You’re the family caregiver—the daughter who makes sure dad gets to the doctors, the son who stops by after work to tuck mom safely in at night, or the person responsible for ensuring Aunt Elsie eats nutritious meals. We know you want to provide the best care for your senior loved one and we know that you have a lot of choices. Sometimes, just getting the answers and information you need can be exhausting. So, we wanted to share a little information with you about home care.

The term home care describes two very different types of care:

  • Home health care provided by licensed medical professionals, for which you need a prescription.
  • Non-medical home care, such as personal care, homemaker or companionship services provided by professional caregivers.

In broader terms, home care that seniors require often revolves around the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs). These are provided under non-medical home care.

ADLs are basic activities and functions performed on a daily basis that are usually done without assistance. The six ADLs are:

  • eating
  • dressing
  • bathing
  • toileting
  • transferring
  • continence

IADLs, on the other hand, are those activities instrumental to our daily routines such as:

  • driving
  • preparing meals
  • doing housework
  • shopping
  • managing finances
  • managing medication
  • using the telephone

Why Home Care?

A recent study found an overwhelming majority of seniors (86 percent) want to continue living at home for as long as possible. Seniors appear to be willing to seek help to do that. The study found that 54 percent of seniors who live alone are four times more likely to use professional care than those who live with their children. The users of in-home care tend to be older: 42 percent of seniors over the age of 80 rely on professionals.

More Information

Family caregivers and senior care professionals often notice changes in their loved ones, which send up a red flag that an otherwise healthy older adult needs more assistance to remain safely and independently at home.