Home Care 101

Home Care 101

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Home Care Basics

It’s time to get down to the home care basics. As you search for the right provider, use the information found here as a reference point throughout your home care journey. If you have any questions, call us at the number on the top of this page.

The Three Types of Home Care

As defined by Medicare and private insurance companies, there are two types of of home care: skilled and personal. The third type of home care, which isn’t recognized by Medicare and has minimal regulation, is companion care. In its simplest form, the difference between the three types of home care comes down to the level of care that is required.

Skilled Care

Skilled care is designed to help children and adults who need more assistance than usual, typically related to health issues that require routine monitoring. Skilled care is commonly performed by a licensed nursing professional (LPN), but can also be conducted by a physical therapist, occupational therapist, or social worker. At Sonas, we specialize in skilled nursing care and do not provide physical or occupational therapy or social workers. Our most popular skilled care services include nursing care, pediatric care, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, and hospice care.

Learn More about Skilled Care

Personal Care

Personal care focuses primarily on you or your loved one’s more personal needs, which people often feel embarrassed about having a family member help with. This type of “hands on” care is performed by trained, licensed and certified personal caregivers. Common personal care services include bathing and dressing, as well as skin, mouth and hair care.

Learn More about Personal Care

Companion Care

Companion care is all about taking care of you or your loved one’s social needs and ensuring your home is clean and safe. With a companion caregiver, you have a personal helper for day-to-day tasks like running errands and meal prep.

Learn More about Companion Care

What Type of Caregivers Provide Home Care?

We have five different types of caregivers that provide home care services. Each has a different level of education and ancillary requirements dictated by the state of Florida.

Companion or Homemaker

A companion or homemaker is an entry-level provider with experience in household management for non-medical, in-home support services such as light housekeeping, laundry and meal preparation. There is no required training or certification for a companion or homemaker, and they cannot administer medication.

Home Health Aide (HHA)

A home health aide specializes in at-home care and is required to have a high school diploma. They must also attend and complete 75 hours of home health aide training, but no certification is required. They can perform all of the services a companion caregiver can, as well as “hands on” care like dressing and bathing. They cannot administer medication, but can give medication reminders.

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

A certified nursing assistant can perform the same caregiver duties as a home health aide, but is required by the Department of Health to hold a state license. They must also complete a certified nursing assistant program with a state-mandated acceptable GPA. In Florida, the main difference between an HHA and a CNA is where they are allowed to practice. An HHA is restricted to home care, where a CNA can provide care in a hospital, home health agency and doctor’s office.

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

A licensed practical nurse, or LPN, must complete a one-year training course and has training in anatomy, physiology, nutrition, first aid, basic nursing, and has clinical experience. They can change bandages, give medicine and educate patients, as well as document patient conditions, treatments and changes.

Registered Nurse (RN)

These healthcare providers must complete an Associate Degree or a four-year Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing. A registered nurse can perform all the services of an LPN, as well as develop custom care plans, give therapeutic treatments and administer intravenous medications. A registered nurse is most often brought in for home care cases when a person has complex medical needs.

At Sonas, all of our caregivers are required to meet all legal state requirements. They are also required to pass a Level 2 FBI Background Check and be certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, also known as CPR.

How Are Home Care Companies Regulated?

Now that you know the lingo, it’s time to understand the types of companies that provide home care services and how their services impact the day-to-day of your home care experience.

Finding the Right Relationship Structure