Patient Better: A Comprehensive Guide to Self-Health Management

2.2 Home Healthcare & Home Care Services

Understanding your at-home care needs and matching them to the best at-home service provider.

Definition of In-Home Care:

It is supportive care provided in the home. Care may be provided by licensed healthcare professionals who provide medical treatment needs or by home care representatives who provide daily assistance to ensure the activities of daily living (ADLs) are met. In-home medical care is often and more accurately referred to as home healthcare or formal care.

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Key Takeaways:

The term home care is non-medical care, custodial care, or private-duty care which refers to assistance and services provided by persons who are non-medical personnel to help individuals with activities of daily living and provide support and companionship to families throughout the patient’s health condition.

Home healthcare is clinical medical care provided by a licensed professional such as a registered nurse, occupational therapist, physical therapist or other skilled and trained medical professionals, and is prescribed as part of a care plan following hospitalization or for patients recovering from surgery or illness. Home healthcare may include rehabilitative therapies. For terminally ill patients, home care may include hospice care.

Questions to determine care:

  1. Are they exercising or otherwise staying active?
  2. If an appliance breaks, can they find a repairman and make an appointment to come by?
  3. Do they seem happy or content? Are there any signs of depression?
  4. Can they manage the finances independently?
  5. Are they getting out of the house?
  6. Do they have a plan in the event of a medical emergency or natural disaster?
  7. Are they able to maintain the household independently (e.g., cooking, cleaning and grocery shopping)?

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