Home care, (also referred to as domiciliary care, social care, or in-home care), is supportive care provided in the home. Care may be provided by licensed healthcare professionals who provide medical treatment needs or by professional caregivers who provide daily assistance to ensure the activities of daily living (ADLs) are met. 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 refers to assistance and services provided by persons who are not nurses, doctors, or other licensed medical personnel.
Home Health services help adults, seniors, and pediatric clients who are recovering after a hospital or facility stay, or need additional support to remain safely at home and avoid unnecessary hospitalization. These Medicare-certified services may include short-term nursing, rehabilitative, therapeutic, and assistive home health care. This care is provided by registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPN's), physical therapists (PTs), occupational therapists (OTs), speech language pathologists (SLPs), home health aides (HHAs) and medical social workers (MSWs) as a limited number of up to one hour visits, addressed primarily through the Medicare Home Health benefit.
The largest segment of Home Care consists of licensed and unlicensed non-medical personnel, including caregivers who assist the individual. Care assistants may help the individual with daily tasks such as bathing, eating, cleaning the home and preparing meals. Caregivers work to support the needs of individuals who require such assistance. These services help the client to stay at home versus living in a facility. Non-medical home care is paid for by the individual or family. The term "private-duty" refers to the private pay nature of these relationships. Home Care (non-medical) has traditionally been privately funded as opposed to Home Health Care which is task-based and government or insurance funded.
These traditional differences in Home Care services are changing as the average age of the population has risen. Individuals typically desire to remain independent and use Home Care services to maintain their existing lifestyle. Government and Insurance providers are beginning to fund this level of care as an alternative to facility care. In-Home Care is often a lower cost solution to long-term care facilities.
For terminally ill patients, home care may include hospice care. For patients recovering from surgery or illness, home care may include rehabilitative therapies.
Home care providers
Homecare is purchased by the service user directly from independent home care agencies or as part of the statutory responsibility of social services departments of local authorities who either provide care by their own employees or commission services from independent agencies. Care is usually provided once or twice a day with the aim of keeping frail or disabled people healthy and independent though can extend to full-time help by a live-in nurse or carer.
The United Kingdom Home Care Association is the trade organisation for providers of care at home.
Home care agencies are regulated by statutory bodies in three of the four home nations. The regulator's function is to ensure that home care agencies work within the applicable legislation:
Regulator: The Care Quality Commission (CQC)
The Health and Social Care Act 2008
The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010
Regulator: The Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW)
The Care Standards Act 2000
The Domiciliary Care Agencies (Wales) Regulations 2004
Regulator: The Care Commission
The Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001
Legislation covering the homecare sector in Northern Ireland is not yet fully operational (as at December 2007).
Regulator: The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA)
The Health and Personal Social Services (Quality, Improvement and Regulation)(Northern Ireland) Order 2003
Domiciliary Care Agency Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2007
Domiciliary Care Agencies National Minimum Standards (not published as at December 2007)
Our Domiciliary Care Services include:
- Household tasks - cleaning, plant care and gardening
- Managing personal laundry and ironing
- Shopping, menu planning, preparing and cooking meals, diet monitoring
- Eating and drinking
- Bathing and other personal care tasks, dressing or undressing
- Getting in or out of bed or other moving about
- Administrating medication and the collection of medications
- Supporting clients to attend medical appointments
- Reading books or newspapers, writing and dealing with correspondence
- Keeping in contact with the client's family and friends
- Walking and exercise, pet care
- Companionship and conversation
- Accompanying clients to social events and religious services
- Supporting with days out or for short breaks.
- Sleep overs with agreement
You can contact us for more information about how we can help.