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Non-Medical Home Care Services
Understand the Services Offered in Non-Medical Home Care

Types of Care at Home

Non-medical home care allows adults to age in place as they get older for as long as they remain in reasonably good health and they're safe.

Seniors believe it's a better option, for the most part, over relocating to a long-term care facility. If one needs some help and resides safely at home, non-medical home care services is the perfect alternative that gives short or long-term assistance in living a comfortable and independent life.

In-home Care offers affordable, personalized services to the elderly, disabled, or recuperating family member with the special care and the companionship they require, tailored to the non-medical needs.

Non-Medical In-Home Care Services

Assistance with Personal Care
Assistance with Personal Care

Are you seeing your loved one need help at home? Is the family considering moving a loved one to a nursing home or an assisted living facility? Are you worried about your loved one's safety?

Are you starting to wear out because caring for an aging relative demands effort and time, and it's effecting your immediate family, your work, or your health?

In-Home Care services help families by supporting aging seniors, the sick and frail to remain living in their own homes as long as possible. This option allows for as much independence as possible, by providing appropriate assistance and companionship.

In-Home Care, delivered in a loved one's home, is available a few hours at a time or 24 hours a day for Alzheimer's or dementia care, companionship services, personal care needs, specialized hospice or respite care, professionals can assist you.

Personal Care

  • Eating
  • Grooming
  • Dressing
  • Bathing
  • Incontinence
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Mobility
  • Medication reminders

Companion Care

  • Plan, prepare, and serve meals and shop for food
  • Light housekeeping, such as dusting, sweeping, and making beds
  • Washing and ironing clothes
  • Social and business services for elderly, disabled, recovering from illness
  • Read, talk to them, and play cards or other games
  • Social events, such as dinners and parties
  • Plan trips and outings as well as travel with the patient and their family
  • Handle business affairs, which include writing letters, paying bills, and going to the bank
  • Oversee exercise program as prescribed by a health professional
  • Live-in services as required

Alzheimer's Care

  • Care that focuses on simple choices and redirecting, helping the person remain calm and safe
  • Build self-esteem, enhance physical strength and reduce behaviors that need to be managed.
  • Use techniques and activities that engage the person's mind and body
  • Develop open communication for the family members

Respite Care

  • Relax and enjoy time away
  • Vacation time
  • Self-care for family
  • Out-of-town travel for personal or business event
  • Demanding work project
  • Time to get ready for the holidays or special event

Recovery Care

  • Personal care services after surgery
  • Extra help after illness or accident
  • Transportation to medical appointments
  • Help around the house with meals and shopping
  • Help with a pet
  • Medication reminders

Hospice Care

  • Nursing care
  • Social services
  • Physician care
  • Spiritual support
  • Counseling
  • Homemaker help
  • Volunteer support
  • Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy
  • Respite care
  • Inpatient care
  • Bereavement support

How to Know if Loved One Can Age in Place

Signs a Loved One Needs Help at Home

Before deciding if your loved one can remain at home with some personal care help, access the needs of your loved one to figure out if hiring a home caregiver is the right type of care. Seniors, the elderly and family members must look at all options and alternatives, then look at the costs. Knowing what you're getting into will help make elder care easier.

Ask yourself and your senior loved one if they could benefit from companionship, medication reminders, meal preparation, light housekeeping and escorts to appointments? What are the transportation needs? Look at the current location and if it's accessible to public transit. If the home is in a rural area, or suburbia, how long does it take to retrieve food, medical appointments, and other necessities?

Other things to consider: Does the home require maintenance and remodeling for easier aging in place? Is the family close enough to offer help and support during the day hours and night hours or will the aging relative be left unattended for prolonged periods of time? Will the budget allow hourly or live-in home care?

Signs a Loved Ones Needs In-Home Care

  • A recent fall or complaints of dizziness, feeling unsteady on their feet
  • Have limited access to activities or isolated and alone much of the time
  • Weight loss or loss of appetite
  • Increasingly forgetful, confused or anxious
  • A change in personal hygiene, unkempt, and bath less
  • Has difficulties getting to appointments and running errands
  • Forget to take their medications, or are they taking multiple medications prescribed by different providers?
  • Has little family and friend support
  • Diagnosed with a chronic illness and has trouble remembering to take medications
  • A recent hospitalization

Where to Find Home Care Help

Your local city or town may have a registry to help find in-home help. When calling a private attendant registry, listed under Nurses and Nurse Registries in the phone book, learn about their screening process and/or training requirements and fees. While some are free, fees may apply for others. Shop around to find the best service at an affordable rate.

American Nurses Association - The nation's largest nursing registry that meets the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services's new voluntary reporting requirement for nursing sensitive care. To find your state's American Nurses Association.

There are also nonprofit community agencies, listed under Social & Human Services for Individuals & Families in the phone book, that maintain lists of individuals available to perform all kinds of household tasks, from cleaning and laundry to repairs and garden. To find information online visit Helping Those in Need:Human Service Workers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics or National Human Services Assembly.

Another place to begin your search is with your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA). To find the AAA nearest to you, call the Eldercare Locator at (800) 677-1116 or visit the AAA website at

Your AAA provides:

  • Information about attendant registries
  • Lists of Home Care Agencies
  • Tax help for seniors
  • Suggestions for places to advertise in your community

Interviewing Caregivers

When hiring a personal caregiver, be extremely diligent and do not hire before following important steps.

Screening over the telephone is the first step. Discuss with potential caregivers their job experience in detail and ask them to state specific expectations listed in the work you need, about the hours and wages, and references. If the applicant sounds acceptable, then schedule an interview. It's highly advisable to set the initial interview at a public location like a coffee shop and invite a trusted family member or friend to sit in.

Here is a list of questions that apply to the caregiver's interview:

  • Where have you worked before?
  • What were your duties?
  • How do you feel about caring for a person with a disability? Or a person with memory problems?
  • Have you had experience cooking for other people?
  • How do you handle people who are angry, stubborn, fearful?
  • Do you have a car? Would you be able to transfer someone from a wheelchair into a car or into a bed?
  • What days and hours would you be available? How many hours per week?
  • Is there anything in the job description that you are uncomfortable doing?
  • Can you give me two work-related and one personal reference?
  • Consider what qualities/skills you require and what you can train a good candidate to do.

To search for Home care agencies who can help you find a caregiver, visit our home care directory for the full directory listing by state.

Carol Marak
Carol Marak

After seven years of helping her aging parents, Carol Marak has become a dedicated senior care writer. Since 2007, she has been doing the research to find answers to common concerns: housing, aging and health, staying safe and independent, and planning long-term.