What is home health care?

Home health care includes a wide range of in-home services that an individual may receive due to an illness, injury, or simply just with aging. Home health care services may include: hourly or live-in home health aide services, Alzheimer’s care, Parkinson’s care, long or short term care, hospice services, and more. When searching for home health care, it is important to trust the services you are using. Check out our list of interview questions to ask before hiring a home care service.

A nurse is checking the blood pressure of an older woman.

What do home health care services include?

In general, the goal of home health care is to assist you or your loved ones with activities related to daily living, rehabilitation or companionship. Home health care helps you:

Assist in the personal care of the patient including: 

  • Oral Hygiene
  • Full or partial bathing activities
  • Toileting activities including the use of the urinal, bedpan, or commode
  • Personal grooming activities including shaving, shampoos, skin care and perineal care
  • Dressing activities

Performs basic patient care skills including: 

  • Passive and/or active range of motion exercise
  • Transferring
  • Turning and positioning patients
  • Taking and recording vital signs
  • Providing ostomy care including changing of the apparatus as instructed by the Nursing Supervisor
  • Provides daily indwelling catheter care as instructed by the Nursing Supervisor
  • Measure patient’s weight
  • Measure intake and output as directed by Nursing Supervisor
  • Performs fingerstick and glucometer readings and reports to the Nursing Supervisor
  • Performs nonsterile dressing changes as instructed by the Nursing Supervisor
  • Cleans equipment used by patient
  • Keeps daily records of patient activities and observations
  • Submits weekly records to Director of Nursing and appropriate personnel on patient’s condition

Provides household services in order to maintain a safe, clean environment including: 

  • Making and changing the patient’s bed
  • Dusting and vacuuming the rooms used by the patient
  • Dishwashing the patient’s tableware and utensils
  • Tidying and damp mopping the kitchen and bathroom
  • Disposing of the garbage daily and as needed
  • Tidying the patient’s bedroom
  • Shopping and errands for the client 
  • Personal laundry for client

Prepares and assists with the dietary requirements of the patient including: 

  • Preparation of the prescribed diet for the patient
  • Assist with the feeding when necessary
  • Provide between meal nourishment
  • Assist with menu planning and grocery shopping

Assists the patient in maintaining the daily activities and quality of lifestyle including: 

  • Socializing with family and friends
  • Accompany client to medical appointments and social activities
  • Recognizes and utilizes opportunities for reinforcing health and quality of life for the patient
A woman and an old man playing chess

How is home health care paid?

Home health care services can be paid in a variety of ways, depending on you and your home health care provider. Home care services are usually paid directly by the person receiving care (private pay), or through long-term care insurance or Medicaid. Other funding sources may be:

  • Private pay
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Veterans benefits
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare

Benefits of receiving home health care through an agency:

  • They will schedule an appointment to speak with you regarding you or your loved ones needs and health.
  • If you are paying through insurance, the agency should submit all documents for you to be reimbursed.
  • Some agencies will provide other services free of charge for family members. At A Caring Hand Services, Inc. a Licensed Clinical Social Worker is on staff, who will make home visits as needed at no additional charge.
  • Home health aides go through a rigorous screening process before being hired.
  • Home health aides can be replaced if your current caregiver requests for time off.
  • There should always be someone on call incase of an emergency.
A nurse handing an elderly man some food.