In home services cover a broad spectrum of non-medical and medical services. Non-medical home services can include help with everyday living, including bathing, eating, brushing teeth, getting dressed, and using the bathroom. Some home services are designed to be extra support services that are provided on a scheduled basis by a representative. These services include shopping, transportation, errands, shopping bags, traveling with elderly, preparing meals, and more. Medical services can include medical screening and medication management, as well as doctor visits, prescriptions, x-rays, hospitalization, emergency care, home health aides, home nursing, and other medical services specific to the individual person or family.
As an increasing number of senior citizens live independently, home care services for them have also increased. The elderly are living longer and it is important for their needs to be met in the most comfortable manner possible. Senior home care is an essential component of elder care and helps older adults retain their independence and ability to lead a normal life. Senior home care services focus on providing assistance to the elderly in several daily living activities. Some examples of these common activities are: housekeeping and personal care, bathing, walking, shopping for meals, shopping for medication, getting dressed, preparing meals, getting exercise, and using the restroom.
Other services include some instruction in daily living skills and assisting the elderly in exercise. The instruction in daily living skills helps the elderly adults retain their independence and reduces the need for in-home assistance. Some of these services include: helping with shopping for food, shopping for necessary medications, shopping for clothing, bathing, dressing, getting up and going to bed, preparing meals, exercising, visiting family and friends, playing cards, and using the telephone. Aides may be provided by professional caregivers, or the services may be offered by specially trained home care aides. Some senior home care agencies offer training and other resources to make the in-home experience as comfortable and rewarding as possible for the elderly adult.
Some home care patients require specialized medical care and some may require durable medical equipment. Services offered may also depend on the type of patient, including those who have long-term health conditions or need special medical equipment. Long-term care involves a higher level of care than primary care. Primary care patients receive routine preventative medical care and most long-term care patients receive specialized medical care, including rehabilitation and durable medical equipment. Examples of durable medical equipment include kidney dialysis machines, heart transplants, and artificial joints. These items may be costly and cannot be replaced easily.
The goal of in-home services is to provide the most appropriate and comprehensive home health care for the patient while enabling the patient to maintain their independence and participate in their own home. The services offered by senior home health care agencies can be customized to meet the needs of the patient and the agency. For example, some agencies offer home health care patients and their family members services such as shopping for groceries and household chores, preparing meals, shopping for medical supplies and therapeutic equipment, bathing the patient, helping with exercise and dressing the patient, bathing and removing makeup, shopping errands, preparing meals at the patient’s home, preparing for bed linens, shopping grocery items and more. In addition, these services may also involve preparing the patient’s prescriptions and assisting the patient with grocery shopping.
As more people are living longer and the need for home care is on the rise, the National Association of Home Care Providers has developed a series of quality standards for home care providers. According to the NAR, standards must focus on ensuring that home care to meet a person’s personal needs and that care is provided in the safest way possible. The high-tech home care provided by the NAR meets these standards. Many senior home care agencies offer state licenses and accreditation. These agencies offer a variety of services to the elderly including: custodial and personal care, adult day care, respite care, home health maintenance, assisted living, geriatric care and more.