What Services and Activities Does Home Care Provide?
Home Care largely revolves around supporting older adults who need assistance with the activities of daily living (ADLs). Learn more about Home Care services.
We could all use a little help. That’s especially true for seniors and retirees who have reached the stage in their lives when they’re still able to live at home and they’re not quite ready to move into an Assisted Living Community. These individuals require consistent, professional, reliable, and safe assistance and/or care in order to maintain a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle. This is when Home Care could be an option, at least for the immediate future.
There’s a myriad of different services and activities that Home Care provides, from basic assistance with relatively simple tasks and preparation or delivery of meals, to regular visits from Home Health Care professionals, such as licensed occupational, speech and/or physical therapists. In this article, we’ll take a look at the various services and activities Home Care provides, address how Home Health Care offers slightly different services, and discuss an overview of these options to help you decide which is best for you or your loved one.
In-Home Care Services for Seniors
You may wonder what activities caregivers provide for seniors who receive Home Care. These largely revolve around supporting older adults who need assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs).
Activities of Daily Living
If you’re wondering what services and activities Home Care provides for those needing assistance with ADLs, picture this example:
You’re still able to live at home, but it’s become too much of a burden to handle all the attendant responsibilities that come with owning, maintaining, and living comfortably alone.
A trained Home Care staff member who works for a reputable Home Care agency can assist with a number of daily living activities, including:
- Bathing and grooming
- Dressing and undressing
- Assistance with using the toilet and bathroom sink
- Navigating staircases
- Transportation (errands, doctor appointments, etc.)
In most cases, Home Care companions will have access to a company-owned vehicle and will be able to take you to run errands, attend doctor appointments, and/or to visit a loved one. If you require assistance getting in and out of a vehicle, that can also be provided.
Other ADL assistance may include:
- Light housework – cleaning, dusting, vacuuming, garbage removal, general tidiness.
- Laundry assistance – washing, drying, folding, sorting, putting away garments and bed linens.
- Food – preparing or arranging for delivery of meals.
- Shopping – picking up groceries and household items.
- Medication – reminders for general medication management (administration is completed through Home Health Care).
- Technology – assistance with making telephone calls or using the computer.
- Responsibility management – help with paying bills, picking up the mail or daily newspaper, updating the kitchen calendar, and reminders of important dates to remember.
- Miscellaneous duties – making sure lightbulbs are changed, smoke detectors are working, door and window locks are secure, the garage door is operational, there are no leaks under sinks or in the basement, and appliances are in good working order.
Services Outside of the Home Care Umbrella
As for outdoor services such as landscaping, cleaning out gutters, roof maintenance, snow shoveling, lawn lighting, making sure the alarm system is working, even putting up or taking down holiday decorations: these are not typically handled by a Home Care professional, but they should be able to assist you in finding a reliable and reputable professional(s) who can do the job.
Selecting Trustworthy Care
Overall safety and peace of mind are critical to choosing Home Care for yourself or a loved one. Unfortunately, unlicensed and non-accredited individuals have been known to scam seniors and their families. With a Home Care professional from a trusted agency, those fears can be put to rest. It also removes the burden often felt by family members. Having a Home Care staff member assist with walking, bathing, dressing, and preparation of meals provides a sense of safety, security, and well-being, not just for the client, but for family members and loved ones who won’t have to take on so many caregiver duties.
The Importance of Companionship
Through the years, studies have shown time and again that living alone without regular company leads to a decrease in physical activities and increased feelings of loneliness and isolation. It’s always lovely to receive visits from family and friends, but often those folks live far away or have busy schedules and responsibilities of their own, so the companionship provided by a Home Care professional can be invaluable. Not only will the senior have someone to talk to who will listen, but they will also have a caregiver who can assist with light exercise, even if that means walking around the block or within the house. This individual is also someone who can be a partner for new hobbies and activities, as shared experiences are so important for growth and morale.
Home Health Care Services and Activities
If you or your loved one requires professional medical attention, an Assisted Living Community might soon become the best option. However, with Home Health Care, you can enlist short-term solutions for the following:
- Nursing services
- Physical, occupational and/or speech language therapy
- Medical social work
- Certain forms of at-home laboratory work, e.g., bloodwork
Professionals can also assist with monitoring vital signs, ostomy/gastrostomy care, feeding tube care, administering medications, and catheter care.
Who Qualifies for Home Health Care Services?
If you are considering any of the Home Health Care services described above for yourself or loved one, there are certain requirements, such as having a care plan that is created and approved by a doctor, having a certified homebound designation, and other measures.
Home Health Care and Home Care both have several provisions that can be covered, at least in part, by governmental assistance programs. You can learn more in our article “Does Home Care accept Medicaid or Medicare?”
Talk with a Senior Living Expert
When researching the services and activities that Home Care and Home Health Care can offer, it’s always a good idea to reach out to family and friends who are or have been in similar situations to get their input. Many of these measures are also expanded or can be provided at a better comprehensive value through community-based services like Assisted Living. If in-home care activities aren't what you're looking for, or are only a short-term solution, start the discussion today with a Referah counselor. We will be happy to help you make an informed decision that meets your needs.