Home Care, also called residential care, is medical care or specialized care given by a licensed caregiver in the patient’s home, rather than care given in group facilities such as nursing homes or clinics. The vast majority of home health aides have no licensed physicians. Many home health aides, both adults, and children are employed by private families or other non-profit organizations, providing a valuable service to those with special needs. Others work as part of a network of professionals who provide direct patient care in hospitals, nursing homes, or other healthcare settings. Many home health aides work in long-term care communities with other patients who are similarly challenged.
There are several types of home care. If your loved one’s condition requires daily physical activity, a home health aide might provide physical therapy, use crutches or a wheelchair for mobility assistance, or help your loved one participate in a fitness program at the home. If your loved one requires assistance with bathing, feeding, or personal grooming, a home health aide might assist with these tasks. The aide may even accompany your loved one to doctor appointments and medical procedures.
Long-term caregivers are another type of home care aide. These workers often spend time visiting elderly relatives or friends and assisting with activities such as bathing, eating, walking, shopping, driving, and errands. They may be asked to take your loved one to doctor appointments or participate in medical procedures. Long-term companionship is often required for seniors who live alone or are disabled.
Assisted living facilities are another type of home care aide. In an assisted-living facility, your loved one lives in an environment similar to that of regular homes (or apartments) with many of the amenities of the home. Along with having daily living skills, aides working in assisted-living facilities are trained to assist seniors with their personal hygiene needs, meal preparation, and transportation. Some assisted-living facilities also offer 24-hour supervision and security for seniors living alone. Seniors may also need assistance with performing simple tasks, such as bathing, dressing, or walking.
Medical-care home care aides are an essential part of medical services for seniors. Medical-care home care aides are trained to administer medical treatments to seniors in accordance with state and federal requirements. Some medical-care home care aides are fully-trained nurses while others are licensed, vocational nurses. Some individuals provide routine medical care and others perform more complex medical tasks.
If you need a registered nurse to assist you or your loved one but prefer a different skill set, there are a number of options. Many agencies require potential employees to have at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. Others simply require that the individual be a graduate of an accredited nursing program. One good reason to choose a service provider that requires a graduate degree is that many home care services offer job stability and advancement. Another benefit of working with a home care provider that requires a graduate degree is that you can receive a higher compensation package.
Perhaps the most common work for home health care workers is to provide primary medical care to seniors suffering from illness or injury. A home health care provider may work in a variety of different roles depending on the nature of the assignment. Contract workers can perform tasks as maintenance personnel, housekeeping, and chore workers. Some home health care providers even have the opportunity to become licensed and trained in various medical services.
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Home health care is a growing segment of the medical community. As the baby-boomer generation ages and the elderly population increases, home health care agencies are expanding their offerings in a variety of specialized settings. Working with an experienced, professional agency can help you find a position that suits your needs and helps you achieve your health outcomes. You can also benefit from working with an agency that is staffed with highly skilled professionals who have been trained in a variety of medical services and other tasks that ensure safe patient care.