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Home care, also known as domiciliary care, at home healthcare, assisted living, Senior care, is health care provided in the patient's home by
healthcare professionals (often referred to as home health care or formal care; it is known as skilled care) or by family and friends (also known as caregivers, primary caregiver, or voluntary caregivers who give informal care). Often, the term home care is used to distinguish non-medical care or custodial care, which is care that is provided by persons who are not nurses, doctors, or other licensed medical personnel, whereas the term home health care, refers to care that is provided by such licensed personnel.
Home care aims to enable people to remain at home rather than use residential, long-term, or institutional-based nursing care. Care workers visit service users (patients) in the person's own home to help with daily tasks such as getting up, going to bed, dressing, toileting, personal hygiene, some household tasks, shopping, cooking and supervision of medication.
Estimates for the U.S. indicate that most home care is of the informal variety with families and friends providing substantial amounts of care, including very high tech kinds of care as well as simpler assistance with bathing or dressing. For formal care, the health care professionals most often involved are nurses followed by physical therapists and home care aides. Other health care providers include respiratory and occupational therapists, medical social workers and mental health workers.
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