Home Care Services

What is Home Care?

Home Care encompasses a broad range of health, social and general assistance services that are provided to seniors in their own home. Services include:

  • Meal preparation
  • Companionship
  • Medicine reminders
  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Errands & Shopping
  • Incidental transportation
  • Hygiene
  • Medical or therapeutic treatment

Who Provides Home Care?

Home care providers vary by specialty and services. Some examples include:

  • Homemaker and Home Care Aide Agencies—Flexible assistance with household chores and duties.
  • Home Health Agencies—Medicare certified skilled care.
  • Staffing and Private-duty Agencies—Nursing and other services.
  • Registries—Staffing agencies for nurses and aides.
  • Independent Providers—Solo practitioners.
  • Pharmaceutical and Infusion Therapy Companies—Specialize in drug delivery and equipment.
  • Medical Equipment & Supply Companies—Delivery, installation and training of medical equipment.
  • Hospice—Home care for the terminally ill.

Choosing a Home Care Provider: Questions to Ask

  • How long has this provider been serving the community?
  • What services are provided?
  • What are the eligibility requirements, fees, and funding sources?
  • How does the provider select and train its employees? Are they licensed?
  • Is the provider insured?
  • Is the aide covered by workers compensation? (Homeowners Insurance may not cover them.)
  • Is the aide bondable and/or have they passed a criminal background check?
  • Is the provider a certified home health agency?
  • Who evaluates or determines care requirements?
  • Is there a written plan detailing the care to be delivered? How are ongoing records kept?
  • What supervision is provided of the individual care providers?
  • How do they handle complaints?
  • What are the emergency procedures? Is care available 24 hours a day, seven days a week?
  • How does the provider ensure patient confidentiality?
  • Can they supply references to talk to? Ask for a variety of references (patients, family members, doctors, discharge planners, community members). Questions for references:
    - What feedback have you received regarding this provider?
    - How frequently do you refer patients to this provider?
    - Do you have a contract with this provider? If so, what is the standard of care?
    - Can you put me in touch with patients treated by this provider who have similar cases to mine?