caregiver looks over papers with elderly woman

What do you do when your elderly mother needs someone to help her with daily tasks around her home, but no family member is available to assist her? What if your elderly father insists on continuing to live in his own home, but he is no longer able to take care of personal hygiene tasks on his own? When your elderly loved one’s health has deteriorated to the point where it is no longer safe for him or her to be left alone at home for long periods of time, what are your options? Many older Americans are determined to remain living in their own home as long as possible. Their home is familiar; it is connected to memories and a sense of independence.  In order to remain at home, one option that is available to seniors and their families is to call on the services of a home care provider to come to their home and assist them when necessary.

Home care providers offer a wide array of services—no two providers are alike. Laws and regulations also vary from state to state, so do your research to make sure your home care provider is qualified to care for all of your needs. Private duty home care, also referred to as in-home care or elder care, is a term used to refer to non-medical home care assistance. These home care providers assist seniors with daily living tasks by sending a home care aide, called a caregiver, into seniors’ homes. Caregivers are hired, trained and scheduled by the home care provider. Seniors pay for these services out-of-pocket, though some insurance, benefits or state/national assistance may be available to help pay for in home care.

Seniors can choose how often a caregiver comes to their home. A caregiver could come once a day for a few hours or come for eight hours a day, five days a week. Home care providers can even arrange for caregivers to work in shifts, covering 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Some home care providers require a minimum amount of hours of work each week, so depending on your needs, check your home care provider’s requirements.

Home care providers and their caregivers are there to assist with the basic tasks of daily living. Available services vary, depending on the provider, but here are some basic things that a caregiver can usually help with:

  • Bathing, toileting and personal hygiene needs.
  • Grooming and dressing.
  • Mobility, moving around the house or yard.
  • Transportation to the doctor or other appointments.
  • Running errands and doing the household shopping.
  • Light housework and cooking.
  • Medication reminders.
  • Taking care of pets.
  • Companionship: reading a book out loud, playing a game, having a conversation, going for a short walk, etc.

Always check with your home care provider to make sure they offer the services you need. Remember that home care providers assist with non-medical tasks related to daily living, which means there are limitations to their services. If you or a loved one needs medical assistance, the help of a nurse, therapist or other licensed professional, you may need to hire a home health provider who is licensed, registered and qualified to provide medical care.

Home care providers and caregivers are available to assist you or your loved one when the tasks associated with daily living have become too difficult to handle alone. With a variety of services and hours available, these providers strive to give seniors the extra help they need to make it through the day and remain healthy, independent and living in their own home.

To find a Home Care Pulse Certified and Best of Home Care® award-winning provider in your area, enter your zip code in the “Find a Certified Home Care Provider” bar at the top of this page!