Frequently Asked Questions: Services

1. What services can I provide?

A homemaker does household chores that include housekeeping, cooking, shopping assistance, laundry, and other routine household tasks. In addition to the above, a companion may provide companionship for the client such as keeping a person company at home or going with the person to appointments or other outings. The state law says that a homemaker and a companion cannot provide any hands-on personal care to a client under the registration issued by AHCA. Personal care means assistance with the activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, eating, or personal hygiene, and assistance in physical transfer, ambulation, and in administering medication. Personal care cannot be done through this registration. See comparison of home care providers.

2. Can I provide services while I am waiting to receive my registration?

No. You cannot provide any services until you receive your registration.

3. Will Medicare and Medicaid reimburse me for providing homemaker and companion services?

Medicare does not cover homemaker or companion service. For Medicaid, contact the Long Term Care Plans selected for your area of the state from the “Plan Contacts for Providers” list at:  http://ahca.myflorida.com/medicaid/statewide_mc/ltcproviders.shtml

However, if you wish to be a Medicaid Waiver provider of developmentally disabled person, you will need to enroll through the regional office of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD). You can get the telephone number for the district APD office at http://apd.myflorida.com/region/.

4. Does the Homemaker Companion Services registration include Respite Care?

No.

5. Is a Homemaker Companion Service limited to the elderly?

No. It can also be for adults that are disabled.

6. Can a Homemaker Companion "flip a lever or handle" to switch oxygen from indoor tank to a tank which can be taken outside?

No, a homemaker companion service should refer persons who need assistance with oxygen equipment to a licensed home health agency or nurse registry for services.

7. Can homemakers or companions record blood pressure readings for their clients?

No. Persons needing assistance with their blood pressure should be referred to a licensed home health agency or nurse registry for services.

8. As a Homemaker Companion I would like to travel with my clients as well as do chores, cook, etc.; how do I go about getting permission and is it even allowed?

If you work for a Homemaker Companion Service, a companion is not prohibited from traveling with clients but cannot provide any personal care assistance to the client.

9. I have a Homemaker Companion Service for the elderly; can I provide services for children with this registration?

No. Contact the Department of Children and Family Services Customer Call Center (866) 762-2237 for information on programs for children or go to their web site, www.myflfamilies.com.

10. Can my employees help the clients with their medication?

No.

11. Can my employees comb the client's hair and paint nails?

Yes. Casual cosmetic assistance is permitted, such as combing  or brushing hair, assisting with make-up, filing and polishing nails but not clipping nails.

12. Can a homemaker or companion provide assistance with ambulation?

No. A homemaker and a companion is prohibited from providing hands on personal care according to state law. The state law defines personal care as including assistance with walking.  “Assistance with ambulation,” is an ongoing action for an elderly or disabled person who needs assistance for all or most of the time, e.g., pushing someone in a wheelchair, or aiding someone walking with or without the use of assistive devices such as walkers, canes or crutches.

13. Can a homemaker companion stabilize a client stabilize the client when walking, as needed, by holding the client’s arm or hand?

Yes. A homemaker companion may take reactive measures  only when needed to prevent falls and injuries to persons who generally need no assistance.   Once the person is “stabilized” and able to continue walking there should be no other need to hold the client’s arm or hand.

14. Can we provide staffing services (send homemakers and companions to home health agencies and nurse registries for them to use to serve their clients)?

No.

15. Can we accept clients who also need nursing services and contract with home health agencies or nurse registries to provide the nursing?

No.

16. Can we do standby assistance with bathing or monitor bathing?

No.  Refer these clients to a home health agency or a nurse registry.

17. Can we pick up clients from outpatient surgery, take them home and observe them for any complications?

No. Refer these clients to a home health agency or a nurse registry.

18. May a homemaker companion services company subcontract with a nurse registry or home health agency to provide home health aides and nurses to provide personal care, such as diaper changes and administration of medicines?

No. However, a home health agency could accept the client and subcontract with the homemaker companion services company to provide the homemaker and companion services, since the home health agency license includes homemaker and companion services as well as home health aide for personal care and nursing services for administration of medicines.