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What are the Different Types of Adult Home Care?

By Nicole Long
Updated May 17, 2024
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Older patients requiring medical attention above and beyond the capabilities of someone without medical training often require adult home care. The different types of adult home care are generally divided into medical and nonmedical. In-home nursing care, hospice services, personal hygiene care, and food programs are among the various services offered for adult home care patients.

The reasons for needing home care vary. They can include post-acute care after a release from the hospital or ongoing medical care to manage complex health issues. Caring for those with impairment, mental or physical, also requires home health care services, often long-term.

Home health care is offered as a way to keep a loved one with medical and nonmedical needs at home where they are comfortable. Many families choose home health care in place of nursing home or assisted living home placements. Home health care can also provide those with terminal illness a chance to live out their remaining days in a place familiar and comfortable for them.

Categories of adult home care include services for medical and nonmedical needs. Medical needs are those that are required for survival and comfort when dealing with disease, illness, or injury. Nonmedical needs are those that allow people in a home health care situation to maintain hygiene, cleanliness, and nutrition.

Adult patients requiring in-home medical services can benefit from a host of services offered by home health care agencies. This includes skilled nursing care, dialysis, and ventilator support. Those in the end stages of life can also benefit from hospice care to monitor comfort levels and administer any necessary medications. Hospice is often an option for respite care for family members. Respite care providers visit homes to allow caretakers some relief and rest during specific hours, such as overnight.

Nonmedical care can be offered through home health care agencies or local community groups. This includes bringing in personal care aides to help with bathing, hair washing, and getting the patient dressed. Other adult home care services that are considered nonmedical include security systems, housekeeping services, and food delivery programs.

Many patients would prefer to remain at home during times of illness or injury. Unfortunately, costs often prohibit most individuals from receiving long-term home health care for chronic illnesses. Private insurance and government health plans will help cover some of the costs, but patients and their families are left to cover the remaining portion of the bill.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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