Different types of Home Care service offer different services to suit the varying needs and financial situations of clients. The need for personal care has increased as a result of aging, illness, accidents and terminal illnesses. These situations require an immediate and continuing caregiver to help provide basic services to improve the quality of life. There are two broad categories of services provided by home care agencies: companion care and in home supportive care.
Companion care services are offered in the private and public sector. Examples of companion care services include elderly support, geriatric care, home health aide/personal care aide, and in home support. Some of these services cover only minor issues, whereas others extend their coverage to individuals with serious disabilities. Companion care services vary greatly in scope, providing everything from cleaning and laundry assistance to assistance with dressing, eating and medication management. Services may be minimal or may include assistance with grooming, medication reminders and medication control.
In home care services are provided by professional caregivers who are trained and licensed to provide personal care under the supervision of a licensed medical health care provider such as a nurse, social worker, or licensed practical nurse. The scope of services may include assistance with bathing and personal grooming as well as assistance with medical procedures. If a person’s condition requires specialized monitoring or physical therapy, it is essential that the care provider understand the specific needs of the patient. Some home health care services may include specialized medical equipment for the purpose of assisting individuals with chronic conditions or disabilities such as heart disease and diabetes.
Private duty nursing care services are provided by licensed vocational nurses, certified nurse assistants (CNA), and certified nursing assistants (CNA). However, CNA’s do not have the same accreditation as RN’s. CNA’s generally have more extensive experience in patient care and are more likely to have specialized training for their job. If a CNA is working in private duty nursing care services, they are responsible for the complete care of an individual patient in their home. A nurse employee provides emotional and personal support to the individual, but cannot give actual physical care. For this reason, companion care services may include helping the individual with small tasks like shopping or meal preparation, or assisting the individual with activities that are routine to their lifestyle, such as going to the grocery store or visiting family.
Companion services include both long-term care and short-term services. Long-term care services are typically only for individuals who require constant assistance with tasks or activities of daily living. A person receiving care in a home health care center may be referred by a family member or other source for assistance with daily living tasks. The term private duty nursing care is typically used to describe services provided by CNA on a part-time or full-time basis.
Some Healthcare Policies and Procedures Manuals and other services offered through a long-term or short-term care center may include home health care services, including in-home assisted living facilities, transportation, hearing aids, and home health care aides to help with bathing, dressing, and similar tasks. These services can be provided by both licensed vocational nurses (LPN’s) and certified nursing assistants (CNA’s). In addition, many providers of home health care services offer services to provide medical care or medical surveillance for the elderly, including medical-related caregiving. In some instances, home health care providers may refer their clients to physicians for additional medical care, such as prescription medication or therapy to help manage pain or other ailments.