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3 Different Types of At-Home Care for Seniors

News & Blog

Colloquially, services done at home for seniors are often lumped together under the broad phrase of “Home Care.”

But, did you know there are actually different types of home care programs?

Yes, in fact, there are so many services available to seniors through home care agencies, that the services are often categorized into three main types: personal home care, home health care, and long-term nursing.

If you’re thinking about signing up for homecare services, but not sure exactly which type is the best for you and your senior- here’s an easy breakdown:

(And just a quick note: when getting at-home care services it’s not a one or nothing choice. You don’t have to choose only one type of home care program. Especially, if you get services through an agency that offers all three.)

Personal Home Care Assistance

Personal at-home care assistance is any service that’s non-medical related. It’s for giving your senior a little more care and an extra hand. Almost like hiring a personal secretary, but for slightly more personal tasks.

All home care workers are taught and trained for their work, and some receive even more specialized training in order to assist in more complicated duties.

This category has the largest range of services because it has the largest range of possibility as it is meant to cover just everyday activities.

Personal home care services can include:

  • House cleaning
  • Oral hygiene
  • Transportation
  • Meal prep
  • Bathing/Showering
  • Dressing
  • Companionship
  • Personal emergency response
  • Care management

Home Health Care

Unlike personal home care assistance, the category of home health care deals with medical services.

With home health care, seniors will have professional nurses, therapists, and health aides work with them one-on-one in the comfort of their own homes. Seniors receive a personalized care management plan tailored to their individual needs. The care plan could be for rehabilitative or therapeutic services, and the frequency of sessions depends on the seniors’ needs.

Since home health care services are medical-related, they do require a prescription from a regular physician. But this is not anything complicated. Seniors just need to have their doctors send over a recommendation for the specific home health care they believe their seniors should receive.

Home health care services can include:

  • Skilled nursing
  • Physical therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Social work services

Long-term Nursing Care

Similar to home health care, nursing care is also for medical-related services.

However, there is one big difference between the two. Home health care is meant to help with immediate and short-term problems, while nursing care is meant for long-term situations.

Nursing care is best for seniors with chronic medical issues or disabilities. And, is often for patients who would otherwise need to be hospitalized.

Long-term nursing care is the most expensive of three types of home care services because it requires skilled medical professionals for longer periods of time. However, the personalized care and attention received in this category can often lead to better healing than the distracted attention of a hospital staff.

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