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What is Home Care and When is it Needed?

Published September 30, 2022

Home care is an alternative to hospital care whereby qualified professionals support people who want to stay at home but cannot manage on their own. Anyone who cannot live independently due to old age, a chronic illness, injury, disability, or any other medical setback, can seek home care services and enjoy a good quality of life. Family care providers can be nurses, aides, therapists, or assistants.

Types of Home Care


According to research published in the National Library of Medicine, more than two million people get medical home care annually. The services require skilled trainers like nurses, physical therapists, or physicians. They can provide short-term care, like in the case of injuries or recovery from illnesses. The services can also be long-term for people with disabilities or chronic diseases. Examples include speech, physical, occupational, or nutrition therapy. The service providers follow prescriptions by a doctor.


Home care services do not have to be for medical reasons only. The non-medical category involves assistance with daily activities such as meal preparation, shopping, transportation, housekeeping, and running errands. The goal remains the same – to increase comfort and enable independent living for the person receiving the care.

When is Home Care Necessary

According to the State Survey of Livability Policies and Practices, more than 90% of the elderly prefer to stay at home rather than at a facility. That is understandable because staying at home makes them more comfortable and provides a relaxing environment that promotes healing and overall well-being. Other factors that make homecare a preferable option include companionship, reduced cases of hospital readmissions, decision-making opportunities, and enhanced safety because of the familiar surroundings.

Despite all the benefits, knowing when to seek home-based care is essential. You must determine whether it is ideal for your loved one by assessing their needs and the surrounding circumstances. The following questions can help you make that determination.

  • Have they been exhibiting signs of confusion or memory loss lately?

  • Are they having trouble concentrating or showing personality changes?

  • Do they have a history of falls?

  • Have they been involved in a car accident recently, or have their driving skills changed?

  • Do they forget to take their medication or are they mismanaging multiple prescriptions?

  • Any problems with balancing, walking, or getting out of bed?

  • Are there changes in personal hygiene maintenance; are they showing infrequent bathing, changing clothes, or combing hair routines?

  • Do they have reduced appetite, lost weight, or left food in storage for too long?

  • Are they withdrawn and no longer participating in social activities?

  • Is it impossible for them to continue with housekeeping routines?

Home care can be for prenatal or postpartum mothers, hospice clients, medically fragile children, or senior citizens. Other indications that make home-based care necessary include catheter tube care, ostomy care, infusion therapy, or joint replacement.

Home-based Care Challenges

Some challenges of home-based care include cost and adjustability. Homecare cost is usually higher than hospitalization in many regions. Planning resources beforehand can make it easier to handle. Some people may also need more time to adjust to having a stranger in their home. That is why choosing a suitable homecare agency is vital, and why ACE Home Healthcare is available. We provide comprehensive quality care ranging from companionship to caregiving. Call us for more information at (720) 909-8180.

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