What Types of Home Care Are There?
There are many types of Home Care, including Home Health Care, Non-Medical Care, Skilled Nursing Care, Doctor Care, Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy and more. Here, we explore Home Care options.
When we talk about Home Care, the definition tends to be broad. Some think of it as a family member, friend, or freelance worker helping around the house for a few hours a week. The more structured, reliable, and safe approach involves regularly scheduled visits by trained, accredited staff working through an established agency—and the latter approach is inevitably and almost always the best way.
Depending on your loved one’s wants and needs, Home Care can include basic household chores and transportation. Alternatively, it can be a more extensive and specialized arrangement that includes medical care; this is called Home Health Care.
You are navigating a new path on life’s journey, and you’ll want to make sure you’ve done your due diligence before making such an impactful decision. Consider reaching out to family and friends who have been or are in similar situations, to get their advice. We suggest you check out at least two or three agencies before committing. Let’s take a look at the different types of Home Care and Home Health Care that are available, to help you choose the best solution for your circumstances.
Types of Home Care for Older Adults
With few exceptions, most of us would prefer to stay at home for as long as possible, and grow old in the place we know and love. However, Home Care is often a relatively short-term solution, until moving to an Assisted Living or Memory Care Community will make more sense medically, physically, emotionally and/or financially. In the meantime, let’s take a look at the numerous options that fall under the umbrella of Home Care. (In many cases, you’re likely to require more than just one of these services.)
This is the most basic level of Home Care, in which someone makes regular visits to help out with household maintenance, laundry, meal preparation, grocery shopping, running errands and taking care of minor repair issues that might pop up from time to time. If you’re looking for this type of Home Care, it means you’re still ambulatory, capable of administering your own medication, and not in need of immediate and regular medical attention at home. These services may be covered short-term by Medicare, but are usually paid for out of pocket.
Skilled Nursing Care
Skilled Nursing care is a type of Home Health Care, though it is not to be confused with the type of Skilled Nursing which is provided at specialized Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs). After consulting with your doctor, you can set up a plan for a Registered Nurse to make regular visits. They will perform a variety of duties, from administering medication to dressing wounds, providing ostomy care, IV therapy, pain control, as well as monitoring the overall health of the individual.
An additional Home Health Care service, you can also schedule regular home visits from a doctor who can diagnose and treat illnesses and conduct periodic health reviews.
Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy
While recovering from an illness, an injury or a stroke, some older adults will require specialized Home Health Care therapy to help them perform daily tasks, regain their speech, or improve mobility:
- A speech therapist will help with regaining the ability to communicate.
- An occupational therapist can assist with physical development to help one perform daily functions such as walking, eating, bathing, dressing and staying active.
- A physical therapist can create a plan to help you strengthen muscles and joints.
Home-Delivered Meals and Nutritional Guidance
There are services that will deliver hot meals several times a week. You might also want to consider enlisting the help of a dietician who can come to your home and help you set up a healthy, interesting and appealing menu of meals. If you or your loved one enjoys home-cooked meals but is no longer interested or capable of cooking on a daily basis, someone can help with that as well.
At-Home Laboratory Work
You can save trips to the hospital and many inconveniences by having a trained professional come to the house to perform certain laboratory work, including blood and urine tests. Also, the technology of portable X-ray machines gives technicians the ability to perform that task at home.
Who Qualifies for Home Care Services?
Home Care and Home Health Care services can both be costly and there are requirements in order to qualify. For example, if Home Health Care is to be covered (even in part) by Medicare, states require certain approvals, such as:
- Skilled Nursing, (physical, occupational, speech) therapy must be certified by a doctor’s care plan.
- Your agency will need to be approved by Medicare.
- It must be certified that you have trouble leaving home.
- A qualifying hospital stay or post-rehab care may also be required.
Other Advantages of Home Care
A case manager can coordinate a comprehensive effort to provide the client with the individualized services they require. Medical social workers can also help with counseling and locating the various resources within the community that can help a patient with their recovery.
For residents who don’t require specialized, at-home medical care, companionship services provide comfort, help alleviate loneliness and help ensure the recipient is maintaining a healthy and productive lifestyle. You can learn more about all of the services provided in our article “What Services and Activities Does Home Care Provide?”
It’s important to remember that whatever the level of Home Care or Home Health Care you require, you should go through respected and established agencies, and never rely on “a friend of my cousin’s hairdresser.” Unfortunately, there are some individuals out there who will take advantage of seniors. You deserve a solution that is reliable, safe, and will give you peace of mind. As a first step, review our article on how to choose Home Care.
Learn More About Senior Living Options
Home Care and Home Health Care could be options for you or your loved one, depending on the type of service that is needed. However, as mentioned, these are usually short-term solutions, whereas Assisted Living and Memory Care are often selected for long term sustainability. If you have questions or want to discuss your options, our team of Referah counselors can help. Talk with us today and find the best level of care and support available.