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Home care in Florida is provided by Medicare-approved agencies through registered nurses, home health aides, social workers, therapists, and a variety of other senior care professionals. For seniors who need varying degrees of care, but still wish to remain in their homes, this can be an ideal option. Care ranges from a few hours or a few days a week, to 24 hours a day 7 days a week, depending on an individual's medical needs. The intention is to allow seniors to remain as independent as they can in the comfort of their own homes. There are about 3,033 agencies in Florida with an average monthly cost of around $3,623 a month.
Finding home care in Florida will vary from each city to the next depending on what services you need from a caregiver, including the degree of medical attention required. Home care services can provide you or your loved one assistance with the activities of daily life, or more involved medical care depending on the licensing of the medical professional or non-medical paraprofessional of your choice. Although these two professional classifications can in many cases overlap, the main differences are in each caretaker’s ability to administer medical attention and their formal licensing. It’s important to have a clear understanding of one’s individual needs in order to make the best decision.
There are a number of cities throughout FL that have senior home care agencies but the median monthly costs range from:
City Homemaker Services Monthly Costs Home Health Aide Monthly Costs Cape Coral Area $3,813 $3,432 Gainesville $3,813 $3,813 Jacksonville $3,947 3,947 Miami $3,241 $3,337 Naples $4,099 $4,195 Orlando $3,575 $3,813 Panama City $3,623 $3,813 Rest of State $3,337 $3,432
As a senior, there are many options available for places to go and things to see in Florida. There are senior centers throughout state that provide senior oriented activities such as crafts, movie nights, cooking classes, and exercise classes. Specialized senior trips are also available near or far like a day at the casino or museum or a weekend on the beach.
The climate in Florida is mild and sunny, which makes it very appealing to many seniors. Most of Florida is a peninsula between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, resulting in a large number of lakes and other bodies of water inland. High humidity and significant rainfall are common, averaging 55 inches annually. The state's location also makes it a target for tropical storms and hurricanes. Floridians can expect to experience at least a few every year, as either direct hits or those just passing by. Temperatures in Florida do not vary much throughout the year compared to other areas of the country. In the summer, high temperatures average around 91 degrees with lows around 50 degrees during the winter months. Lightweight clothing and a hat to block the sun are essential during most of the year with light jackets fit for cooler evenings and winter.
Florida is a well known favorite spot for retirees, yet has so much more to offer. Even though Florida boasts many large cities, residents are relaxed and really enjoy a slow pace living in the warm sun's glow. In cities like Miami, a large Latino and Cuban population influences the area's food, music, and vibrant energy. Others like Orlando, Jacksonville, and St. Petersburg provide a wide range of entertainment options through the arts and famous golf courses.
Location Violent Crimes Per 1,000 Residents Property Crimes Per 1,000 Residents Indian River Shores 0.0 3.0 Weston 0.7 5.5 Parkland 0.3 6.4 Windemere 0.3 6.3
Medicare-certified home health aides are required to have a federal minimum of 75 hours of training, including 16 hours of supervised practical or clinical training and 12 hours of additional education every 12 months following their licensing. Each state’s approved programs for training and evaluation are overseen by federal legislation (42 CFR 484.36) to ensure national consistency.
Paying for home care in Florida can be achieved in several ways, each based on what can work the best for your unique situation.
First off, seniors may look to Medicare to receive coverage for their copayment and deductibles for medical home care through the Medicare Supplemental Insurances program. However, keep in mind that Medicare does not cover non-medical home care whatsoever. If this is an issue, it may be necessary to look to the other remaining methods of payment.
For veterans of the U.S., the Improved Pension and Homebound and Aid & Attendance Pension may be used to help pay for or cover the entire costs of home care. To learn whether you or a loved one qualifies for these benefits, contact your local Veterans’ Association or Area Agency on Aging.
Most of the time, seniors will choose to pay for their home care privately using their own savings, assets, or pensions. If these options are unavailable to you, it may be reasonable to consider paying through a reverse mortgage, by opening a home equity line of credit, or by converting your life insurance policy to cash.
Finally, Medicaid is a joint federal and state insurance program for low-income seniors and their families that in most cases can be used to cover the costs of home care if it is deemed medically necessary. Each state has its own rules, requirements for eligibility, and specific benefits that will vary depending on where you go in the United States. Medicaid refers to these services as Home and Community Based Services (HCBS). For information on Florida’s home care Medicaid benefits, check out this list.
Seniors receiving home care from a Medicare-approved home health agency retain a series of guaranteed rights and protections with the intention of keeping your needs met. Before receiving home care in any form, it is required that the home health care agency provides you with information detailing your rights. You’ll be informed that you reserve the right to choose your own home care agency and to decide what services (medical or non-medical) you want to participate in. Your personal privacy and property are to be respected at all times in circumstances that it does not interfere with necessary medical attention.
Although there may be the possibility that you will lack the ability to make reasonable or informed decisions about your home health care, you can appoint a family member or legal guardian to act on your behalf. Remember, you still retain your rights as a United States citizen as afforded to you by the Constitution and Bill of Rights. In the case of these rights are violated, contact an elder law professional to help you and your family understand the proper legal actions to take.
As a senior receiving home care in Florida, you have the right to obtain copies of your medical records by submitting a request to your healthcare provider. Although health care workers may mistakenly argue that these records cannot be released due to privacy laws, this is a common misconception. Even if they ask, you don’t need to provide a reason for the request. You will likely be charged a fee and the request may be required in writing, but your records belong to you.
This protected health information will detail information relating to your physical and mental health, including medical records, billing records, claims adjudication records, and other documents used in making decisions about your health care. In some cases, your information can take up to 30 days to be fully processed and available to you, with healthcare providers allowed one extension of an additional 30 days. If this limit is exceeded, you must be provided with a written statement as to why the delay occurred.