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Home Care in the USA
Home care can refer to health care provided
in the home by health care professionals (often referred to
as home health care or formal care) or by family and friends
(informal care). Estimates for the US 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.
Physicians may perform home visits, also. To find such a physician,
contact the American Academy of Home Care Physicians (AAHCP).
In the US, home health care is generally paid for by private
employer-sponsored health insurance or public payers (Medicare
Home Care in the United Kingdom
Home care (also known as domiciliary care)
aims to enable people to remain at home rather than use residential
or nursing care. Care workers visit service users in their own
home and help with daily tasks such as getting up, going to
bed, dressing, toileting, personal hygiene, some household tasks,
shopping, cooking and supervision of medication.
Home Care Workers
Care workers are trained in the use of hoists,
manual handling, food hygiene and first aid, where these form
part of the care required. Although there is no entry-level
qualification, many care workers study for a vocational qualification
in care. A range of specialist training is also required to
provide care to some user groups, such as people with learning
disabilities or dementia.
Home Care Providers
Homecare is purchased by the service user directly
from independent home care agencies or as part of the statutory
responsibility of social services departments of local authorities
who either provide care by their own employees or commission
services from independent agencies.
United Kingdom Home Care Association
Domiciliary care providers in the UK are able
to join the United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA), which
is the professional association of domiciliary care providers
in the independent, voluntary, not for profit and statutory
sectors. The Association represents the views of over 1,540
home care providers, each of which agrees to abide by the UKHCA
Code of Practice. UKHCA is often a point of contact for members
of the public who wish to contact home care providers in their
Home care agencies are regulated by statutory
bodies in three of the four home nations. The regulator's function
is to ensure that home care agencies work within the applicable
Regulator: The Commission for Social Care Inspection
The Care Standards Act 2000
The Domiciliary Care Agency Regulations 2002
Regulator: The Care Standards Inspectorate
for Wales (CSIW)
The Care Standards Act 2000
The Domiciliary Care Agencies (Wales) Regulations 2004
Regulator: The Care Commission
The Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001
There is no statutory regulation of domiciliary
care at the time of writing (July 2005) although draft legislation
is currently under consideration.