Understanding In-Home Care:
a caregiver’s introduction

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

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.

Home Health

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.

Tags: , ,


  1. Nash Rich

    I had never heard of hospice care before. I mean, I was kind of aware that something like that was out there. I didn’t know that CNA’s could do that kind of stuff, I thought that you had to be a complete RN before you could do that. Thanks for the info!

  2. Kyle Wayne

    I am looking for the appropriate care for my grandfather to ensure that his health needs are looked after. I learned a lot about the various options available for in-home services. The point that you made about care provided my licensed professionals really resonated with me. I will seek out a healthcare provider that caters their services to the needs of my grandfather!

  3. Vivian

    Thank you for sharing that hospice is a wonderful help to those who are suffering. So many people don’t know that and the information needs to be out there more readily.

      1. Vivian

        Precisely true. It’s important that we are able to reach the people who need and want to go through their last stage of life without pain and suffering so they know that they have options.

  4. Ellie Davis

    I never knew there were so many different variations of in home care that people could help with. My grandparents could really use some help, but I don’t think they need a full-duty nurse or doctor available to them at all times. I think that some of the Private Duty services you mentioned would be great. Maybe some of the Home Health things as well, but I’m not sure. I’ll have to get a few family members to talk to them about this to see if we can get them to agree to take some help.

  5. Camille Devaux

    I like what you said about getting good medical equipment. It is useful to have access to these types of tools for your loved one. This would be helpful for my friend who is looking into in-home care services for a loved one.

  6. Tim Yaotome

    My mother is bedridden due to her failing health and I want to make sure that she is properly cared of. When you mentioned that in-home care workers can not only help with daily tasks for seniors such as bathing and eating but also to administer medicine and check one’s vitals, I thought about finding one for her. Not only will reassure the rest of her family that she will be taken care of but also give her a companion as well.

    1. Alexandra Shloss

      You’re absolutely right! Having a companion helps prevent the social isolation that seniors often feel! Let us know if we can help in any way!

  7. Taylor Bishop

    Thanks for helping me learn more about in-home care. I actually didn’t know that the home health category could still include licensed medical services. This seems very important especially if a senior has a few medical needs.

    1. Alexandra Shloss

      Glad we can help! Licensed workers are an important part of the home healthcare world, especially for those who have medical needs, but who don’t want to move to a senior living community.

  8. Brooklyn Johnson

    I had no idea that 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. My mother has gotten too old to take care of herself, and we’ve been considering in-home care. I will definitely keep all of your information in mind when deciding if that would be the best option for her.

    1. Alexandra Shloss

      Definitely! There are ways this kind of care can be more affordable. Glad it helped you.

  9. Ashley Johnson

    I liked that you said that having an in-home caregiver can be immensely beneficial for a patient who struggles to take care of themselves on their own. I would agree that it would be necessary for the caregiver to receive a break from long shifts, however. I would be sure to hire two in-home caregivers for my love to ensure proper care while allowing the caregivers to take some time off to enjoy their family as well.

  10. Angela Waterford

    I never knew that there are different types of home nursing services that my father can get. I think I’ll help him make his life easier by hiring a professional to assist him. Since his medication are administered by injections, I hope that I can find one that is an expert at this.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *