What is Home Health Care?

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posted by Ted Ryan on March 11, 2013

The term home health care embodies a wide range of services that are provided to allow elderly, ill, disabled or recovering individuals to remain in the independence of home. Services can fall anywhere between skilled nursing care to transportation and light housekeeping. Care can range from short weekly visits to around-the-clock 24-hour care.

Caregiving is a demanding job that is generally most successful when done as a team. Home care assists with the duties of caregiving, when they become too much for a spouse or loved one to handle. Sometimes, additional help comes from a friend or family member. Some people refer to a caregiver registry or staffing agency. Often, families opt to contact a home care agency – such as Seniors Home Care.

Services provided among home care agencies vary. (When contacting an agency, it is wise to make a list of the needs that you require to ensure that they will be covered.) Technically, there is a difference between a home care agency and a home health care agency. This article primarily focuses on home care services – those which are mostly non-skilled in nature.

Home care agencies generally provide services that are not considered to be skilled care – which is not to say that these caregivers are not skilled, but that they are not performing highly medical tasks. These services range from housekeeping and companion care to transportation and assistance with personal care, such as bathing, dressing, toileting and eating. This care is not covered by Medicare and thus paid for privately or by private long-term care insurance.

Seniors Home Care falls under this category of home care – also referred to as private duty home care. However, SHC does also employ a team of RN Case Managers to offer skilled nursing services that caregivers may not be equipped to administer. SHC has experience working and communicating with other services, such as Hospice, to ensure that our clients receive complete care.

Home health care agencies are licensed and usually Medicare certified. These agencies primarily focus on the medical aspects of care, such as skilled nursing, physical and occupational therapy and speech therapy. If you are in need of these services, contact us and we will be happy to provide recommendations in your area.

For more information on home care, please feel free to contact us. We would be happy to send you an informational packet. This not only includes the services that SHC provides, but also a detailed checklist to help determine need for home care services as well as a list of questions to ask when considering and selecting a home care provider. If you are a resident of the greater St. Louis area, take advantage of our free RN assessment to help determine the level of need and best plan of action for you or a loved one.

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Advocacy and Education and Caregiving
  1. scott


    November 29, 2017

    I like that you talked about how home health care services can focus on medical needs for seniors. My father is getting older and I would like someone to make sure he is staying healthy. I can see how it would be nice to try home health care. That way I don’t have to worry about him mixing up his medications.

  2. Mats Wolff

    Mats Wolff

    May 24, 2022

    Its great when you said that home health care agencies are usually licensed and certified by Medicare. I recently found a new job and I want to hire someone who can take care of my elderly mother in my house. Thanks for the benefits of home health care and I hope that I can find someone trustworthy soon.

  3. Mats Wolff

    Mats Wolff

    June 21, 2022

    It’s fantastic that you said that Medicare usually licenses and certifies home health care agencies. I recently started a new work, and I’d like to employ someone to look after my elderly mother at home. Thank you for the advantages of home health care, and I hope to find someone dependable soon.

  4. Amy Saunders

    Amy Saunders

    July 05, 2022

    Hey there. One of the elders in my neighborhood will be living alone for the next couple of weeks since his daughter will be attending a business conference out of town. In my opinion, hiring a caretaker to look after him should be something he takes into consideration some time soon. In the meantime, you caught my interest by stating that most home care officers should carry insurance policies as some sort of protections against any possible workplace hazard.

  5. Mats Wolff

    Mats Wolff

    September 01, 2022

    It’s nice that you mentioned that home health care providers typically have licenses and certifications from Medicare. I recently got a new job, so I’m looking to hire someone to look after my ageing mother in my home. I appreciate the advantages of home health care and am hoping to find a reliable provider soon.

  6. Max P

    Max P

    September 07, 2022

    I found it helpful when you said that services that are not considered to be skilled care could be provided by home care agencies, and this includes housekeeping and companion care. This reminds me of my best friend’s 67-year-old mother who has been living alone. She wants to make sure that she will get assistance in completing household and self-care chores for her peace of mind moving forward, so I will ask her to consider hiring a home care service.

  7. Taylor Abrams

    Taylor Abrams

    September 08, 2022

    What you said about home care helping with responsibilities of caregiving when it’s too much to handle for the other family members is really insightful. When I was in college, my roomie was stressed over finding a home health care service provider for her mom who has dementia. It must be heartbreaking for people to have to call someone else to do something they want to do but can’t. At the same time, it feels good that services like that exists.

  8. Taylor Abrams

    Taylor Abrams

    October 25, 2022

    When the responsibilities of caregiving become too much for a spouse or loved one to undertake, it’s good to know that home care may help. My grandma has been diagnosed with dementia last month and with everyone working, we feel like taking care of her 24/7 isn’t something possible. So, we collectively thought of home care for her so she can still be at home while being cared for by a professional.

  9. Ava M

    Ava M

    November 10, 2022

    It was nice that you mentioned that families usually opt to hire a senior home care service, especially when they cannot handle the job anymore. My husband worries about her 67-year-old mother who has been insisting to live alone. She does not want to move to another place. Since my husband wants to have peace of mind when it comes to the safety of his mother, I will ask her to consider your tips.

  10. Elle Jones

    Elle Jones

    February 03, 2023

    Your statement that home care providers may offer services like housekeeping and companion care that are not regarded as skilled was very beneficial to me. This makes me think of the 67-year-old mother of my best friend who has been living alone. I would suggest that she consider hiring a home care service since she wants to be sure that she will receive assistance with finishing domestic and self-care tasks for the sake of her peace of mind.

  11. Elle Jones

    Elle Jones

    March 25, 2023

    Due to his daughter’s upcoming attendance at an out-of-town business conference, one of the elderly residents of my neighborhood will be living alone for the next few weeks. He ought to consider getting a caretaker soon, in my opinion, to take care of him. While I wait, you piqued my interest by saying that the majority of home care workers should be covered by insurance as a form of defense against any potential workplace risks.

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