Speak With A Care Manager 24/7: (866) 454-8346 Request A Free In-Home Consultation

How Home Care Services Can Give Your Family Peace of Mind

Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease can be stressful and overwhelming. Knowing what to expect can help you make care decisions, provide a safe environment, and improve the well-being of your loved one.

Female caregiver offering support and companionship to female home care client.

Since most older adults want to remain at home, ensuring their safety and well-being requires planning. Family caregiving is the backbone of caregiving in the US, but the stress of providing this care can make it unsustainable. Loss of income from giving up employment and other expenses related to caregiving also often prompts families to seek help. Fortunately, that help is readily available through home care services.

What can often perplex families is how and when to get started. In most cases, the sooner you introduce the idea of home care to a loved one, the better. Earlier intervention can make the transition easier while providing support and communication to improve health. By calling us at Home Care Assistance, we can do an initial screening call and then plan for an in-person evaluation to determine your loved one’s needs. Let’s review how home care can help and how to get started.

What is Home Care?

Home care is the provision of professional caregivers trained in caring for older and disabled adults. State regulations dictate what in-home caregivers can do for clients. The value of home care is that other insurance-related services do not cover the kind of tasks that home care caregivers can provide. For example, someone who breaks their hip and goes to rehab returns home with insurance-covered home health in some cases. Under Medicare, aides come to the home about three times a week for approximately an hour to help with bathing and grooming. They are not permitted to shop, cook, or provide companionship. That’s where home care comes in!

The Support That Home Care Provides

The tasks that home care provides offer a foundation of support in times of need. These include:

● Shopping and meal preparation
● Medication reminders
● Assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and hygiene
● Transportation to medical appointments or other preferred places such as parks, museums, visiting friends, church, etc.
● Companionship care, like playing games, teaching technology, and providing emotional support
● Reinforcing physical therapy exercises and encouraging safe activity
● Communicating concerns to family

Tasks In-Home Caregivers Cannot Provide

Not every state has the same caregiver restrictions, so check with your home care company to clarify what tasks can not be provided. In general, caregivers can’t:

● Do home maintenance or home repairs
● Provide any medical services such as wound or catheter care
● Do physical or occupational therapy
● Provide psychological counseling
● Do deep cleaning
● Clip nails
● Set up or dispense medications

What Are the Benefits of Home Care?

Discussing the benefits of home care with your loved one can reinforce the goal of remaining at home. If siblings are involved, ask them to participate in the initial assessment, care plan, and caregiver selection. Here are some of the benefits of home care:


Home care is flexible depending on your loved one’s needs. Care could be several hours a day, round the clock, or several days a week. Hours can vary as your loved one’s care needs change.


Loneliness and isolation are risk factors for mental health problems, and having someone to talk to and engage in activities can offer much-needed companionship and socialization.

Nutrition and Hydration

As people age, they often struggle to shop, cook, and eat. Dehydration can also have serious health consequences, and caregivers can remind clients to drink and eat nutritious meals.


Although caregivers can’t administer medications, they can give important reminders and monitor compliance. Medication errors in older adults can cause serious problems.

Communication with Family

One of the challenges families face with an older loved one is knowing what is happening in the home. A caregiver can report problems, and alert the family to needs or changes in behavior.

Where Home Care is Provided

Most people think of home care as occurring in someone’s private residence—and it often does. However, there are other circumstances in which home care can augment other services or take place in other settings.


Hospice care can be provided at home, in a stand-alone facility, or a hospice bed in a rehab center. However, hospice is not round-the-clock care at home, and there are many hours a day when personal care, eating, drinking, and toileting needs have to be met. Home care can fill the gaps to meet those needs.

Assisted Living

Many assisted living communities offer round-the-clock care, but home care can augment services by providing companionship, trips outside the facility, technology training, and more.

Memory Care

When a loved one moves to memory care, the transition can be challenging. An in-home caregiver can offer one-to-one care and companionship to ease anxieties and participate in preferred activities.

Nursing Home

Nursing home care is the highest level of care outside a hospital. A nursing home environment can feel institutional and cold. A home care professional can monitor care closely, provide personal companionship, and report concerns to the family.

How to Get Started with Home Care

Getting started with home care is a multi-step process. Often, the most challenging aspect is getting your loved one on board and choosing the best agency. Here are some steps to take to make the journey a successful one.

  1. Identify Needs. Take time to list your priorities for care—for example, assistance with shopping and cooking, medication reminders, transportation, etc.
  2. Talk with Your Loved One. Discuss your concerns with your loved one about their well-being and safety. Involve them in making care decisions and be willing to compromise on the number of hours to start with if needed. Reassure them that this is a trial period and that you will maintain consistent communication throughout the process.
  3. Choose an Agency. Review and interview respected agencies such as Home Care Assistance and choose the best agency to meet the family’s needs.
  4. Schedule an Assessment. A team member from the agency will meet with you and your loved one to assess the home and discuss priorities and expectations with the client. This is a good time to review lines of communication and how to review any future concerns after caregiving starts.
  5. Care Plan. The agency develops a care plan with hours and specific caregiver tasks. The care plan is a flexible document that can be modified based on changing care needs.

Home care can be a reasonable and safe choice for an older adult who wants to remain home. The flexibility of home care services alleviates family caregiving stress and improves the health and well-being of your loved one.