What Services Do Home Care Agencies Provide?

March 07, 2023

Home care agencies offer a range of services in the client’s home or residence. Clients can receive care in their private homes, assisted living facilities, or other living situations.

Home care is especially helpful for the following individuals:

  • Older people who may need assistance to live independently
  • People with chronic health issues, disabilities, or special needs
  • People recovering from a serious medical issue, surgery, or injury
  • New mothers
  • Family members of these individuals

Depending on the client’s individual needs, a home care agency provides a professional caregiver on a short-term or long-term basis. In-home care aims to empower the client and/or their spouse or family members to continue living independently and safely in their chosen residence.

Home Health Care Versus Home Care

The terms “home health care” and “home care” are often used interchangeably in casual speech, but when considering options for in-home care, there are important differences between the two to keep in mind.

  • Home health care agencies provide licensed medical professionals such as nurses, mental health workers, and physical therapists. Their focus is on healthcare, nursing, wound care, medical equipment maintenance, and occupational or physical therapy. Home health care often requires a doctor’s authorization and is paid for by medical insurance such as Medicare.
  • Home care agencies specialize in non-medical home care. They provide skilled caregivers with a focus on improving the quality of clients’ day-to-day lives, such as personal care and homemaking services. Companionship is another important part of home care, and caregivers will keep clients company at home or during shopping or other errands.

Note that home care agencies are often, but not always, covered by medical insurance. For example, Nova Home Care services are covered by Medicaid.

Types Of Non-Medical Home Care

Home care, sometimes called custodial care, is provided by non-medical professionals who are usually highly qualified in the field of caregiving. The services offered by non-medical home care agencies are typically broken down into three categories:

  • Activities of daily living (ADLs)
  • Instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs)
  • Companionship

Home care agency representatives will usually ask which ADLs or IADLs the client may need help with. ADLs are the most basic tasks of daily living—the ones we learn as children—whereas IADLs are more complex.

ADLs include:

  • Dressing
  • Ambulation (walking)
  • Eating and drinking
  • Personal hygiene and grooming
  • Transferring (moving from one body position to another, including getting up/down from a bed or seating)

IADLs include:

  • Transportation (driving to and from places)
  • Shopping
  • Meal preparation
  • Housekeeping
  • Using the phone/computer/other communication devices
  • Managing finances
  • Medication (organizing meds, reminders of medication schedule and assistance in taking it)

The importance of companionship cannot be underestimated. Loneliness and social isolation are associated with significant physical and mental health risks, including lower life expectancy. Simply having someone around to talk to and provide friendship, emotional support, and mental stimulation can greatly improve a client’s quality of life.

Why Use A Home Care Agency?

The goal of home care is to make it possible for people to continue living at home rather than move to an institution such as a nursing home. A home care agency provides caregivers who work in the client’s own residence, helping with ADLs and IADLs as necessary to make sure the client lives a satisfying and independent life in the place they are most comfortable.

The majority of home care in the United States is informal, with families and friends stepping in to provide voluntary care work. Using a professional home care agency can ease the burden on the family, reduce stress, and help clients and their loved ones focus on enjoying their lives.

Nova Home Care provides professional, personalized home care services in the states of Indiana, Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota, and Connecticut. Contact us online or call 317-537-2490 to find out more about in-home care services in your area.

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