As your parents continue to age, they may eventually need a professional caregiver to assist them with activities of daily living (ADLs), like cleaning, bathing, and cooking. Home care services are a mixed bag, ranging from hourly light housekeeping and companionship to 24-hour dementia and Alzheimer’s care. Choosing the right home care option for your aging parents starts with understanding the different types. This handy in-home care guide will help ensure mom or dad get the best care possible based on their needs. 

Home Care vs. Home Health Care for Aging Parents

Although they share similarities, home care and home health care are quite different. In general, the purpose of home health care is to treat an illness or injury. Home health care services are classified as “skilled” and must be ordered by a doctor and performed by Medicare-approved nurses, physical therapists, and other medical professionals.

Examples of home health care services include:

  • Wound care for pressure sores or a surgical wound
  • Patient education
  • Intravenous (IV) or nutrition therapy
  • Injections
  • Monitoring a severe illness or unstable health status

On the other hand, home care may be the perfect option for seniors that don’t need much supervision or medical care. Professional in-home caregivers can help with everyday activities, like cleaning, cooking, and transportation. In most cases, a certified nursing assistant (CNA) or home health aide (HHA) performs these non-medical in-home services.

Examples of Non-Medical In-Home Care

Let’s say that mom or dad only needs a little assistance around the house. You can find them a private duty caregiver, or “personal assistant,” to help with activities like:

  • Transportation
  • Medication reminders
  • Homemaker services
  • Food shopping and meal preparation
  • Personal hygiene
  • Getting dressed
  • Companionship

As they get older, your parents might benefit from these additional nonmedical home care services:

Memory care

Caring for someone with advanced dementia or Alzheimer’s requires special skills that family members typically don’t have. Most licensed home care agencies provide memory care services and highly trained professionals to assist those with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Full-time care

Also called “24-hour” or “round-the-clock” care, this option often becomes the best one when seniors need a lot of attention and care to remain independent. Most providers offer daily or weekly rates rather than paying for full-time care by the hour.

Veteran in-home care

Veterans’ home care options are also available, including those for veterans with combat-related disabilities. If your parent is eligible for veteran home care benefits, the out-of-pocket costs vary based on military branch, rank, and whether or not they were wounded in battle. Your loved one’s local VA office can tell you how much they would need to spend on VA in-home care services.

When a Team Approach is Needed

In some cases, like an end-of-life scenario, it may become necessary to coordinate skilled nursing services with non-medical home care services to keep your loved one safe and comfortable. For instance, if they receive hospice care for a terminal illness like cancer, you might have to supplement those Medicare-approved services with private duty care to address all your parent’s health and safety needs.

How to Choose a Home Care Agency for Aging Parents

Finding the right home care agency for your parent can be a daunting task. Use these “Rs” to narrow your broad list of agencies down:

  • Referrals – Ask for agency recommendations from neighbors, friends, coworkers, healthcare providers, and eldercare experts.
  • Research – Put on your “investigator’s cap” and conduct your own research. Find out how long the agency has been in business, if they hold proper licenses and certifications, and how they screen and train employees.
  • Ratings and Reviews – Reputable agencies get higher quality scores from industry watchdog groups. In addition to those ratings, you can also compare online reviews posted by clients and their families.

Your Trusted Senior Home Care Provider for Aging Parents and Other Loved Ones

When you or your loved one need assistance, contact us. We are a fully licensed and insured home care provider with highly trained professionals who are experts at delivering the nurturing that your loved one deserves. While serving as an extended family in your senior’s home, our compassionate caregivers can perform duties like light housekeeping, personal care, dementia care, companionship care, medication reminders, and even live-in and 24-hour care.

Our agency’s focus is maintaining your loved one’s quality of life, along with their dignity, self-esteem, and independence. For your added convenience, all our in-home services can be individually personalized into an affordable package when and where you need them! Please visit us online to learn more about us or schedule a FREE initial consultation for a senior in our service area.