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Home Care is general term used to describe services that are provided in-home, by professionals, to help people live safely at home. These services can range from home companions for seniors to skilled nursing and various therapies overseen by a doctor. In-home care may be necessary for a senior who needs assistance managing daily tasks, someone who has a chronic illness or is recovering from an injury, or someone with a disability or special needs. Services are provided in the home by professional caregivers such as aides, registered nurses and therapists, on a short- or long-term basis and tailored to each person’s condition.
What are the Benefits of Home Care?
The first benefit of Home Care is that it takes place at home, where a person feels most comfortable, safe and secure. There are many other benefits to receiving care at home, including:
• Greater independence
• Family participation in care, if desired, but also family respite
• Personalized care plans with one-on-one attention
• Faster recovery from illness or injury
• A team of home health care professionals can act as liaisons between the patient, family and doctor, while offering a broad range of services
• Less costly than a hospital, assisted living or skilled nursing
What are the Types of Home Care?
There are three types of Home Care. Home care providers may offer one type of care or a combination of all three:
1. Personal Care – also called Companion Care or Non-Medical Care. This type of service usually includes assistance with daily living, such as bathing, grooming and toileting. It may also involve meal preparation, light housekeeping, errands and companionship – time spent engaging in activities and hobbies of interest to the client. Personal Care may be used as respite care for family members or as a long-term alternative to assisted living.
2. Private Duty Nursing – generally found through an agency or as a direct hire. Private duty nurses provide a wide range of services that can include administration of medication, wound care, ventilator care, catheters, colostomy bags and feeding tubes. Care may also involve basic hygiene, grooming care and light household duties. Private Duty Nursing is usually a long-term solution to ongoing care needs due to chronic illness or disability.
3. Home Health Care – must be prescribed by a doctor. Home Health Care is usually prescribed because of a chronic illness, such as kidney failure or heart disease, or after a stroke, surgery, or other major health event. Medical professionals including registered nurses, nurse aides and physical, occupational and speech therapists may be necessary, all under a doctor’s supervision. Unlike Personal Care and Private Duty Nursing, Medicare may cover eligible Home Health Care, if the following conditions are met:
• It is ordered by a doctor, is deemed medically necessary and requires skilled services
• The care is prescribed after an in-person, documented visit with the doctor occurring no more than 90 days before or 30 days after the start of home health care
• There is a plan of care that is established by the doctor and is reviewed regularly, and includes the type, duration and frequency of care.
• The care must be intermittent or short-term
• The person receiving care must be certified by the doctor as homebound, or unable to leave home without the help of another person and/or the use of a wheelchair, walker, cane or crutches because of an injury or illness
• The agency providing the care must be Medicare-certified
No matter which type of Home Care you choose, the goal is to allow your loved one to live as healthfully and independently as possible, while giving you and your loved one peace of mind. You can begin your search for Home Health Care, Private Duty Nursing and/or Personal Care using our US map above. Our search results include descriptions of services offered, service areas, contact information and prices where available.