Understanding the Services of Professional Home Care Providers

Home Health Care Agencies
Home Health Agencies (Medical home care services) offer professional nursing and therapy services in the home. These services, provided by Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, therapists and social workers include:

. Health assessments
. Patient education
. Caregiver counseling
. Physical and occupational therapy
. Taking samples for lab tests
. Wound dressing
. Medication training and compliance
. Hospice care
. Management of IVs and more

They also provide aides, who incidental to medical care, help patients with activities of daily living.

Non-Medical Companion Companies
These providers represent a rapidly growing trend to allow people needing help to remain in their home or in the community. The services offered may include:

. Companionship
. Grooming and dressing
. Recreational activities
. Medication reminders
. Light housekeeping
. Meal preparation
. Respite for family caregivers
. Errands and shopping
. Reading email or letters
. Overseeing home deliveries
. Dealing with vendors
. Transportation services
. Changing linens
. Laundry and ironing
. 24-hour emergency response
. Family counseling

These providers receive reimbursement directly from families, from other care providers whom they subcontract for or from long term care insurance. Some traditional home health agencies -- those who offer medical care at home -- may have a division that offers non-medical home care as well.

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