What is Home Care?

Home care refers to care provided to individuals – usually older seniors – in their own homes, allowing them to stay at home rather than move to a residential, long-term, institutional setting. These agencies provide a range of companionship, personal care and supervision services in the comfort and convenience of one’s own home. Most people prefer home care to institutional care, if given the choice.

Home care provided by a professional agency is appropriate when a person prefers to stay at home but needs ongoing care that cannot be easily or effectively provided by family and friends alone. More and more older people, choosing to live independent, non-institutionalized lives, are these types of services because their physical capabilities decrease, through an agency.

Home care can be a combination of skilled healthcare and non-medical services or assisted living. The expressions In the home care, home health care and home health care have been used interchangeably in the past, regardless of whether the person needs skilled nursing care or not. Today, however, there is a growing understanding that “home care” means skilled nursing care, and that “home care” means non-medical care, personal care, custodial care, or home care. These differences are important because they help determine the appropriate level of care, which in turn determines the true cost of the care, as well as the funding sources available to pay for the care.

Non-medical care services include personal care, companionship and supervision, as well as assistance around the home with tasks of daily living, such as meal preparation, medication reminders, laundry, light housekeeping, errands, shopping, transportation and companionship. Activities of daily living (ADL) refers to six specific activities (bathing, dressing, moving, toileting, eating, and walking) that reflect an individual’s ability to care for themselves. The number and severity of an individual’s ADL assistance needs is often used to determine eligibility for long-term care benefits or can be used as part of an assessment tool by a home care organization to determine agency rates for home care services. and also for appropriate staff assignments with qualified health care providers.

Instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) refers to six daily tasks (light housework, preparing meals, taking medicines, shopping or buying clothes, making telephone calls and managing money) that enable the individual to live independently at home. While there are differences in the terms that describe aspects of home care or home care, in reality most older people who need one type of care will need both at some point.

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If you’re considering hiring an agency to help a parent or other loved one stay at home, there are things to think about and questions you should ask to get the highest possible quality. You want to select a qualified home care agency that will provide the services you need at the cost you can afford. These agencies can ease the burden of caring for your loved one and bring peace of mind to your family.