In Home Care

If you are the adult child of an aging parent or have a family member who lives with a disability, in-home care can help you support their daily needs while allowing them to remain independent and at home. In-home care is also referred to as non-medical home care, personal care, home care and companion care.

Services Offered by In-Home Care Providers

In-home care agencies can be employed to help your loved one with the Activities of Daily Living (ADL) and the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL). Both are key to helping a loved one remain safe and healthy at home. What are ADLs and IADLs?

  • Activities of Daily Living (ADL) – The routine care tasks of daily life. They include: grooming, bathing, dressing, toileting, and transferring.
  • Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) – These are the chores we need to complete to maintain our home, health, and independence. Examples include: bill paying, grocery shopping, housekeeping, and medication management.

Types of Home Care

 Medical Home Care

Medical home care specializes in meeting the medical needs as well as the personal assistance and supervising needs of a senior living at home.

The duties for medical home are may includes medical services such as hospice care, which additionally offers emotional support for people who are in the last stages of very serious illnesses like cancer or heart failure. Hospice caregivers also attempt to help a family prepare both practically and emotionally for the death of a loved one.  Hospice care providers want to keep a critically ill senior loved one comfortable and ensure they maintain the highest quality of life possible after they are no longer continuing with treatments.

Non Medical Home Care

The goal of non-medical home care is to assist elders in maintaining as much personal independence as possible in their senior years. Non medical home care is essentially for seniors seeking to enjoy more freedom while living in a familiar, comfortable environment. Caregivers in non medical home care focus more on assisting with the activities of daily living, and less on the administration of medical assistance. This approach can be effective for Alzheimer’s and dementia care services, where seniors may need someone at hand to remind them about and assist them with important daily activities.  Depending on the extent of a disability requiring home care assistance, there are other types of home care offerings that specialize in helping seniors overcome some hindrances to daily living activities.

Occupational therapy home care helps seniors with disabilities to understand what their bodies are still capable of doing and teach them ways that they can still perform certain household tasks and other daily living activities.

Speech therapy seeks to help seniors to speak again who have had their ability to communicate verbally impaired after a stroke or other health ordeal.  Occupational therapy and speech therapy are approaches meant to help disabled seniors re-learn and re-familiarize themselves with ways to operate their bodies more effectively.

Home health aide is a less intensive, but still very important caregiving method, which specializes solely on basic assistance with daily tasks like getting out bed, dressing, bathing, dining, etc., without providing any additional extensive therapy or rehabilitation services.  The aim of home health aide is to look out for the general wellness of a senior living at home, and allow them to retain as much freedom in their daily living as possible.

Companion care is a method of caregiving intended to provide companionship for seniors who are generally healthy but have found themselves alone and could benefit from having help around the house as well as someone to talk to.  Seniors living independently may not be up to the light housekeeping requirements of their living space, and when grandchildren or a nice neighbor-boy are not at hand to help, companion care may be a good option.


Benefits of Home Care

Home care is generally considered to be the ideal solution for older adults. It offers a variety of benefits:

Maintain Independence. Remaining at home for as long as possible is the hope most adults have as they age. “Aging with choice” is how many people describe that wish. Home care services allow seniors to be safe in their home environment.

Affordability. For older adults who need services for six hours or less each day, in-home care can be the most cost-effective solution.  Home care typically allows for seniors to remain at home without spending a fortune on the monthly rend of an assisted living facility, or the sometimes socially awkward adjustment to adult day care facilities.

Companionship. If your loved one lives alone and no longer drives, companion care can help keep them connected. Companion visits can be made to read to your aging parent, take them on shopping outings or to a movie.

Personal Care Plan. Unlike a senior living environment where you might pay for services you don’t need and be required to adapt to the community’s time schedule, home care services are arranged at your convenience. You can work with the in-home care agency to develop a personal plan of care for your family member.

Cost of In-home Care

In 2015, the average cost of home care was between $10 and $36 per hour, with a median cost of $18 an hour.

Paying for In-Home Care Costs

Home care services are typically paid for using private family funds. There are several other options you can explore including: Veteran’s Aid & Attendance Benefit, reverse mortgages, and local government assistance. If your loved one purchased long-term care insurance, be sure to investigate whether or not it covers non-medical home care, as some newer policies do.