Home Care Definitions

Whether you’re interested in having someone come for just a one-hour visit, or whether you’re in need of live-in care, in-home care companies can meet the changing needs of individuals with personal care needs, chronic conditions or dementia.

There are different levels of personal care providers ranging from skilled, professional providers to non-medical chore-type staff. All of these services are designed to prevent institutionalization by providing in-home support. Prices range from $15 to $135 an hour, based on the skill set and qualifications the caregiver must meet and the types of benefits the agency is paying to their staff members. Rates also vary based on the regularity of scheduling and amount of coverage you desire.

Home Health Care Agency

This is the highest level of in-home care. These providers offer a variety of health care services. Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, therapists and other skilled, trained professionals and paraprofessionals provide long and short-term home health care.

Licensed home health agencies must be certified in order to obtain Medicare Part A reimbursement. They offer care on an hourly, daily, or live-in basis.

They can also provide less skilled care such as personal care aids, homemakers and companions. Depending on the level of care being provided to the client/patient determines the qualifications and standards of the caregiver and is priced accordingly. Personnel are insured and generally include a criminal history record check before employment.

Home Care / Private Duty Agencies

This type of agency provides non-medical assistance, but likely helps older adults with almost all of their activity of daily living needs. They provide bathing assistance, medication reminders, assistance with toileting, dressing, grooming and other personal needs. They also likely provide light housekeeping, cooking and other chore-related services.

Chore or Companion Services

This type of agency provides little or no hands-on care. Chore providers perform household duties; watch out for someone with dementia and act more as a “watchful eye” and companion to an older adult.

The following defines the types of personal employed by these agencies.

Registered Nurses (RN’s) provide total nursing care and coordinate treatment prescribed by a physician.

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN’s) will administer medication and treatment prescribed by a physician and assist in day-to-day activities of daily living.

Home Health Aides (HHA’s) Personal Care Aides (PCA’s) provide assistance with personal care, light housekeeping, meal preparation, aiding in all activities of daily living.

Companions/Homemakers provide assistance with personal care, homemaking, meal preparation, shopping, and errands.

To view a checklist on selecting home care help click on: HOME CARE HELP CHECKLIST

NOTE: The PDF format guide requires Adobe Acrobat Reader to open and print. You can download Adobe Acrobat Reader at: www.adobe.com
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