The question of all questions in the world of Personal Care: Do I qualify? We have people who call us weekly, at Allheart Senior Care, who ask this question.

There are other questions also, but It all comes back to this one.

Personal Care is a common yet sometimes unknown service. The answer to this question is very specific to each individual person. There are many people who qualify and have the need for the service, yet don’t even know it exists. Or people who have the need, but maybe have been given wrong information regarding payor sources or qualifications.

Medicare does not pay for Personal Care Services. This is a common misconception. It may however pay for approved Home Health Services. These are different, whereas Personal Care is non-skilled services and Home Health is Skilled Services. Personal Care is primarily paid for by Medicaid, PASSE, VA or private pay.

I have had many people tell me over the years that they were told that they don’t qualify for Medicaid, thus, could not receive this service. When in fact, they did qualify for Medicaid. There are several Medicaid programs, all with financial and/or medical criteria. Recently DHS has streamlined their application process, and can be found at access.arkansas.gov.

ARChoices is a specific Medicaid program designed specifically for people with significant personal care needs and has more expanded services than some other types of Medicaid such as SSI Medicaid, or QMB.

Physically/medically a person must have a physical need for personal care services. Although housekeeping is very important in a persons life, it is not a qualifying factor in receiving services. Qualifying needs include but are not necessarily limited to Mobility/transfer, Toileting, eating, etc. If a person needs assistance taking care of their body and or home in a complete and safe way, then they may qualify. The question should and can be asked.

Allheart Senior Care has social workers on staff who can provide a free assessment and let any interested person know if they fit the typical qualifications and can also assist in the application process if needed. Seeking these services can be overwhelming. We try provide stress free guidance and education.

We have a spectrum of clients at Allheart; elderly, disabled adults, children, mental health patients, etc. They are all part of our Allheart family and we are honored to care for them.

Risner is a social worker for Allheart Senior Care in Heber Springs.

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