A Beginner’s Guide to Home Care

Beginner's guide to home care

As the population ages, more elderly people choose to stay in their homes rather than go to a nursing home or assisted living facility. However, they may need assistance with everyday activities like bathing, dressing, or laundry. While some people have a spouse or family member to help, that isn’t always possible. This means they need in-home care.

Having a professional in-home caregiver can be a big help for elderly people and provide peace of mind to their families. Here is a beginner’s guide to home care to answer your questions:

What Is Home Care for Elderly People?

Home care refers to non-medical assistance with everyday tasks. These activities of daily living (ADLs) include small but important tasks like medication reminders and more physical tasks like laundry and housekeeping. In addition to these tasks, an at-home caregiver provides companionship and social interaction, as many elderly people can become isolated or lonely when leaving the house is difficult for them. Other home care tasks can include:

Meal Preparation and Planning

Grocery shopping and cooking nutritious meals can be difficult for people with limited mobility, vision, or motor skills. An in-home care aide can shop, cook, and clean, ensuring fresh, healthy meals are always available.

Personal Care

Bathing, dressing, and other personal hygiene tasks become more challenging as we age. Even using the bathroom can be a challenge for seniors. Having a trained caregiver is important, as poor hygiene can be a sign of self-neglect.

Laundry Assistance

Keeping up with laundry can be physically demanding for seniors. An in-home caregiver can assist with washing, folding, and ironing clothes, ensuring seniors have clean clothes without the physical strain.


Picking up a prescription can be difficult for an elderly person with mobility issues. A personal care aide can run errands like going to the post office or picking up prescriptions.

Brain Games and Activities

Staying mentally sharp can be difficult for someone who lives alone. Puzzles and games can help. An in-home caregiver provides the needed mental stimulation to help seniors stay focused.

Companionship and Social Interaction

As children move away and start their own families, many seniors at home find themselves more isolated and lonely. Social isolation and loneliness have been linked to various physical and mental issues. A home care aide can help keep loneliness and social isolation at bay through activities or just conversation.

Medication Management

Most seniors receiving home care services take some form of medication, and many take multiple medications at different times of the day. Our home care providers set up reminders for when medicines need to be taken, track medications so that seniors know when refills are needed, and assist with prescription pickup. Additionally, a personal care provider can organize which medicines need to be taken at what time during the day.

How Does the Home Care Process Work?

An evaluation by the state determines what kind of home care services are needed. The elderly person will also have to answer some financial questions to ensure they qualify for the program.

Once the level of service needed is determined, a care plan is created, detailing the services needed and the number of hours per week covered by an in-home care aide. This plan is shared with the home care agency, which handles scheduling a caregiver.

The elderly person always approves the caregiver providing their services. The care plan is updated annually but can be adjusted as needed to meet changing needs.

Do You Have to Pay for a Home Care Aide?

If the senior living at home qualifies for the program, they don’t have to pay anything to receive home care. The home care agency handles all the paperwork and pays the caregiver directly.

What Happens If the Elderly Person Goes into a Nursing Home or Hospital?

Home care services can be temporarily suspended while the elderly person is in the hospital, an inpatient facility, or a long-term care facility. Once they return home, services can continue at any time. Additionally, the elderly person can stop receiving services at any point, though they would need to restart the process if they wish to resume services.

Can a Family Member Serve as a Paid Caregiver?

In most cases, an adult child or other non-spouse relative of the senior can be the home care aide assigned to them. All caregivers undergo a thorough background check, even if they are a family member of the person receiving services. The home care agency provides mandatory training.

Home Care Powered by AUAF Provides Quality Home Care Services

Our dedicated in-home caregivers are uniquely qualified to deliver high-quality care to seniors who need assistance. We not only provide the best hourly wage for caregivers, but we also pay for training so that our caregivers can do the job right. Contact us or call us at 773-274-9262 to see how Home Care Powered by AUAF can deliver the peace of mind your family needs.

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