Five Questions About Home Care, Answered


Lisa Royer, Director of Home and Health Resources

Healthcare isn’t always delivered in a provider’s office or within the walls of a hospital. There is a wealth of opportunity to receive care in the comfort of your own home. Home care, it’s called, can be a lot of different things. It can be used to help parents bringing home a new baby that needs a little bit of extra attention. It can help older patients recovering from surgery. And, yes, it can mean end of life care. Home care offers everything from additional social support to help with daily tasks. 

As part of a partnership between South Shore Health and WCVB-TV called One Healthy Boston, I answered some great questions about home care from Facebook users. Here are some highlights from the conversation.

(If you missed it, you can always watch the full video here!)

Is Home Care Only for the Elderly? 

We provide services to people at all stages of life. Our team members are trained to support anyone, whether they’re six days old or 106 years old. 

What Are the Different Programs?

There are many different programs available. 

At South Shore Health, we offer three services:

  • South Shore VNA provides Medicare-certified home care. This is typically for someone who has a short-term need. He or she may be recovering from a recent hospitalization or a stay at a rehab facility. The patient may need nursing, therapy, or additional support.
  • Home & Health Resources is a private-pay service with a very diverse arena of care. This is for things that may not be covered by your insurance, such as light housekeeping or meal preparation. 
  • Hospice of the South Shore is a Medicare-certified hospice program providing care for terminally ill patients regardless of their diagnosis. This specialized program supports a patient (as well as his or her family) with pain management, symptom management, spiritual support, and guiding the entire family through the end-of-life journey. 

How Do I Determine If I Need Home Care? 

It can be complicated. Generally, the place to start is to have a conversation with your physician. The relationship with your physician is a partnership, so your provider is a great place to turn if you think you would benefit from in-home care. They may also identify that you have a need and put out a recommendation or make a referral on your behalf. 

You can also go to our website to request a call from our team. We’ll get back to you to discuss which options will meet your unique situation. 

How Does Someone Qualify for Home Care?

For South Shore VNA to provide care, the patient must need support for an ongoing illness, such as heart disease, diabetes, or rehabilitation after surgery or treatment. A VNA referral always needs to be made in partnership with a physician. 

Somebody who is looking for visits from Home & Health Resources, our private-pay offering, doesn’t face these same rigorous qualifications since it provides non-medical support. The patient and/or his family call us when they see a need or there’s a desire to have some help. 

Can I Remove or Add Home Care Services?

We expect that in the beginning of the patient’s care there will be a lot of services because that’s when the patient has the largest need. That care should diminish as he or she gets better and stronger.

On the private pay side, we usually see it go the other direction where we start smaller, and the level of support grows more intense as someone progresses down a chronic disease path. 


South Shore Health’s Home Care Division provides services to over 30 communities on the South Shore. Click here to learn more.