What are the different types of home care?

In All About Home Care, Blog Posts by webadmin3817 Comments

Unloading the dishwasher. Changing the sterile dressings on a surgical incision. Preparing meals. Having a conversation. Administering medications. Folding laundry. 

Did you know that home care professionals do all of these things and more? 

If you’re considering home care for someone in your family, it’s important to understand the different types of home care before taking the next step. Because while there’s a long list of what home care professionals can do, not all home care workers are qualified to do everything on that list. 

Under the general umbrella of home care, there are 3 main categories: 

Home health care
Also referred to as Medicare-certified home health care, intermittent skilled care, or visiting nurse services, this category of care is typically short-term, and is ordered by a physician for the purpose of recovery — either for an illness, injury, surgery or hospital stay. 

This type of care is all about getting a person back on his feet after an extended illness, or helping someone heal from a life-saving operation, or nursing someone back to health after a serious car accident.

Here are some of the services that would be considered home health care:

  • Physical therapy (PT): only a physical therapist is qualified to provide these services, which focus on strengthening the body and restoring physical function and abilities after an illness, injury, or an operation
  • Occupational therapy (OT): only an occupational therapist is qualified to provide these services, which are focused on the “work” of daily living, such as getting in and out of the shower safely, getting dressed, or preparing meals without injury or harm
  • Speech therapy/speech language pathology (SLP): only a speech therapist or SLP professional is qualified to provide these services, which may be required following a procedure that affects speech or swallowing, or due to the effects of Parkinson’s or a stroke, which can impact speech and swallowing  
  • Medical social work: these services would be provided by a licensed social worker, who supports home health patients by connecting them to community resources, or arranging medical appointments necessary for a successful recovery 
  • Home health aide services: these services would typically be provided by a HHA (home health aide), and may include things like assistance with bathing or dressing, or help with medication 
  • Short-term nursing services: these services would be provided by an RN, LVN, or LPN and may include things like wound care, IV care, or catheter care

Personal care & companionship
You don’t need a prescription from a doctor to bring in this type of home care, which is also known or referred to as non-medical care, homemaker care, assistive care, companion care, senior care, or home health aide services.

This category of home care includes help with things like:

  • Meal planning and preparation
  • Fall prevention
  • Light housekeeping and laundry
  • Medication reminders
  • Running errands
  • Transportation to medical appointments
  • Companionship
  • Self-care assistance (bathing, dressing, grooming, and using the bathroom)
  • Incontinence care
  • Ensuring safety at home with transferring (from bed to wheelchair, for example) or moving around the home 

Private duty nursing care
This type of home care is typically for those who have a chronic condition or disability that requires long-term care (such as MS, ALS, or TBI) and is also referred to as home-based skilled nursing, long-term nursing care, catastrophic care, or shift nursing. These services can only be performed by a RN, LPN, or LVN and may also include ventilator care or tracheostomy care. Catheter care, feeding tube care, ostomy care, and monitoring vital signs are among the responsibilities of those who provide private duty nursing care at home.

Did you know that Surrogate Family Care offers services in all 3 of these categories? From respiratory therapists to homemakers, we’ve got your home care needs covered. Learn more about the ways we can support you or a loved one at home.






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