What is Personal Home Care?

Sarah Sullins

Personal home care is a service provided by a variety of agencies and people to care for the elderly, disabled, and dying. This type of care is done in a person's home by a family member, a friend, or a professional. In home care allows many people to live at home instead of living in a long-term care facility like a nursing home.

People who require round-the-clock personal home care may choose to hire a live-in aide.
People who require round-the-clock personal home care may choose to hire a live-in aide.

Many personal home care caregivers or aides come into the patient's home at least a few times a week, sometimes more. Their job is usually to help the patient take a bath or shower, help them use the bathroom, and help them get dressed. Most often, these caregivers are also responsible for reminding the patient when it is time to take his medication, helping the patient get from one place in the home to another, and assisting the patient by preparing his meals for him. Many professional caregivers will also be responsible for checking the patient's vital signs and making sure the patient is free from any types of health problems that could require medical attention.

Home care workers may help elderly people who are unable to care for themselves.
Home care workers may help elderly people who are unable to care for themselves.

During periods of time when the patient does not need the caregiver, like while he is sleeping or watching something on television, the personal home care aide will generally do other, less personal things. These may include sweeping the floor, doing the dishes, or some other type of light housework. Aides may also go to the grocery store to shop for the patient and may visit the pharmacy to pick up the patient's medications.

People who need around the clock care usually hire a live-in aide or caregiver. This person will live in the home with the patient and take care of him all day, every day. These personal home care aides are usually paid more than caregivers that come in on an hourly basis, but they usually have many more responsibilities.

Most people decide to hire a personal care worker when they can no longer be at home alone or perform certain activities alone at home. They may not be able to climb in and out of the bathtub without falling, may not be able to put their clothes on by themselves, or they may not be able to stand up for long enough periods of time to cook or wash their won dishes. Aides that provide personal home care allow these types of patients to keep living at home. They allow the patients to remain independent, while helping them complete the daily tasks that have become too difficult for them to perform on their own.

Home health aides help clients in the privacy of their own homes.
Home health aides help clients in the privacy of their own homes.

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