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Elderly Care Options — Home Care Nurse or Home Care Helper?

April 11, 2010
As more elderly adults are choosing to live independently, family members and caretakers must make important choices about their daily care. In the majority of these situations, the primary caretakers are working children of the elderly that have limited time and ability to provide daily care. Many turn to outside home care providers for help. The first thought for many is to hire a home care nurse. This is a viable but costly option if the situation is truly in need of a home care nurse. But to many, a home care nurse is not what is needed for their daily care. Options may not be limited to a home care nurse but may include or only require a home care helper. It may just be a matter of evaluating your needs.

Home Care Nurse

A home care nurse provides medical assistance to the elderly or anyone that is not able to leave the home. A home care nurse is actually a RN (registered nurse) or A LPN (licensed practical nurse) that provides nursing care in the home. Treatments include, for example, wound, respiratory, tracheotomy, diabetes, and colostomy care, as well as injections and other medication administration. A home care nurse provides medical related treatments as opposed to daily living care.

Home Care Helper

A home care helper is a non-medical, in-home care provider for the elderly adult who is in need of assistance for simple chores and home tasks. A home care helper provides senior care, elder care, personal care, respite care and companion care to help the elderly and adults continue to live in their homes when additional help is needed. These are non-medical services unlike the services provided by a home care nurse.

Some of the services provided by a home care helper that a home care nurse does not provide :
  • Hygiene Assistance
  • Meal preparation/Diet monitoring
  • Light housekeeping
  • Errands and Shopping
  • Joyful companionship
  • Live in, Live- out, sleep-over
  • Mornings, mid-day, evenings
  • Temporary or Long term
  • Weekends, holidays
  • Respite for family caregivers
As a caregiver, evaluating the needs and knowing the difference between a home care nurse and a home care helper will help you make the best choices when caring for an elderly parent and loved one. Staying in the home is most often the best place to be but receiving the best care suitable to everyday living makes everything fall into place. Bio: Linda Dunkelberger is a freelance writer and editor. The article “Elderly Care- Home Care Nurse or Home Care Helper?” explains differences between a home care nurse and home care helper as options for caring for the elderly in their home. Visiting Angel’s provides non-medical senior care, elder care, personal care, respite care and companion care as a home care helper in homes across America. For more information, visit www.visitingangels.com
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