Caregiver Duties: How Medicare can Help

Pamela Cannaday by Pamela Cannaday | Licensed since 2011
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This article was updated on: 09/09/2018

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) more than 34 million people provide unpaid care to someone 18 and older who is ill or has a disability. Typically, close family members or friends of aged, infirm, or very ill people serve as caregivers. Medicare provides some information to try to make this task somewhat easier.

If you would like to explore this collection of helpful information, you can type “caregiver” in the search box of Medicare.gov, The resources can help you learn more about your Medicare benefits and sources of financial assistance, how to find caregiver support groups in your own city, how to locate local elder care services, and more.

Managing caregiver duties

If you have assumed caregiver duties for a loved one, you need to treat both yourself and your loved one with respect. This may sound easier than it really is. In fact, the CDC reported upon a survey of American caregivers:

  • About 67 percent of current caregivers said they hadn’t schedule their own doctor’s appointments because they made caring for their families a priority.
  • About half said they lacked time to care properly for themselves, and this was mostly because of fatigue.
  • About one in five American households have at least some caregiver duties.
  • A middle-aged woman who cares for her mother would fit the profile of a typical caregiverin the United States.

Does Medicare help cover caregiver duties?

One important thing for primary caregivers to learn is how their loved one’s Medicare benefits may help pay for health services at home. Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) may cover health-care services in the home. Coverage tends to include those services provided by licensed medical providers like nurses or therapists. Original Medicare doesn’t tend to cover housekeeping or other personal caregiver duties, such as help with bathing, dressing and toileting, that aged or infirm people may need. If you use a Medicare-approved healthcare agency, the agency should setup a care plan in coordination with the client’s doctor and yourself.

You or your loved one might also choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan as another way to receive health benefits. With a Medicare Advantage plan, you will continue to pay your Part B premium. If you would like to explore local Medicare plan options, I would like to help you in any way I can:

  • To request a call or informational email, choose one of the links below.
  • The “Compare Plans Now” button allows you to begin your own research of local Medicare plan options.

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