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What is Home Care?

There are many types of home care providers that go by many different names in different countries. What are home care providers called in your country? While the skills and duties of home care personnel vary, all have one thing in common: they make it possible for care recipients to remain at home in a safe environment and, in some cases, to have more independence than they did before. In the process, they also provide rare disease family caregivers with a chance to replenish their depleted physical and emotional reserves. Home care personnel may include:


  • Registered nurses (RNs) who provide skilled medical care, including giving medications, monitoring vital signs, dressing wounds, and teaching family caregivers how to use complicated equipment at home.

  • Therapists who work with patients to restore or maintain their motor, speech and cognitive skills.

  • Home care aides who provide personal services such as bathing, dressing, toileting, making meals, light cleaning, and transporting patients to the doctor.

  • Companions/homemakers/Home Help who help with chores around the house but usually do not perform personal duties for the care recipient.

  • Social Worker and others.


What kinds of home care personnel are there in your country? Let us know! 


Non-medical home care often revolves around the “Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)” and the “Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs)”. ADLs are basic activities and functions performed on a daily basis that are usually done without assistance. The six ADLs are:

  • eating

  • dressing

  • bathing

  • toileting

  • transferring

  • continence


IADLs, on the other hand, are those activities instrumental to our daily routines, such as:

  • driving

  • preparing meals

  • doing housework

  • shopping

  • managing finances

  • managing medication

  • using the telephone


Information in this article was contributed by Home Instead Senior Care, a sponsor of Caregiver Action Network. Home Instead Senior Care is the world’s largest provider of non-medical home care services for seniors. To learn more, visit

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