Home care is often also known as domiciliary care. It is also sometimes referred to as social care.
It refers to the concept where supportive health care is rendered by licensed health care professionals within the confines of the patient’s home itself. This is different than cases that do not require medical care. This kind is also known as custodial care. In non-medical care, care is rendered by non-licensed people who are not doctors, nurses or members of the medical fraternity. In the United States, home care has also been known as health care. However, there is a growing movement to distinguish the use of the two names. The term Home health care is to be applied to those services where skilled medical or nursing care is required. On the other hand, home care is only to be used for services which do not require medical care.
In home care, licensed people who provide care are also known as caregivers. They could even help the patient with day to day tasks such as bathing, eating, cooking and cleaning, laundry, medication reminders, shopping and transportation as well as errands and groceries. These are also called as life assistance services. In the case of patients who are terminally ill, this could include hospice care as well. It may also include rehabilitative help for patients who are recovering from surgeries or other illnesses. They can also help with medical assessments and psychological assessments. They also include services like educating individuals about diseases and how to manage them. Home health care can also include enlisting the services of mental illness workers and social workers.
In the United States, licensed practitioners, practical nurses, registered nurse aids, home care nurse aids and social worker personnel are allowed to provide for home care.
Similarly, physical therapists, speech therapists or occupational therapists, language pathologists, speech pathologists and dietitians are allowed to provide rehabilitative services. In the United States, full service agencies maintain a staff of available health care workers for home care. They recruit workers only after full background checks and reference checks. They also provide the required training, monitoring and supervision that the staff needs in order to provide medical health care to patients in their homes.
With home care, it provides patients a possibility of receiving care at home instead of staying at residential, long duration inpatient institutions. Professional home care personnel can also help with wound care, managing pain and teaching medications. Home care is many a times also requested for patients during the recovery process when the patient is back from hospitalization after a surgery or an illness. During these initial days, after a discharge from the hospital, patients often require some physical assistance with their day to day activities.
- The tasks that professional home caregivers can help perform are of two main kinds. Daily Living activities also known as ADL. This includes the acts of bathing, dressing oneself, transfers, using restrooms, walking around and eating. The other kind is called Daily Living activities that are Instrumental or IADL. This refers to tasks outside the basic day to day necessities of living. For example; a light amount of work in and around the house, cooking, taking medicines, grocery shopping, clothes shopping, money management and use of telephone. These activities are the ones that help the individual live independently within the society.
- Most home care within USA is the informal kind of home care. In these cases, mostly home care is provided by family members and friends. Under formal home care the services of nurses, physical therapy professionals and home care nursing aides can also be requested for. Insurance plans like Medicare and Medicaid can be used to pay for home care. Home care is often also covered by private insurance and can include veteran’s administration too. Depending on the patient’s employment, home care could also be paid for by railroad health insurance or steelworkers health insurance. At times, patients pay, in part or in full, for home care with their own financial resources. Because home care can be pretty expensive, families can end up absorbing these costs for a few years.
Professionals providing home care need to be Certified Nursing assistants. This can be achieved by sitting for an exam. There are also other additional checks carried out like background checks, DMV checks and testing for drugs. Requirements also vary depending upon the state. These requirements are posted by the state department of health for that state. The payment or reimbursement for services provided as part of home care also depends on the specific discipline under which care is being rendered.