As your loved one is being prepared to be discharged from a hospital or rehabilitation center, the doctor may explain to you that your loved one needs at-home healthcare. Typically a nurse will stop by your loved one's home and give him the care he needs, including medications, checking his wounds, and providing physical therapy. However, in addition to this, the doctor may recommend a supportive in-home caregiver. When this occurs, you may wonder how an in-home caregiver differs from at-home healthcare. The basic answer is that they provide different services. Finding out what services a supportive in-home caretaker provides can help you to learn what to expect and plan what gaps you may need to fill in for your loved one.

Caring for the Home

When you hire a supportive in-home care provider, they are tasked with a variety of job functions to assist your loved one in maintaining a home that is livable. One of the main functions of an in-home caregiver is cleaning the house. Housecleaning is an important aspect as a clean house protects your loved one from germs and bacteria. It keeps the home free of debris, which can help your loved one maneuver around without obstacles or hazards. And it also ensures that the house is clean in case visitors stop by.

Another job function a supportive in-home caregiver provides is meal prep and cooking. Nutrition is key to healing and health, so ensuring your loved one has food that meets their dietary restrictions and needs is key. The in-home caregiver can shop for the food, prepare meals, cook them, and then clean up when they are done. They may also freeze meals if they are not at the house every day, ensuring there are plenty of options available to your loved one.

The last job that a supportive in-home caregiver may do under this umbrella is laundry. If your loved one is recovering from back surgery or an illness, bending over to move laundry from the washer to the dryer or folding clothes may be challenging, if not impossible. The caregiver will do all of your loved one's laundry so they have clean clothes without any of the hassle that goes along with doing laundry.

Personal Care Services

One of the more important functions that a a supportive in-home caregiver is tasked with is personal care services. Following surgery, long illness, or injury, completing simple tasks may be challenging for your loved one. Personal services can range from bowel and bladder care to showering to tooth and hair brushing. If your loved one needs assistance in wiping and cleaning after going to the bathroom, the in home worker will take care of this. If your loved one needs help getting in and out of the shower and cleaning themselves, an assistant will help with that. And if a patient needs help brushing their teeth, doing their hair, shaving, getting dressed, or putting on deodorant, a supportive in-home caregiver is there to assist them.

Medical Appointment Accompaniment

The last function that a supportive in-home caregiver can provide is medical appointment accompaniment. This may include driving your loved one to the appointment, helping them get in and out of the vehicle, assisting them with checking in to the appointment, getting them situated in the exam room, and even updating the doctor on their condition or you on what the doctor has to say. Having an individual accompany your loved one to their medical appointments and report back what the doctor told them should help you feel at ease so that you don't have to miss time from work or other obligations constantly going to different appointments.

With supportive in-home care, your loved one gets the support they need to live on their own with some assistance. The type of services offered typically vary from patient to patient, based on their exact needs. However, typically a supportive in-home caregiver will tend to the home, provide your loved one with personal care services, and accompany them to their medical appointments. There is very little you will need to do to care for your loved one if they receive this type of service. However, scheduling outings with them and watching over their personal finances is always recommended.