Everything You Need to Know About Home Care


Home Care

What is Home Care?

Remember having a guardian or parent dab antiseptic on a bruise, kiss a ‘boo-boo’ away, or even tuck you into bed at night? At some point in our lives, we’ve experienced some form of home care.

Now you have an idea of what home care is, here’s a formal definition to help solidify it:

Home care is a form of treatment that helps people with special needs (like the elderly, disabled, or chronically ill people) to receive care that will help them recover from illness, or maintain a sense of security while they age, all from the comfort of their homes.

Let’s throw it back to history. In the early nineteenth century, healthcare had a slightly different face. Where dying, caring for the sick, and birthing were aspects of domestic life, hospitals mainly catered for people who had no family or caring neighbors.

And only families with sufficient financial resources could hire doctors and other medical practitioners to deliver care in their homes when needed. A couple of ladies across the United States didn’t like this format; so, they decided to change the narrative by the end of the 19th century.

These ladies created several organizations that sent well-trained nurses to the homes of sick poor people. They aimed at curbing the spread of diseases and caring for the poor sick.

Thus, organized home care was born!

 Looking for a in-home care in Northern Virginia? Check out our in-home care services 

Home Care

Types of Home Care

Now we’ve established the definition of home care, let’s move on to the types of home care available. Today, we have two types of home care: Non-medical or in-home care and home health care.

In in-home care, people who are not licensed medical personnel, like nurses, doctors, etc., help provide informal care, while in-home health care, licensed medical practitioners to provide formal and professional care.

What Services Does Home Care Provide?

Each type of home care provides its unique services. Let’s start with in-home care.

For in-home care agencies, they help provide several home care services grouped into Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL’s), Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s), and companionship.

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL’s) include making phone calls, driving, medication management, meal preparation, financial management, doing house chores, and shopping.

Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) include taking medication, ambulating (walking), eating, personal hygiene, getting up from a chair (transferring), drinking, and dressing.

Companionship services are for patients who stay at home for prolonged periods or who may be lonely. These patients don’t need any specialized medical care but still very much need home care services. Companionship service provides supervision and comfort to them and, when necessary, the personnel in charge can help patients perform light domestic chores and cook simple meals.

Moving on to home health care agencies, they help provide a range of professional home care services such as:

At-Home Physician Care

This service is for patients who need a higher level of medical care. During at-home physician care, the licensed physicians make regular house calls. This service is a surefire way to ensure that the patient receives specialized care.

Skilled nursing

Competent or skilled nursing is one of the primary services most home health care agencies provide. For this service, licensed practical nurses and registered nurses help render a load of services, including pain management, post-acute care, assessment, wound care and dressing, administration and management of medication, and observation and monitoring.


Do you or your loved one need a bit more than nursing care alone? Therapy is there for you. You can find many home care agencies that also provide speech/language, occupational, and physical therapy. Speech/language therapy helps patients who have lost some of their speaking ability after conditions like a stroke. Occupational and physical therapists aim to improve body strength, help patients perform regular day-to-day tasks, and get them on track to perform these tasks independently.

Who is the Perfect Candidate for Home Care?

Notwithstanding that we’ve all had our fair share of home care, there are particular groups of people who are perfect candidates for home care. They are:

The Elderly (Aged 65 and Older)

Here’s a fun fact for you: In 2000, nearly half (43%) of the respondents for the National Home and Hospice Care Survey (NHHCS) aged 65 and older reported needing assistance with at least one instrumental activity of daily living (IADL). 11% of the elderly respondents needed help with shopping, 31% with light housework, 20% with taking medications, and another 20% with meal preparation.

No wonder a staggering 70% of home health care recipients are elderly (65 years and older), and the demand for home care services for the elderly keeps rising. A lot of elderly folks are and keep getting retired. So, they live alone and mostly stay indoors, save for the active few who visit gyms and engage in outdoor activities.

As expected, to keep them entertained, care for them, and replace loneliness with companionship, they need home care services and are therefore perfect candidates for it.

The Disabled

Disabled people have something in common with the elderly. They usually need assistance either with daily activities or with other vital areas of functioning.

Although there are a ton of disabilities, their needs and what they need help with may vary. But, with home care’s diverse nature, it can effectively handle and care for any unique need a disabled person shows.

As a result, people with disabilities are also ideal candidates for home care services.

The Chronically Ill

Chronic illness is not your average illness. In addition to the disease-specific symptoms, a couple of other symptoms, like body aches, irritability, fatigue, disturbed sleep, and mood disorders accompany chronic illness.

As a result, the chronic illness tends to eat into large parts of a person’s life and affect essential aspects of his/her life, like work, education, social interaction, and more. People with chronic illness need regular assistance; that’s where home care services come in.

Cost of Home Care

According to a Financial Cost of Care Survey conducted by Genworth, when the patient receives 44 hours of care per week, the monthly cost of home health care is $4,385, while the monthly cost of in-home care is $4,290.

This comes out to about $24 per hour for in-home care services and $25 per hour for home health care services. Remember, this is the national average, and other factors like location and service providers can affect the pricing.

To be on the safe side and cut down on the cost, you can compare the fees of different service providers here or via any other means and pick out the best service at the lowest price.

Although you typically pay for home care services out-of-pocket, it’s possible to get financial assistance to cover the cost as well. Several public programs like Medicaid and Medicare can help cover the cost of some home care service providers.

But, when the home care service providers don’t meet particular requirements, you may have to pay for their services out-of-pocket.

Take Your Pick: Nursing Home vs. Home Care

Would you prefer to live in a nursing home or your own home? The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) conducted a survey and got an answer.

According to AARP, a whopping 90% of people aged 65 and above prefer their homes to nursing homes. This is understandable. There’s no place like home, and it’s easier to supervise or watch after your loved ones while they receive care at home.

What’s more, you get to tweak the service provider’s timetable to fit your unique condition and schedule without trying to adjust to another schedule in a new environment. Neat, isn’t it?

With home care, rest assured you’ll enjoy quality formal and informal medical services and/or care at your own pace and in your own space.

Looking for a in-home care in Northern Virginia? Check out our in-home care services 

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