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In-Home Care

“Home care”, “home health care” and “in-home care” are phrases that are used interchangeably in the United States to mean any type of care given to a person in their own home. These phrases have been used in the past interchangeably regardless of whether the person requires skilled care or not.

More recently, there is a growing movement to distinguish between “home health care” meaning skilled nursing care and “home care” meaning non-medical care. (In the United Kingdom, “homecare” and “domiciliary care” are the preferred expressions.)

The term “Home Care” is generally used for non-medical care by home aides and supportive professionals.

Home care providers render services in the client’s own home. These services may include some combination of professional health care services and life assistance services.

Home health care aims to make it possible for people to remain at home rather than use residential, long-term, or institutional-based nursing care. Professional home health services could include medical or psychological assessment, wound care, medication teaching, pain management, disease education and management, physical therapy, speech therapy, or occupational therapy.

Life assistance services include help with daily tasks such as meal preparation, medication reminders, laundry, light housekeeping, errands, shopping, transportation, and companionship. Home care is often an integral component of the post-hospitalization recovery process, especially during the initial weeks after discharge when the patient still requires some level of regular physical assistance.

  • Activities of daily living (ADL) refers to six activities: (bathing, dressing, transferring, using the toilet, eating, and walking) that reflect the patient’s capacity for self-care.
  • Instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) refers to six daily tasks: (light housework, preparing meals, taking medications, shopping for groceries or clothes, using the telephone, and managing money) that enables the patient to live independently in the community.

Here is a summary of non-medical care / services provided by Home Care Providers. Please note the categorization is for convenience and not a standard!

  • Grooming and Personal Care
  • Companionship
  • Transportation services
  • Live-in Care
  • Housekeeping services
  • Shopping and Money Management


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