Things You Need to Learn about Home Care

Also known as social and domiciliary care, home care refers to supportive care services provided by a healthcare professional or qualified caregiver in the home. The services could be medical or mostly supportive in nature. The goal of which is to help a person live his or her daily life while struggling with various conditions that prevent normal independent living.

Reasons for Getting Home Care

There are no specific set of reasons that prescribe whether home care is the appropriate option or not. As mentioned, the care services needed could be medical or non-medical in nature. The main distinguishing factor (as opposed to assistive care, nursing care, hospice care, adult care, and other types of care services) is the location where the care service is provided.

For most families, home care is opted due to cost considerations and the preference to have older family members being taken care of in their own homes, together with and under the convenient supervision of immediate family members. Hiring a professional caregiver to provide services in the home setting can be more cost efficient. Likewise, it can prevent or significantly minimize the possibility of older people being helplessly abused or subjected to debasing living conditions.

Who Are Qualified to Provide Home Care

In the United States, home care service providers include registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, physical therapists, social workers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, certified nursing assistants, and caregivers. They can be independent individual practitioners or employed by health and assistive care service organizations. Caregivers may not be required to have a license as long as they can show enough proof of reputability and good track record.

Nature of Home Care Service

Home care is a very broad field as it covers medical and non-medical care needs. There are no government-enforced restrictions on what services can be or cannot be done. Basically, the role of home care is just to ensure that the persons being cared for are able to go on with their daily lives with someone ensuring that they get the right amount of food and nutrition, hygiene assistance, medication assistance, and support in specific needs such as doing exercises or therapies to facilitate convalescence. It is difficult to assume anything when it comes to hiring home care service providers. It is advisable to have roles and responsibilities set and clarified instead of assuming that a professional or experienced caregiver already knows what to do.

Home care may include the services needed to help a patient in recovering a after a surgery. It can also include rehabilitative assistance and continuous monitoring for an outpatient. In the case of terminally ill patients, home care may have a hospice care aspect.


According to the2014 Genworth “Cost of Care” survey, home health aide services cost an average of $20 per hour. Homemaker services, on the other hand, have an average hourly rate of $19. It’s usually more expensive hiring caregivers through agencies although the convenience and assurance of competence may compensate for the rate difference well enough.

If you are planning to hire someone to provide home care services, it is very important to discuss all the parameters of the job clearly. The responsibilities should be properly set. Expectations should be clarified. Home care is a very broad term so letting care service providers decide on what must be done is a very unwise thing to do, no matter how experienced they are. This means that you really need to properly know and understand the needs of the person for whom health care is to be provided. Of course, it is also very important to ascertain the competence and dependability of the home health care service provider you choose.