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Home care is in-home care provided by trained personnel to seniors and the elderly or those recovering from an illness or chronic health issues. It is non-medical care intended to help seniors continue to live safely and comfortably.

Non-medical home care focuses on assisting seniors and the elderly in performing basic daily living tasks such as cleaning, doing groceries, cooking, laundry, personal hygiene tasks, bathing and dressing, scheduling appointments, paying bills, medication management, and managing finances.

No certification is needed for an individual to provide personal home care, but industry experts recommend choosing a certified nursing assistant (CNA) or a home health aide (HHA). There are also home care agencies that can provide you with devoted care professionals.


There are two types of home care:

●      ADL or Activities of Daily Living assistance or personal care/personal companionship ‘(examples: using the toilet, bathing, dressing up, and other hygiene-related activities)

●      IADL or Instrumental Activities of Daily Living assistance – focused on housekeeping assistance (examples: (meal preparation, shopping for clothes or buying groceries, paying bills, managing money and medication, and scheduling appointments)

Advantages of Home Care/In-Home Care/Aging in Place:

1. Seniors and the elderly are in a familiar place, which helps them feel comfortable and a little confident.

2. They are also near their family, relatives, and loved ones. Seniors won’t feel isolated from their families.

3. Seniors and their family members have the freedom to choose a home care professional according to their criteria, preferences, or needs.

4. Seniors enjoy one-on-one personalized attention and care from the same caregiver. There is no need to change and adjust to different caregivers from time-to-time.

5. One-on-one or personalized care is also beneficial because it is designed to cater to the senior’s specific needs.

6. Seniors enjoy safety and privacy. Family members do not have to worry about their elderly loved ones being exposed to illnesses and other similar elements. Seniors also do not need to share their living space with other residents.

7. Seniors get to enjoy some independence. Home care professionals allow seniors to perform daily living tasks on their own but with proper assistance.


A home care arrangement allows seniors to go out of the house to do essential activities such as buying groceries and clothes. They can even meet up and socialize with friends when they want to. Their caregiver accompanies and assists them as they perform these tasks.

The Alternatives

Assisted Living Facilities

An alternative to home care is assisted living facilities. Here, residents are provided with apartments inside a building. They pay rent and additional charges for other facilities and services.   

An assisted living facility is intended for seniors capable of living independently and do not need medical assistance. However, they need someone to help them do activities that require mobility, such as housekeeping or cleaning, meal preparations, transportation, and socialization.

Seniors enjoy several benefits inside while living in an assisted living facility. They can socialize with other residents, request an increase in the level of care and assistance, participate in wellness programs, and relax in the comfort and convenience of a semi-private or private apartment.

If your senior loved one is in an assisted living facility, you are no longer responsible for choosing and hiring the caregiver. The facility takes care of that task and manages the caregiver’s schedule as well.

Nursing Homes

Nursing homes, alternatively called skilled nursing facilities or (in some cases) long-term care facilities, are best for seniors who need complex medical assistance. Residents are seniors and the elderly recovering from an illness or surgery or those who just got out of the hospital.

Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or Dementia are safe in nursing homes because the facilities are well-guarded and gated.

In nursing homes, licensed physicians and nurses are available 24/7.

Group Homes or Board and Care Homes  

These are homes with around 10 to 12 senior residents of the same age. Residents do not need medical care but require assistance in daily living activities such as walking, going to the bathroom, and getting dressed.

If you want a home with fewer residents, look for a good Adult Home, a facility that houses less than six individuals.    

Tips for Choosing Between Home Care and the Alternatives — With Seniors In Mind is written by Jane Rohde for

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