The Basics: In-Home Care 101

The thought of arranging in-home care for yourself or a loved one can feel very overwhelming in the beginning. In addition to all of the paperwork that needs to be deciphered, families also have to become educated on the options available and legalities involved in obtaining these services. We’ve answered some of those questions below in our first “The Basics” guide as you and your family begin down this new path.

What is homecare or in-home medical care?

The American Medical Association defines home care as “the provision of equipment and services to the patient in the home for the purpose of restoring and maintaining his or her maximal level of comfort, function and health.” Providers include home health agencies, hospices, home care aide agencies, private-duty agencies, and companies specializing in medical equipment and supplies. The functions in some organizations overlap, and some may merge in order to provide a wider variety of services through one entity.

What types of individuals qualify for homecare?

7.6 million individuals in the United States currently receive some form of in-home medical care. These people include the physically frail elderly and pediatric population, those recovering and rehabilitating from surgery, and persons with permanent disabilities or terminal illnesses. 

How do I get approved for in-home care?

First and foremost for an individual to receive in-home care a physician must complete an evaluation of the patient and sign a home-health certificate. The physician will determine whether the patient needs skilled or unskilled nursing and therapy, as well as the frequency and duration of care to be provided. There are a multitude of options available for paying for such services including private pay, personal health insurance, and public benefit programs. Once certification and payment methods have been arranged the family will have to decide upon which in-home health agency they would like to provide services.

What equipment and supplies will my family need in our home?

Most equipment and supplies provided from DME ( durable medical equipment) companies will require a physician signed prescription. Equipment can range from mobility aids such as canes, walkers, and wheelchairs to daily living aids such as shower chairs, hospital beds and patient lifts. Some homebound patients will need respiratory equipment, nutritional supplies, and wound care products. All of these products and supplies will require a prescription if not paid for out of pocket. 

Your doctor and skilled nursing staff will help each family to decide upon which equipment and supplies are necessary for their care. Furthermore, Legacy Medical Sales is available to provide you with the equipment, supplies, and medical products your family will need in this new chapter of your life.

In summary, while you may not become an expert in homecare just from reading our informative guide, we are happy to assist you with the basic information to get you started on your journey. Contact Legacy Medical Sales at for help with setting up your new in-home delivery account or for questions about the products you and your family need.