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A guide to In Home Care

Updated on January 21, 2014

In home care is a growing market in the senior care industry. As it becomes a viable alternative to nursing homes and hospital care, it is important to know how to choose the best care options for your loved ones.

What is In-Home Care?

In home care is a different type of service than health care. When thinking about home care it can be easy to start thinking about an in-home nurse who takes care of health needs that can be served outside of a hospital environment. However, personal home care refers more to improving the quality of life for the individual who is receiving the service.

Home care tends to focus on things like household upkeep, assistance with errands, and helping to serve the mental health of the individual who is receiving the service. Here are some specific examples of what home health care may entail the list of information is from AmeriCare:

Personal Care

  • Exercise (assisted or unassisted)
  • Bathing
  • Grooming & Oral Care
  • Skin Care/Nail Care/Shaving
  • Companionship Care
  • Assist with Walking
  • Reading to the Client
  • Letter Writing & Correspondence
  • Play Mind-Stimulating Games
  • Assist with Entertainment
  • Reminisce About the Past
  • Discuss Current Events
  • Participate in Crafts
  • Play Games/Cards
  • Weather Awareness
  • Monitor TV Usage

General Admin

  • Answer the Door
  • Answer the Telephone
  • Appointment Reminders
  • Arrange Appointments
  • Birthday Reminders
  • Clip Coupons for Shopping
  • Organize Mail
  • Mail Bills & Letters
  • Oversee Home Deliveries
  • Supervise Home Maintenance
  • Maintain Client Calendar
  • Meal Planning/Preparation
  • Meal Clean-up
  • Monitor Diet & Eating
  • Monitor Food Expirations
  • Record/Arrange Recipes


Care of Houseplants
Laundry & Ironing
Change Linens
Make Beds
Dust Furniture
Organize & Clean Closets
Take Out Garbage
Assist with pet care

Even this list is not a complete list of what personal health care entails. As can be seen, it is different from health care, but just as essential.

In home care does not directly contribute to the patient’s health, but there are numerous benefits to this type of senior care, many of which you can see in the table below.

Some of the benefits of In Home Care

Promotes Independence
Fully customized care
A familiar care setting
Allows for custom routine
Lower costs
Allows for excursions
Contributes to mental health
A caring human connection
There are many benefits to home health care for seniors

Choosing In Home Care

Home care services are usually provided by a home care agency. Many agencies offer services, but it is important to determine which is the best for you or your loved ones. Here is a checklist that you can follow when you are considering choosing a home care provider.

  • The cost: The first concern is the cost of the home care services. This type of care is generally friendlier on the wallet than health care or other senior services, but it can still get expensive if utilized for a long period of time. It is important to determine how much it will cost, and if the agency will allow for hourly billing.
  • Location: It is very important to have your home care provider in close proximity so they can come quickly if there is an issue. Choosing a local home care provider is key to having the service be used as effectively as possible.
  • Insurance Coverage: In home care is generally covered by Medicare, but it is important to find out the exact coverage available, and it can vary by agency or service provided. Get any questions answered before you begin service, that will allow you to have the best care possible.
  • Making sure "It Fits": Home care is a very personal and close type of care service. Home care professionals interact very closely with clients, and there is a tendency for a bond to be formed. For that reason, it is vital to make sure that the senior being cared for feels comfortable with the individual providing care and the type of service that they will be receiving.
  • Company Profile: It is important to make sure that you are dealing with an established and professional home care agency. The years of experience and size of a home care agency are important measurements in deciding if they will provide a quality experience. A website such as find-the-best can help you see the ratings and detailed reviews for a home care company.


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    • EvanWright profile imageAUTHOR

      Evan Wright 

      4 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      Hi Karen! Thanks for your comment and insight, I agree that in home is definitely becoming more viable with most other health care cost steadily increasing. Thanks for reading!


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