Home Care Services Guide

If your loved one is dealing with a chronic illness, facing the more difficult challenges of growing older or needs a little extra attention, you may be asking yourself, “What is home health care and could it be right for my family?”

Many families come to realize that in-home care services are just what their loved one needs in order to experience the quality of life they deserve. Yet it can be difficult to determine if (and when) you need in-home help and what type of home health care services will be most beneficial. The resources provided here will help you get started.

Some people are surprised to learn that home care services aren’t just for elderly care – they can include child care for those with special needs, young adults that need physical or occupational therapy, and just about anyone who needs support at home. In-home care…

  • supports independent living
  • prioritizes safety
  • can be less expensive than other care options
  • provides one-on-one attention
  • lets loved ones remain in their familiar environment
  • offers family support

What Are the Different Types of Home Care?

There are three general categories of at-home care, as well as specialized Alzheimer’s and dementia care that meets the unique needs of those with memory loss, personality change and confusion. In addition to the main care category descriptions below, we’ve included a chart so you can easily compare them.

Companion Care helps meet the social, mental and emotional needs of individuals, while also keeping an eye out for their safety. Companionship services includes meal prep, light housekeeping, activities like puzzles or writing letters, transportation to and from medical appointments, general assistance in the home, medication reminders and providing a family member with respite (a break from caregiving).

Personal Care provides some of the same services, along with support for activities of daily living (ADLs). Common personal care services include assistance with bathing, toileting, grooming, eating and dressing, as well as care needed before or after surgery.

Skilled Care services, also called Home Health Care services,* are provided by a nurse who addresses certain medical needs a child or adult may have. Wound care, blood draws, medication administration, intravenous drug therapy (including infusions like chemotherapy), G-tube and other feedings, assistance with medical equipment (ventilators) and other interventions fall under this category.

Download our guide to explaining different types of home care services.

Download Guide

Individuals with chronic conditions or those who are home-bound may be able to receive treatments from a trained nurse or physical therapist instead of going into a facility for care. In fact, there is a growing number of services you may be able to receive at home, rather than going to a physician’s office, lab or hospital.

The best way to meet your loved one’s needs is with a personalized plan that adapts to their evolving health changes. Although some agencies have offerings in just one or two of the categories below, others (like BrightStar Care®) provide services across a continuum of care.

Home Care Services Comparison

The following lists summarize the various types of care we described above. You’ll see specific examples of the service your loved one would receive in each of these categories. Of course, there may be additional services provided, depending on your family member’s needs. 

Companion Care Services

  • Conversation and activities based on their interests
  • Transportation to and from appointments, activities and events
  • Dementia support when they shouldn’t be alone
  • Medication reminders
  • Laundry
  • Light housekeeping
  • Help connecting with others through letters, e-mail and social media
  • Engagement in art or craft projects, reading, games or puzzles
  • Respite and time off for family caregiver

Personal Care Services

  • Help with mobility in and outside of the home
  • Bathing
  • Dressing and grooming
  • Feeding
  • Oral and personal hygiene
  • Help with incontinence
  • Outpatient pre- and post-op assistance

Skilled Care Services*

  • Medication administration
  • Wound care
  • Blood draws and injections
  • Central and peripheral intravenous drug therapy, such as chemotherapy
  • Assistance with medical equipment including ventilators
  • Administration and maintenance of catheters
  • PICC line dressing changes
  • Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN), G-tube or other feedings
  • Epidural mediports
  • Physical, occupational and speech therapy
  • Rehabilitation

Personalized Plan of Care

While some services are mentioned here, there are many different ways we can support your loved one in their home. The Director of Nursing at your local BrightStar® Home Care can answer any questions you have about this convenient and safe way of meeting your loved one’s needs.

The nurse will come to your home for a free, no-obligation consultation. While there, they will assess your family member’s needs and create a personalized plan of care that will be overseen by a Registered Nurse (RN). Simply contact your nearest BrightStar Care location to schedule your assessment.

Or if you’d like to learn more, but aren’t ready to schedule an assessment, you can send us a message or return to the beginning of our online Home Care Guide.

*Skilled nursing and medical service availability varies by location. Call 866-618-7827 for a full list of services or to schedule a free in-home assessment.