The different in-home care options can be broken down into three main categories: companion care services, personal care assistance and home health care. These care options differ in the levels of services provided, from light housekeeping to skilled medical care provided by registered nurses. Below is a breakdown of the care options to help you decide which option may be best for your situation.

Companion Care Services

Companion care services are sometimes called “elder companions.” This care option does just what the name suggests; it provides companionship to seniors who are isolated at home. This level of care is best suited to a senior who requires some light assistance on a regular basis and those who’d otherwise be left alone. Companion care aides often form friendships with the seniors they care for, thereby helping to reduce isolation and improve moods. Services offered include driving clients to the shops or appointments, light housekeeping, preparation of light meals, playing card games and reading books aloud.

Personal Care Assistance

Home care aides or personal care assistants provide all the services mentioned in the companion care services section. In addition, they assist seniors with the tasks of daily living. These tasks may include bathing, grooming, grocery shopping and dressing. This type of assistance may be a good option for seniors who can longer complete tasks independently but aren’t yet ready for assisted living or who prefer to remain in their own homes. No medical services are provided in standard home care. Aides are trained in the basics of caring for a senior who needs assistance on a regular basis. 

Home Health Care

Home health care is the only type of home care that provides medical services, and as such, it’s generally the most expensive option. This type of care provides certain types of therapy and/or medical care services in the comfort of the senior’s own home. Home health aides are either qualified nurses or therapists, or they must have undergone specialized training to be able to administer the required medical care. Some of the services offered include oxygen tube maintenance, catheter care, chronic medication administration, physical therapy and occupational therapy. Seniors who require a high level of medical care but wish to remain in their own homes should consider home health care.