What is home care? - SeniorHousingNet.com
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Home Care

What is home care?

Home Care is a general term to describe services delivered at home to recovering, disabled or terminally ill persons in need of medical, nursing, social or therapeutic treatment.

With most seniors wishing to live at home for as long as possible, home care provides a range of services to the elderly as well those who are recovering, disabled or terminally ill, allowing for a more comfortable experience. Home care services give seniors a sense of independence, while still assisting them in an assortment of basic needs and activities.

Home care services: What are they?

Home care services are catered directly to a senior’s needs. Providers are able to offer health care, non-medical care and even companionship, depending on what a senior and his/her family request. Below are some services that may be available:

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Feeding
  • Toileting
  • Grooming
  • Oral Care
  • Walking/wheel chair assistance
  • Housekeeping and laundry
  • Transportation
  • Shopping
  • Meal preparations
  • Medication management

Types of home care

Not all home care providers are the same. Depending on a senior’s need, choose between one of two home care types based on the need for medical assistance, and/or an interest in personal care attendants who specialize in helping with activities for daily living:

  • Licensed medical professionals: This type of home care aide can include physicians, physician's assistants (PA), nurses, physical and occupational therapists, and some specialty home health aides who work under the direction of a physician.
  • Non-medical paraprofessionals: This includes home health aides, personal care attendants, homemakers and companions. Non-medical aides help more with light housekeeping, transportation, cooking and companionship.

Who receives home care services?

Generally, seniors who elect for home care services can relate to one or more of the following:

  • Have some mobility challenges, including muscle weakness, slow walking and quick exhaustion.
  • Are in the early stages of dementia, which can lead to Alzheimer’s.
  • Are dealing with the after effects of a stroke.
  • Are healthy but would like more assistance with daily needs and weekly to monthly errands as well as some companionship.

Average costs of home care services

On average, many home care services cost about $20 an hour for a health aide, or $18 an hour for a homemaker/companion. Many service providers require a minimum of four hours, making the average cost a minimum of $80 per day.

Is home care the right choice?

For many seniors, electing for home care is a cost-effective alternative to an assisted living facility. It allows seniors to maintain their independence for as long as possible, and is generally considered the most comfortable option of all senior housing and care types.

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