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Home Healthcare Terms You Should Know

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Home Healthcare termsAre you considering home healthcare for yourself or a loved one? Whether you are just learning about home care options or have been receiving care for some time, there are some important terms and phrases that you should know. Familiarity with these phrases – or the new meanings for familiar words in a home care setting – can help you communicate more effectively with your home care provider.

Home Care vs. Home Healthcare

Though you may hear these terms used interchangeably, they technically refer to different types of care. “Home care” is the broadest term, and encompasses skilled nursing care as well as daily living assistance provided by home health aides. “Home healthcare” is a narrower term which is primarily used to refer only to medically related home care services such as rehabilitation or nursing assistance.

Activities for Daily Living (ADLs)

Each of us performs basic daily living tasks to ensure our health such as bathing, dressing, eating, and using the toilet. “ADLs” is a shorthand way of referring to these tasks, which may also include something as simple as getting out of bed. Once it becomes difficult or impossible you or a loved one to manage personal ADLs without help, home care services should be requested.

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IDLs)

While you will most commonly hear about ADLs, IDLs or Instrumental Activities of Daily Living are also considered very important when assessing your care needs or those of a loved one. These activities are not considered fundamental for basic survival, but they are instrumental to independent living. These activities may include paying bills, cleaning house, laundry, and shopping for groceries.

Intermediate vs. Intermittent Care

Intermediate care refers to care one requires after an illness or injury. This type of care is meant to assist someone during a recovery period with the end goal of shepherding them through a dependent period to an independent one. Intermittent care, on the other hand, refers to those who need help a few times a week or a few times a month when their primary caregiver is unavailable, or to assist with daily living tasks like laundry, shopping, and bill paying that may have been neglected for a time.

Navigating your many home care options can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. When you or a loved one are ready to get a little extra help, contact us at Graceworks at Home.

Written by Bethany Village

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