Home health care services refer to the medical practice of giving health care services to people who are severely disabled or sick or have a history of disabilities that prevent them from living independently. Home health care is also called domiciliary health care, home health aide, or in-home caregiver. These services are usually provided by licensed professionals who work under the supervision of a physician. The services can range from short-term to long-term care, depending on the situation and the person’s needs. The benefits are usually offered free of charge, although insurance may be required to cover certain medical expenses in some cases.
There are several different types of home care services. The most common services include respite care, inpatient care, home health aide, custodial or adult day care, short-term care, permanent medical care, dialysis, respiratory therapy, and special-care surgery. While each type of service may include slightly different aspects, there are some services that all types provide.
Long-term care provided by home care services is similar to inpatient care in that patients are assisted with activities of daily living (ADL). However, while patients stay in a hospital room, they cannot remain alone or do self-initiated physical activities. As part of the home care services, a family member or other adult will assist the patient with housework, bathing, and eating. In addition, long-term care may include help with household chores, transportation, or errands, such as picking up the mail or preparing dinner.
One type of home care service that is similar to nursing home care is custodial or adult daycare. This type of service provides supervision, emotional, physical, and social support for an elderly adult. Custodians are trained to take care of the person and help them to remain independent and safe. Most long-term care homes use this type of service for their elderly residents because it is the most affordable option.
Another type of home care service is personal care, also known as companion care. Personal care usually involves helping older adults with their daily activities. A trained caregiver will prepare meals, bathe the individual, perform other necessary tasks, manage medications and provide emotional support. Companion care can be provided by anyone who is a close and regular friend of the elder. It may be a relative, a friend, or a co-worker.
Another type of service provided by home care agencies is custodial care. It is often offered by a full-time or part-time caregiver. A nursing home staff member, an agency worker, or a hired caretaker may become a personal caregiver for seniors living in the facility. This arrangement allows the individual to remain in the comfort of the home while receiving extra medical attention when needed.
Choosing to hire a caregiver to come into your home to help with your elderly loved one’s needs can be a difficult decision. There are benefits and drawbacks to each option. For example, hiring a live-in caregiver can be more costly than hiring someone to come in weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. However, if the situation calls for emergency services, it may be the best option for your loved one.
Although hiring a live-in, in-home caregiver seems ideal, and there are many factors to consider. The agency providing the care should not have a conflict of interest. The caregiver should be a safe person to work with. The agency should pay a reasonable salary, and the patient and family should feel comfortable with the arrangement. Hiring a home care provider through an agency will provide peace of mind as the patient and their family are under the care of someone they trust. Home health care agencies are excellent resources for any individual who needs assistance with their basic daily needs.