The duties of a person performing home health care include providing medication, pain management and other therapies. Those providing in home care will generally carry out daily tasks that the person they are looking after would normally provide for himself or herself. These duties could include preparing of meals, housekeeping, shopping or simply to provide companionship to the person being cared for.
The capacity for self-care is normally distinguished by looking at six activities and how the patient can cope with these activities. The activities are bathing, dressing, using the toilet, eating, getting around their house or flat, and walking. These are classed as activities of daily living. If a person needs help with most or all of these, they will be likely to receive in home care.
Home health care is also dependent upon their performance in six activities, these being housework, cooking, shopping, management of money, using a telephone and taking medication. These activities are classed as instrumental activities of daily living.
In the United States, family members commonly carry out home nursing, with professionals only coming into the equation if the family can afford the help. If medical care is needed, this could range from occupational therapy to mental health workers, this is normally paid for using insurance that the patient would have had throughout their life. If there is no insurance it may be difficult to receive the medical care that is needed, especially at home. Carers are generally checked for criminal records and will normally require an employment reference.