Home & Community-Based Services

Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) provide opportunities for individuals to receive needed services and supports in their own home or community, rather than in institutions or other isolated settings. These programs serve a variety of individuals, such as older adults and people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, and/or mental illnesses. Most people of all ages with disabilities or chronic illnesses strongly prefer home and community-based services to institutional care, such as assisted living facilities or nursing homes. Receiving supports and services in a familiar environment helps individuals maintain a sense of independence and security and also reduces some of the stress often experienced by their family caregivers. HCBS are self-directed, allowing individuals the opportunity to:

  • decide where and with whom they live
  • have control over the services they receive and who provides them
  • include friends and supports to help them participate fully in community life.

HCBS are usually less expensive than institutional care.

HCBS fall into two general categories.

  1. Skilled Care is provided under the direction of a physician and consists of health care services delivered by licensed professionals, such as:
    • Registered Nurses
    • Physical Therapists
    • Speech Therapists
    • Occupational Therapists
  2. In-Home Support Services and Supports include maintenance services such as shopping, meal preparation and light housekeeping. Assistance with personal care needs, such as bathing, dressing, feeding, etc., is also available. Some providers offer social work services to assist in planning for the person's future care needs and to provide counseling.

HCBS are one of several options to consider when reviewing your or a loved one's long-term care needs. For more information on HCBS and other long-term care options, contact us or your local Area Agency on Aging.

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