HomeCare, also known as home health care and home support services, encompasses a wide range of medical and non-medical services delivered in an individual's home. The spectrum of services ranges from high-tech infusion nursing to non-medical HomeCare services.
Health care delivered in the comfort and security of the home provides the patient and his/her family with a sense of control and peace of mind. HomeCare also helps reduce the strain caused by excessive hospital or nursing home bills during an illness or disability. Staying at home will enable the patient to maintain social ties and involvement with community, friends, and family. This preserves a sense of independence and security for the patient.
HomeCare continues to grow as the demand for cost effective services in the home increases. The growth is due in part to the aging population and shortened hospitalizations. Today, services that previously required hospitalization are routinely delivered in the home.
Older Americans are electing to live independent, non-institutionalized lives, and are receiving HomeCare services as their physical capabilities diminish. Younger adults, who are disabled; or recuperating from acute illnesses, are choosing HomeCare whenever possible. HomeCare offers chronically ill infants and children the opportunity to receive medical treatment in their loving and secure home environments. Adults and children diagnosed with terminal illness are also being cared for at home. This allows the care recipients to receive compassionate care and maintain their dignity at the end of life.
One of the fastest growing segments of HomeCare today is home support services, or private duty services. These clients receive non-medical care and assistance allowing them to remain in their homes rather than forcing them to move to an institutional setting. Many children are faced with managing care for their parents at a distance and are turning increasingly to the Internet for information.
The ability to provide appropriate medical and non-medical care, and offer a safe home environment is the goal of all HomeCare programs. Many patients and their families prefer remaining in the home versus institutional settings. Furthermore, studies have shown that patients recover faster in the home.