So, you have determined that in-home care is needed for yourself or a loved one.  What is your next step?

You will need to determine exactly what type of care is needed.  Is it Companion Care or is it Personal Care, which is hands on assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) such as bathing, dressing, incontinence care, etc.?

Companion Care is just that, providing companionship in the home, light housekeeping, meal preparation, and transportation to and from appointments and events as well as shopping and errands.  By law, homemakers and companions may not provide hands on Personal Care such as bathing and transferring and cannot administer medications.  A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) or a Home Health Aide (HHA) should be trained to provide hands on care, however, their training and or licensing does not override the license of their employer.  By law, they cannot provide hands on care.

Hands on Home Health Care may be provided through an Agency or a Nurse Registry.  Each of these businesses are licensed and surveyed by the State of Florida and employ staff to provide these services.  Some Agencies and Registries directly employ their staff, while others may use contracted staff.  If they are direct employees, the Agency is required to be bonded and insured.  Tax liabilities are also taken care of by the employer, relieving you from tax implications and or personal liabilities.  Their staff of CNA’s are licensed by the state while HHA’s are trained to provide personal care.

Please, do your homework by asking questions and understanding the answers. Be sure that you are choosing the service and provider that fit your needs and can continue forward with your care if and when your needs change.  After careful investigation, we feel confident your decision will be an easier one.

Visit the AHCA (Agency for Healthcare Administration) website; acha.myflorida.com.  There you will find a wealth of information to help you in your decision making process.