Most people prefer to stay in the comfort of their own homes, both when recovering from an illness and as they age. Whether they're on the road to recovery or need help with day-to-day activities, home care services can provide individuals with the assistance and independence they need to live comfortably at home. In this post, we'll discuss the different types of home care to help you decide which service is the best choice for your loved one.
If you only require care for a short duration, ranging from a few days to a couple of months, short-term home care services may be for you. Depending on your loved one’s needs, you’ll either choose between a home health aide who can aid with recovery or a companion who mostly provides non-medical care.
Home Health Aide/Home Health Care
If your loved one is recovering from an injury, illness, or hospital stay and needs short-term personal care, a home health aide can be a good solution. Home health care, or in-home care, provides individuals with the attentive assistance they need for the duration of their recovery and allows them to avoid staying in a facility or hospital for longer.
Some examples of the services home health aides can provide include meal preparation, basic housekeeping, transportation to and from appointments, help with grocery shopping, and personal hygiene. A home health aide also makes sure that the individual is taking their prescribed medications, and can pick up their prescriptions or medical devices on their behalf. Working alongside registered health professionals, their goal is to help your loved one meet their health and recovery goals through a safe home environment.
A companion or homemaker is largely responsible for helping the patient keep their home clean and safe, in addition to providing non-medical care and attending to other homemaking duties. This type of home care service is ideal for individuals who need help with everyday activities rather than medical care, and hiring one does not require a doctor's prescription. A companion or homemaker focuses on making sure the individual is provided with this basic assistance and reports any of their more detailed concerns to their superiors.
The responsibilities of a companion or homemaker typically include cooking and cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry assistance, and any other routine chores that the individual needs help with. They also keep them company by visiting, engaging in their hobbies and interests, or joining them on outings to their doctors' appointments.
The primary goal of a companion is to make sure the individual feels safe and comfortable in their own home, and to build a meaningful relationship that can ease feelings of loneliness and isolation. Visits from a companion or homemaker can range in frequency from a few hours a week to a few hours a day, depending on their needs and personal schedule.
Now, if your loved one needs regular assistance and care on an ongoing basis, you may want to consider long-term care services instead. The following higher-level services will become a permanent part of your loved one’s routines and help with around-the-clock supervision.
Non-skilled Home Caregiver
A personal caregiver, or non-skilled home care provider, administers a variety of services to those who are living at home and need more detailed and ongoing support. Those who are immobile, disabled, ill, and those who are cognitively impaired may benefit from the services of a caregiver, whose responsibilities are more far-reaching than those of a companion or homemaker. Trained caregivers provide patients with attentive care as they assist them with personal tasks and are always sensitive and compassionate to their needs.
The duties of a personal caregiver include light housework, bathing, grooming, bathroom assistance, preparing meals, feeding, and adhering to medication schedules. A caregiver can also help the patient plan and attend doctors' appointments, arrange or provide transportation, and maintain the patient's schedule throughout the day.
Personal caregivers allow patients to feel safely independent in their own homes while providing the specific, non-medical home care they need to stay healthy. Shifts with these patients can be as long as 24 hours and as frequent as 7 days a week, sometimes leading to live-in care, if necessary.
Skilled & Private Duty Nursing
A licensed healthcare professional, like a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse, works directly alongside the patient and their family to provide long-term skilled nursing care. Rather than being hospitalized or confined to a long-term care facility, patients are able to receive one-on-one care from the comfort of their homes. A private duty nurse operates on a schedule set and tailored to the patient's needs, sometimes staying by their side for days at a time and potentially accompanying them on outings or trips, if necessary. They are invested in caring for the patient on a long-term basis and can also provide them with a much-needed sense of companionship.
Private duty nurses are able to administer medication, monitor the patient's health, and help ensure the proper treatment of both chronic and acute afflictions. They are able to complete skilled tasks that caregivers cannot, such as caring for a patient who uses a catheter, a colostomy bag, a ventilator, and more. Private duty nurses are also responsible for the overall wellness of their patients, including (but not limited to) personal care, diet, and hygiene.
No matter the type of home care, the main purpose of each service is to help both families and patients feel at ease about their care options and to promote a sense of independence to those receiving care. Whether it's getting minimal assistance with daily tasks or looking for support for a chronic illness, finding the best home care service for your loved one is about making sure that their needs are being met.
Carnegie Healthcare is dedicated to meeting those unique and personal needs, and strives to provide personalized, effective care that will keep your loved one on the path to wellness and independence. Our team of trained, skilled professionals seeks to provide excellent services that improve individuals’ quality of life, sense of personal success, and mental well-being, both during and after care. If you're looking for comprehensive, personalized care for a loved one in New Jersey, please contact us today.