Home care is a service provided by health care facilities that enable their patients to remain in their homes instead of receiving long term care from rehabilitation facilities. The services are usually offered by a licensed medical assistant. Many elderly citizens opt for home care due to several reasons. It may be due to a decline in their capacity to care for themselves, because they have problems maintaining mobility, or because of a serious illness that requires intensive medical attention.

      Home care is a relatively new concept. In the past, long term care from rehabilitation facilities was considered a luxury for those who could no longer care for themselves. With advances in technology, more people can now live independently at home and receive long-term medical assistance with a minimal cost. Many patients prefer home care because family members feel more comfortable assisting a patient in maintaining his or her independence. If a patient is assisted at home instead of receiving long term care from a rehabilitation facility, he or she can live comfortably at home and be assured that long term care will not be an issue.

     The services of home care can be broadly divided into two categories: personal care and assisted care. Personal care is that which provides personal assistance to the patient in performing activities of daily living. Assisted care is that which ensures the patient has a higher level of independence, but is still under the close supervision of medical personnel. These two categories often coordinate together when patients need both kinds of care.

     Many people choose to have home medical services provided by a nurse or licensed practical nurse. Such services can also include housekeeping, feeding and sometimes help with medications. Most patients will require help with bathing and dressing, but some do not. Home health aides may also be employed to assist with such things as physical therapy and massage. They may even be required to administer medicine and medicated treatments on a regular basis.

      A home healthcare agency may provide all or part of these services. However, it’s possible for patients and their family members to select their own healthcare providers. When a patient has his or her own primary caregiver, there’s a greater chance the patient will receive timely care and be able to stay at home longer. In addition, when patients have their own primary caregiver they are more likely to get psychological support from them, as well.

       Home care agencies provide many services to patients and their families. Caregivers are trained to work in a variety of ways and with various levels of skill. Home care agencies hire workers according to the patient’s level of skill and the family’s needs. Some patients and their families may choose a skilled worker who is not licensed or who has less experience, while others may opt for someone who is licensed and has more experience. Regardless of what type of worker is selected, the patient’s family and caregiver have many options for quality service and personalized care.