What is Home Care?

Home care is a health care service provided in an individual consumer’s home by licensed health care professionals. Licensed personnel may help the individual with daily tasks, such as bathing, eating, cleaning their home, and preparing meals. For terminally ill patients, home care may include hospice care. For patients recovering from surgery or illness, home care may include rehabilitative assistance.

Home care encompasses a wide array of health care services provided by certified nurse assistants, nurses, and therapists within the client’s residence. Depending on the level of care required by the client, a person may need care in their home a couple of times a week, once a day, or throughout the day everyday. Home care is utilized to recover from an injury or post-hospitalization, immediately following the birth of a child, or support within a retirement home or assisted living facility. Many consumers of home care utilize services in order to stay independent in their home while living with a chronic or terminal illness or the gradual decline of daily capacity that comes with aging. Each home care client receives an individual care plan that meets their needs to live independently with health care support in their home.

Assessing Home Care Needs

Before seeking a home care agency, consumers should determine what kind of care is needed and what are the goals for care:

  • Do you need skilled nursing care by a registered nurse?
  • Do you need assistance with personal care for activities of daily living, such as bathing, toileting, or dressing?
  • Are there any cognitive or behavioral health issues that need to be addressed?
  • Does your home need to be made safer and more accessible?