Why Home Care?

Generally, home care is appropriate whenever a person prefers to stay at home but needs ongoing care that cannot easily or effectively be provided solely by family and friends. More and more seniors, electing to live independent, non-institutionalized lives, are receiving home care services as their physical capabilities diminish.

Home care is cost-effective. Numerous studies have shown that home care is generally the most cost-effective care option. Used prior to, in place of, or after hospitalization, home care can reduce the length-of-stay and save money over the course of an illness.

Home care keeps people independent. With assistance, persons of all ages can continue to function as viable members of the community.

Home care keeps families together. The joy of being with loved ones is particularly important in times of illness, and keeping families together has a positive social and economic impact on our communities.

Home care involves the individual and the family in the care that is delivered. Home care is patient centered — it empowers individuals and their families to assume greater responsibility for their own health, and to assist them to make informed health care decisions.

Time and Type of Services Available

Understanding the different types of services available for home care can be a challenge. The following list should provide clarification, along with length of care options.

  • Hourly - Hourly care can be provided by a companion or homemaker, certified nursing assistant (CNA), home health aide (HHA), licensed practical nurse (LPN), or registered nurse (RN). The caregiver can provide care available under their licensure/certification as well as companion/homemaker services. A minimum of five hours of care is required. RN, LPN, and bed-and-bath visits are also available.
  • Live-in - Care can be provided by companions/homemakers, CNAs, HHAs, LPNs, or RNs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The caregiver can provide care available under their licensure as well as companion/homemaker services. A live-in caregiver must be able to have eight hours of uninterrupted sleep, in contract. For individuals who need full 24-hour attention, look for shift-work care.
  • 24-hour care - This level of care and service is when a home health professional is awake and ready to attend to a patient's needs 24 hours a day. The level of service usually, with rare exception, applies to home health aide care. This level of care requires multiple shifts by care providers over the 24-hour period. Provision of this service is via private pay and the use of long-term care insurance.
  • Visits - A visit is when the health professional, aide, or nurse, comes into a patient's home or residence and performs certain specific tasks or duties. A visit can last up to an hour, but is defined, time-wise, by the completion of the required duties. When the tasks have been performed and completed, the visit is over.
    • Example of a skilled nursing visit - removing a dressing on a wound, documenting the wound in the client's medical record, treating the wound, applying a new dressing on the wound, and monitoring the general health of the client.
    • Example of a Home Health Aide’s visit - assisting the client with dressing and undressing, helping the client bathe, meal preparation, changing bed linens.


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