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Providence at Home

Understanding In-Home Care: A Caregiver’s Introduction

a worker checking an older man's blood pressure

When you or your parents arrive at a point where some in-home help would make life easier, there is a lot of information and jargon to sift through. Understanding some of the terms used by home health agencies and private duty services can give you more confidence when you start researching your options.

Types of In-Home Care

The three main categories of home- and community-based services are Private Duty, Home Health, and Hospice. Some of the confusion happens because there is often some overlap within these three categories.


Private Duty usually refers to “non-medical” services such as the following, which are provided by non-licensed caregivers:

  • Medication reminders
  • Bathing assistance
  • Morning and evening care (grooming and dressing)
  • Transportation
  • Help with laundry, meal preparation, errand-running, and more

But there is also a category of Private Duty that includes medical care provided by a licensed nurse, such as:

  • Medication set-ups and administration
  • Injections
  • Wellness checks
  • Help with feeding tubes

Private Duty services are not covered by Medicare or Private insurance though may be covered by some long term care policies.


The Home Health category includes licensed medical services provided by registered nurses or licensed therapists. Skilled Nursing care, wound care, physical therapy, and palliative care are all examples of Home Health care. Home Health is 100% covered by Medicare Part A if certain requirements are met.


Hospice services are available to people who face a six-month prognosis, although services can be declined if a situation changes and recovery becomes possible. The purpose of hospice is to ease physical pain and help a person prepare for the end. You can receive hospice care in your own home, in the home of a family member, or in a care facility. The Hospice Benefit covers all costs associated with visits from your:

  • Hospice physician
  • Hospice nurse
  • CNA
  • Social Worker
  • Chaplain

The benefit also covers any durable medical equipment you might need — wheelchair, oxygen, commode, etc. — and all medications related to your hospice diagnosis.

The spiritual and emotional support offered by Providence Hospice has been a significant blessing to hundreds of families, many of whom have shared heartfelt testimonials with our care staff.

Help for caregivers

If you are caring for a parent or spouse, you can take advantage of in-home services to supplement the care you provide, or to give yourself an occasional break. Providence At Home (the in-home care division of Providence Life Services) offers Private Duty services in one-hour increments, which can be very affordable.

If you find it increasingly difficult to get your loved one out of the house, he or she may qualify for Medicare-covered Home Health care. You can ask your loved one’s physician for a prescription, or contact Providence At Home for a free evaluation.

From offices in Illinois and Indiana, Providence At Home serves hundreds of communities, offering peace of mind to people who need a little extra help at home. You don’t need to know exactly what services you need or what coverage you qualify for — just call our 800 number and we’ll walk you through the process: 800-509-2800.





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