America’s baby boomer population is aging at a fast rate which means health care services will be needed more than ever. Often, Home Care Services are confused with hospice facilities, but there are extreme differences between them, and it is important to understand what they are.

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Hospice care is for those who are terminally ill, and who have received all the chemotherapy, radiation, and other treatments possible for extending life, but now wish to discontinue treatment with the exception of pain medication, and live out the remainder of their lives in peace and comfort with loved ones nearby. Hospice care encourages the family and patient to make the decisions, such as remaining at home, the hospital, or a nursing center. Hospice services usually offer twenty four hour care.

Often, in the case of long term illnesses or a recent surgery which will take some time to heal, those over fifty five may need home care services in order fully recover.

This type of care usually involves services such as assisting with cleaning, folding laundry, transportation to the grocery or doctor’s appointments and assisting with physical support as well as giving medications if necessary.

When seeking someone to provide home care services, it is important that the person be qualified and especially a caring, compassionate person. Not all caregivers need to be certified when assisting with household duties, but when medications or lifting are included as necessary tasks, certification as a licensed nurse’s aide is necessary.

Checking references from the provider, in addition to observing how the employees interact with the elderly and those who are physically challenged, will yield the results needed to make the decision on which caregiver one wants to entrust with their loved one.

Companions are caregivers who do not have training in administering medications or nursing, but who assist by providing services like that of a friend. Companions keep the person company in cases where he or she should not be left alone for any period of time for safety reasons. Often, this is when the person is recovering from surgery or an illness.

The companion may read to them, set the channels on the television for them, or play a board game – whatever will help the patient feel more at ease. Companions help to comfort their charges and will report any medical issues to the nursing caregiver in charge.