Home Care

We often hear or say the expression, “There’s no place like home…,” or that home is one “sweet” place dear to our hearts. Who wouldn’t want to spend his/her precious time in a place he/she is most comfortable with? These sentiments hold true for the home care option in senior living as the elderly who prefer this type of setup just, yes, stay at the comforts of his/her home.

Also known as “domiciliary care” (in the United Kingdom), “companion care”, “formal care” and “home health care”, home care is a type of retirement living in which seniors are provided healthcare and support services by professionals in their own homes. In the United States, these service providers are also referred to as skilled caregivers. In some cases, family members or friends – primary/voluntary/informal caregivers – are the ones who do the caring themselves. Home care has become in demand because of more and more seniors wanting to remain at home instead of moving into a different community altogether as they enjoy retirement.

In home care, non-medical service or custodial care – provided by a non-professional or a person who is not a doctor, nurse or licensed medical personnel – allows a senior to get assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs). ADLs are activities reflecting the individual’s capacity to care for his/her self, namely bathing, dressing, transferring, using the toilet, eating, and walking; IADLs, are tasks enabling the resident to live independently, including performance of light housework, preparation of meals, medication management, purchase of grocery items or clothes, use of telephone, and money management.

However, there is also “home health care,” as aforementioned, which is provided by licensed skilled professionals such as nurses, physicians and therapists. Different home care and home health care may be from each other in U.S. setting, in most aspects, the services and care described are the same.

The good thing about living in home care is that the senior can veer away from long-term, institutional-based – thus, costlier – external residential nursing care and at the same time remain at their primary shelter. Services may also come in some combination of professional healthcare (e.g., medical assessment and management, physical or occupational therapy, etc.) and life assistance (e.g., light housekeeping, medication reminders, companionship, etc.) services.

A choice of either short-term or long-term based service is also offered by the home care setup – flexibility, in other words. For instance, temporary or short-term assistance may be needed and arranged for seniors who suffered from a bad fall or even stroke. On the other hand, seniors who may have adult child that engages in a daytime job may opt to avail of the long-term based service.

For home care costs, a licensed medical professional conducts an initial assessment of the needs a prospective patient; this is done at the latter’s home, though it may vary from time to time. The result of the assessment determines the kind of home care needed and thus the estimated cost on a per-hour basis.