Care at Home

Care in the home provided by a spouse or child is the most common form of long-term care.

The supervision of care or hands-on care from informal caregivers is limited to activities that don't require a skilled background.

Lifting, bathing, dressing, diapering, toileting and helping with walking can be a challenge to family caregivers because they don't have the proper tools or are not trained in this area. Another problem may be handling errant behavior from dementia or depression.

Because of this, some caregivers bring in paid providers to help with lifting, walking, bathing, incontinence, toileting, dressing and supervision.

Another home care arrangement is for family members, who are not living close by or who are employed fulltime, to become supervisors and coordinators of care and to offer only limited, personal, hands-on care. These people may hire a care manager to act on their behalf.

Home care is almost always provided in the home of the recipient or the home of a family member or friend. Home care may under certain circumstances be offered in other settings such as group homes or independent retirement communities. Below are some of the activities provided by or supervised by family caregivers.

  • Help with walking, lifting and bathing
  • Help with using the bathroom and with incontinence
  • Providing pain management
  • Preventing unsafe behavior and preventing wandering
  • Providing comfort and assurance or arranging for professional counseling
  • Feeding
  • Answering the phone
  • Making arrangements for therapy, meeting medical needs and doctors' appointments
  • Providing meals
  • Maintaining the household
  • Shopping and running errands
  • Providing transportation
  • Administering medications
  • Managing money and paying bills
  • Doing the laundry
  • Attending to personal hygiene and personal grooming
  • Writing letters or notes
  • Making repairs to the home, maintaining a yard and removing snow

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