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About Caring For A Senior is committed to making in-home care accessible to all care seekers. We do this by providing informative articles and resources that can help you understand the options available to you in a time of need. And once you're ready to seek care assistance, we offer a directory of nearby care providers.

Types of home care: At Home

Janet Morris, Director of Bet Tzedek's Family ...


Most types of long-term at-home care can be in one of two categories: caregivers and home and community-based services (HCBSs). HCBSs provide a range of services that deal with support, health and personal needs. These services allow individuals to live at home with as much independence as possible.

Caregivers allow elderly individuals to be at home and live independently. The majority of caregivers are unpaid.

The role of caregiver is usually filled by a family member, partner, friend or neighbor. A caregiver is the person who helps an elderly individual chooses to live at home.

Caregivers can provide:

  • Homemaking services, including cooking and cleaning
  • Emotional services, including friendship and companionship
  • Nursing services, including medicine management and help with bathing
  • Financial services, including paying bills
  • Social services, including tracking appointments and schedules and providing transportation

Caregivers allow elderly people to live at home independently. They are a great option for the person who only needs help some of the time.

Home and Community-Based Services
Home and community-based services offer a wide range of services that help complement the services provided by a caregiver, especially if the caregiver is a family member with a full-time job. These services can provide help to those who cannot perform daily activities like bathing and dressing to those with more serious health problems like dementia.

Here are a few home and community-based services.

Adult Day Service Programs
Day service programs are designed to meet the needs of adults with cognitive or functional impairments and adults who need social interaction. Because these centers run during normal business hours, it allows a family caregiver to go to work without worry.

Home Health Care/Home Care
Despite these services sounding the same, they are actually two different services. Home health care typically includes short-term medical services provided by nurses, therapists and physicians.

Home care services are often limited to personal care services like bathing, dressing, meal preparation and household chores.

Friendly Visitor/Companion Services
The people in these services give short-term visits to those who are frail or living alone. The people are typically volunteers.

Case Managers/Geriatric Managers
These health care professionals are typically nurses or social workers who can assist you and your family with your long-term care needs. This includes planning assistance and coordinating, plus managing long-term care services; developing a plan of care; and monitoring your long-term care needs over time.

There are more HCBSs out there, such as emergency response systems, meals programs, respite care and senior centers. Take the time to find out what services fit your current needs. Look through our website to find more articles on this subject.

Do you have a story to share about at home elder care? Tell us in the comments.