What is Home Care?

What is Home Care?

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Home care is basically engaging the services of a caregiver or a home health aide to take care of elderly and other persons in need of care. Depending on the needs of the elderly or the family requiring home care services, the agency can provide companion caregivers, occupation therapists or skilled nurses.

The common functions of in-home caregivers are focused on helping their clients go about their daily living. These may include companionship, doing errands, light housekeeping, meal preparation, assisting clients with their doctor’s appointments, and others. You can get home care services either by directly hiring a caregiver or with the help of an agency. Of the two, the latter is the better and more practical choice. athomecareservice.com website is a great example of the different types of home care available for seniors.

Home care may also include hospice care. The hospice staff not only provides palliative care but also emotional support during this difficult time in the life of the patient.

While it usually involves elderly care, it is not just about that. It refers to any care offered for persons in need of care, elderly or not. In the United States alone, there are about 12 million persons receiving home care. This is proof that more and more families engage these in-home care services for the betterment of their parents, grandparents or other loved ones needing care. 

Types of Home Care

Before you hire a home care agency, it is important to assess your needs first. Decide what you need a caregiver for. Note that there are caregivers who provide purely non-medical services, and there are those who are skilled in nursing care and home health care.

A caregiver who merely does assistance with activities of daily living, meal preparation, housekeeping, and companionship have moderate or more affordable pay rate than those who provide additional or specialized medical care.

Home Care Services

There are duties that caregivers are permitted and not permitted to do. There are certifications and requirements that need to be met in order for them to perform their duties, as well as to ensure that they only render the professional care that you and your loved ones deserve.

A caregiver can perform the following home care services: 

  •  Helping with daily activities like dressing, bathing, and personal hygiene
  • Doing the laundry and performing light housekeeping
  • Assisting the patient in terms of mobility
  • Running errands and preparing meals
  • Providing companionship, social and emotional support
  • Taking the patient to their doctor appointments

A caregiver is not legally permitted to perform certain tasks. If the patient requires nursing care, then you should ask a professional with the right credentials and certifications. Home care agencies can provide you with a certified nursing assistant. In addition to companionship and ADL support, this professional can perform the following services:

  • Taking and recording the patient’s vital signs
  • Reminding the patient what medications to take and when to take them
  • Assisting with the use of certain medical equipment
  • Feeding patients who are incapacitated to feed themselves

A certified nursing assistant is equipped with sufficient medical knowledge which will prove helpful in monitoring the condition of the patient. There are families who only hire a caregiver, and there are those who hire a certified nursing assistant or someone with medical knowledge, or both.

In sum, home care refers to a wide array of services that could range from simple companionship and assistance, to far more specialized services. Home care workers could mean companion caregivers, occupational therapists, certified nursing assistants or skilled nurses.

When engaging the services of a home care agency, it is important to inquire about the certifications and the credentials of the caregivers. Make sure that the caregivers were thoroughly screened and background checked. We need to be assured that the professional we hire is truly the best for our loved ones.

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