to request a full declaration of the agency's fees in writing and not just the hourly bill rate.
Find an HHAU member agency in your area by visiting
About the Association
HHAU is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization. Your donations, membership, sponsporship and volunteerism are used to help support services provided by Utah's Homecare & Hospice industries to our loved ones, neighbors and friends. Thank You for your support!
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