Wikipedia defines it as health care or supportive care provided in the patient's home by healthcare professionals (often referred to as home health care). Often, the term home care is used to distinguish non-medical care or custodial care, which is care that is provided by persons who are not nurses, doctors, or other licensed medical personnel, as opposed to home health care that is provided by licensed personnel.
A home health care provider is usually Medicare certified and the services are doctor ordered. Services performed are medical in nature and usually needed after surgery, during rehabilitation.
Non-medical home care or personal assistance services are usually provided by unlicensed personnel and they include bathing, dressing, cooking, transportation, companionship, shopping, light housekeeping and other similar duties. Aids can be hired part-time or full-time, depending on the needs of the client. Most providers offer hourly rates with price breaks for full days, overnights, etc… These agencies are private pay, meaning the client pays out of pocket.
Hospice is also a type of care administered in homes. It is physician ordered for end of life patients.
Home Care is different than Home Health Care:
Home Care – Home Care Agencies provide personal services to elderly or disabled clients in their residence. This includes non-medical assistance in the client’s home, including help with cooking, cleaning, bathing, dressing, transportation, and companionship.
Home Health Care – Doctor ordered medical services for patients recovering from an illness or surgery or those needing medical attention while at their home. Also known as home health agencies, they provide a wide range of health and social services delivered at home to people recovering from an illness or injury, or persons who are elderly, disabled and/or chronically ill. Home Health Agencies provide "skilled services" such as nursing, social services, and therapeutic treatments (physical, speech, occupational therapy).
Some states also have nurse registries, which are agencies that connect nurses and non-medical caregivers to families and communities in need.
Try our Advanced Search to find options for Home Care. Enter a city and state or zip code and then select the Home Care section or even just specific types of Home Care. Remember that home care providers come to you, so you might want to perform a broader search to find more options.
How to Choose a Home Care Agency
Ten Things to Ask Before Hiring a Home Care Agency
Make informed decisions on senior living and care. View or order a free directory for your geographic area now.
View digital print guide >
Order print guide >