Home Care

Table of Contents

What Is Home Care?

Home care caters to individuals who need assistance with routine personal care tasks that they can no longer handle on their own. These are frequently referred to as activities of daily living (ADLs) and generally include bathing, getting dressed, toileting, and grooming. 

Many of these services are the same that are administered in an assisted living community, but instead clients receive them in the comfort of their own homes. Home care can be especially helpful for live-in family members or caregivers.

Just as the name indicates, medical care is not provided with standard home care. Home health care is needed for any care that requires a registered nurse, including: IV therapy, medication administration, pain management, medical test, rehab, and wound treatment. 

Home care agencies are generally licensed on the state level.

What to Expect from Home Care

Home care worker bringing a bowl of food to senior parent.

If a home care agency provides the care, agency staff will work with the senior and their families to plan and schedule routine assistance. Often, one or more home care aides will be assigned to a specific client, depending on their care needs.

Care may be provided from anywhere between a few hours a week to a daily basis. If the client needs assistance 24 hours a day, however, they may need a live-in home care aide. Many home care agencies offer supplemental care on site at retirement communities, which allows residents to age in place.

One of the biggest benefits of home care is that it allows the client to remain in their own home. It eases the minds of family members, and provides respite to caregivers. Home care can also be more affordable than assisted living, dependent on the client’s needs.

Services

This type of care typically includes assistance with the following:

  • Bathing
  • Grooming
  • Dressing
  • Oral hygiene
  • Toileting
  • Moving around in the home
  • Managing and taking medications

Home care may be administered in conjunction with the following types of in-home services:

  • Companion care, in which a home companion assists with household chores, cooking, errands, and transportation while also providing social engagement.
  • Home health care, in which a medical professional (like a nurse or physical therapist) assists with medical care in the home.

Is Home Care the Best Option?

Consider the below statements for yourself, or on behalf of a loved one:

  • I want to continue to live where I am, but could use some help
  • I need help getting in and out of the tub or shower, or need help bathing
  • I need help getting dressed
  • I would prefer not to have to rely on my friends or family for everything
  • I need help navigating the stairs of my home
  • I grab onto furniture for stability as I move around my home
  • I feel isolated at home and would love to have someone stop by regularly

If two or more of the above statements apply, then Home Care may be a good option. If you or your loved one need less help, Companion Care may be a good fit.

If you or your loved one need more help, Home Health Care may be a good fit.

Cost of Home Care

Home care costs can vary based on location and amount of care. Home care agencies typically charge this care based on an hourly rate. In general, home care costs are lower than residential solutions such as respite care and assisted living; however, this is dependent on the client’s unique needs. For example, a client that needs overnight home care aides may cost more than an assisted living community. 

Since this type of care is non-medical, it is not generally covered by Medicare when delivered on its own. However, some or all costs may be covered when provided in conjunction with doctor-prescribed home health care. Some long-term care insurance may also cover or partially cover non-medical home care services.

According to Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey, the National Median Costs are as follows:

  • Home Care costs an average of $23 an hour; $4385 a month 

Typically, home care is funded by private funds and long-term care insurance policies. Some private health insurance will cover these services in unique situations, something always worth checking into. There are also financial assistance programs available to families in need; these tend to be available on the state level. Other funding sources can be veterans’ benefits, and in rare cases, Medicaid; availability varies state to state.

I have simply tried to do what seemed best each day, as each day came.

– Abraham Lincoln