The term home care describes two very different types of care:
- Home health care provided by licensed medical professionals, for which you need a prescription.
- Non-medical home care, such as personal care, homemaker or companionship services provided by professional caregivers.
Non-medical home care focuses on helping seniors with the daily activities they need to engage in to remain safe and healthy. Many seniors need help to get their day started with assistance showering, preparing breakfast and taking their medications. Likewise, help before bedtime, or even overnight, can be an important safety net for seniors at home who often are more apprehensive at nighttime.
In broader terms, home care that seniors require often revolves around the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs). These are provided under non-medical home care.
ADLs are basic activities and functions performed on a daily basis that are usually done without assistance. The six ADLs are:
IADLs, on the other hand, are those activities instrumental to our daily routines such as:
- preparing meals
- doing housework
- managing finances
- managing medication
- using the telephone
You know Mom needs a little help around the house, but just because she’s having a few problems doesn’t mean you have to move her somewhere else.
How non-medical care differs from home health care
It used to be that a medical crisis could spell the end for seniors living in their own homes. But today, even older adults who suffer from chronic conditions or life debilitating illnesses can still remain at home.
What’s more, home health care agencies can also provide licensed medical professionals to go to an older adult’s home, offering a wide range of medical and therapeutic services. If your senior loved one requires care that requires a doctor’s prescription, then you should contact a home health agency. Keep in mind, however, that home health aides generally are only authorized to perform the tasks described in the prescription.
If your senior needs assistance getting to and from doctor’s appointments, cleaning the house, or simply having someone to spend time with, you should contact a non-medical home care agency like the Home Instead Senior Care® offices in Port Townsend, Port Ludlow and Sequim. Many caregivers and older adults find that using a team approach of having both non-medical and home health care services concurrently actually provides the best solution.
To find out more about non-medical and home health care, download The Home Care Solution guide.
To learn more about our in-home services, explore some of these other topics on our site: