What is Home Care

Home care is supportive care provided in the home. Care is provided by licensed professional caregivers referred to as Certified Nurse Assistants (CNA’s)  or unlicensed individuals referred to as sitters or caregivers who provide daily care to help to ensure the activities of daily living (ADL’s) are met.  ADL’s include:

  • onal Care – Hygiene & Dressing
  • Assisting with self-administered medications
  • Vitals monitored
  • Light Housekeeping
  • CompanionPersship – social and emotional interaction
  • Meal Preparation
  • Escorts to doctor visits, outings, etc.

In-home medical care is often and more accurately referred to as “home health care” or formal care. Often, the term home health care is used to distinguish it from non-medical care, custodial care, or private-duty care which is care that is provided by persons who are not nurses, doctors, or other licensed medical personnel.

What should you expect for your loved ones care and how do you know you are entrusting this care to an Agency that truly has their best interest at heart?

Agencies must be licensed by the State they provide care in.  Aside from this, Home Care Agencies can be as different as day and night.  Depending on your care needs and your specific situation, the following items should be considered when seeking a provider…

  • Is the Agency insured and bonded?
  • How long has the agency been providing private duty home care?
  • Is a customized care plan developed in consultation with the client and family members?
  • Do they closely supervise the quality of care?  Is a daily journal in the client’s home & non-scheduled supervisory visits performed?
  • What does “Quality of Life” mean to the Agency?
  • Does the Agency mandate ongoing training of its staff to continually update their skills?
  • Does the Agency “triple-screen” their caregivers, including reference checks, driving records and criminal background checks?
  • Does the Agency use independent contractors?
  • What is their caregiver turnover rate?
  • How does the Agency make sure each client’s treatment and personal information remains confidential?
  • Does the Agency have a 24-hour telephone number you can call when you have questions or concerns?
  • What therapy programs does the Agency provide?
  • Does the Agency carry Worker’s Compensation Insurance on their staff?
  • Does Agency provide you with the “Patient’s Bill of Rights”?

A private sitter or caregiver not employed with an Agency most likely will not carry any liability insurance, workman’s compensation or bonding.  This places liability on the patient and their family.  They may or may not be licensed or have any formal training.