“Home Care” encompasses a wide range of health and social services. These services are delivered at home to recovering, disabled,chronically or terminally ill persons in their own homes. Their needs may be medical, nursing, social, therapeutic treatment and / or assistance with the essential activities of daily living.Generally, home care is appropriate whenever a person prefers to stay at home, but needs ongoing care that cannot easily or effectively be provided solely by family and friends. People of all ages can benefit from home care services, including those that have: heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, lung, muscle-nerve problems, cancer, or any other disease or illness that requires professional, paraprofessional, or volunteer services. Home care services can be provided in the client’s home which is any place they define as “home”. This may be a single family dwelling, an apartment, an assisted living facility, a group home, a residential housing facility, adult day care, or congregate living environment in which their basic needs are met.
Home care is the most often requested type of health care service for those recuperating from an illness or surgery, or as an alternative to long term institutional care. Home Care is beneficial when it allows the client privacy and empowers clients and family to manage their health needs on an ongoing basis. Family members often require additional support and education in order to provide the best possible care for their loved one. Home Care is determined to be valuable when the client care is provided safely within the physical means of the environment and safety of the client.
Home Care is provided in a place or residence including but not limited to the following: single family home, apartment, assisted living, adult foster home, adult day care, relative’s home, or congregate housing residence. Home Care is not usually provided in an institutional setting such as a long-term care facility or hospital, unless an arrangement has been made for private duty nursing by the client or family.
Home Care Services may be provided by: Nurses (licensed practical and registered nurses); Social Workers, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists, Registered Dieticians, Home Health Aides, Personal Care Attendants, Homemakers, Volunteers, Chaplains/Counselors and Physicians.
Skilled Nursing: Nurses (Licensed Practical or Registered Nurses) provide services that may include highly skilled care of IV’s, respiratory and wound care, pain management, education, medication management, and care plan oversight. They may also be responsible for supervision of services that include a para-professionals or volunteers. Registered Nurses must receive a minimum of 2 or more years of college. A LPN has received a minimum of one year of nursing education and must work under the delegation of a registered nurse. Therapists (Speech, Occupational, and Physical): These caregivers work to restore the mobility and strength of clients who are limited or disabled by physical injuries through the use of exercise, massage, and other methods. Physical Therapists often alleviate pain and restore injured muscles with specialized equipment. Occupational Therapists assist the client in exploring the energy saving modalities and adaptations for daily living. Speech Therapists work to restore speech, swallowing, and communication disabilities.
Evaluate the social and emotional factors affecting ill and disabled individuals and provide counseling. They are also familiar with community resources for physical aids, financial resources, and funding regulations. They are able to assist persons in the discussions of Advance Directives and health care decision making.
Dieticians must attend 4 years of college and specialize in assessments to meet an individual’s dietary needs, restrictions, or enhancements. Counseling and education are provided to those clients need of specialized diets.
Home Health Aides are specifically trained through state approved educational programs or competency tested by the Home Care Agency to provide assistance with personal cares and activities of daily living. Home health aides must work under the direction of a qualified professional (registered nurse, physician, or therapist). Home Health Aides also provide housekeeping and Homemaking.
Homemakers are specially trained in the needs of the clients they serve. They may be providing Homemaking and housekeeping services to a mother that is caring for their disabled child, to an elderly person needing assistance with meal preparation, laundry, or housekeeping. Homemakers provide an integral role in the long term custodial needs of clients. Volunteers/ Companion aides: Persons assigned to befriend, provide respite care, transportation, home delivered meals, and others services are often provided by those individuals who want to volunteer. They are invaluable as they serve with a heart of compassion and care.
Home Care Agencies, Hospice Agencies, Assisted Living, Independent Providers, Infusion Therapy companies, Durable Medical Equipment providers and Personal Care Attendant programs. A client’s care may require the coordination of several agencies to provide the necessary services as one agency alone may not be able to provide all the components of care.