At times we all find ourselves needing assistance. In providing for someone with a disability, disease or long term illness, their needs and types of assistance can vary from simple companionship to bathing, dressing, shopping and preparing foods. In more serious stages your loved one may require assistance with surgical dressings, I.V. infusion therapies, administration of medications and more.

Generally speaking, home care services are secured when the carerecipient does not require or want some form of institutional care. These services can be provided by a home health care agency, a visiting nurse agency, a homemaker service, or a physical or occupational therapist. Home care is becoming the more popular option especially when the elderly are concerned.

There are also home care agencies who will assess the needs of your loved one. They provide a variety of home care help to take blood tests, administer special medications and intravenous feeding, catheterization, attend to wounds, and offer physical, speech and occupational therapies. These services are provided by trained professionals. They may be registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, social workers, licensed therapists and personal home care assistants. The agency may send these individuals in addition to the daily home aid who functions as the primary caregiver. The agency’s fee is usually billed by the visit or the hour. Your doctor may prescribe specific home care needs which may be covered under your insurance.

Medicare, Medicaid, Medigap, Veterans or supplemental insurance may or may not cover these services so it is important that you review the coverage permitted for your loved one. Payment and billing arrangements can be made with the agency if you are required to secure these services on your own.

By staying informed and researching your options carefully, you will be able to provide volunteer or fee paid services for your loved one to help them maintain the quality of their life while living in the comfort of their own home.
Check Lists You May Print Out
Home Health Care Agency Evaluation:

Hiring Home Care On Your Own:

Other Articles Of Importance:
Emergency Information:

Carerecipient Profile

Document Locator:

Home Safety Check List:


  • Ms. Mitchell began her full-time caregiving experience in the early eighties when her husband was diagnosed with cancer. Later on she became the primary caregiver for her father, along with her mother who had become critically ill from burnout prior to her dad’s passing. In recent years, she cared for several friends with AIDS while continuing to care for her mother and actively providing support, information, referrals and resources for caregivers.

    Gail's leadership on the Internet and her success with Empowering Caregivers led her to found National Organization For Empowering Caregivers (NOFEC) INC in 2001.

    Prior to founding NOFEC, she created the iVillageHealth Chat: Empowering Caregivers, which she hosted for over 5 years. Within a month of hosting she created Empowering Caregivers: in 1999 as a resource for caregivers around the globe. Over three million visitors have frequented the website.

    She has presented at national and international care-related conferences and programs and has been a keynote speaker for many programs as well.

    Ms Mitchell has assisted thousands of caregivers online and offline in ways to empower themselves in their roles in caring for loved ones.

    For a list of clients and/or her resume, please contact

    Gail's articles have been published in many venues nationally and in Canada. Presently, she is a member of American Society on Aging and National Quality Caregivers Coalition.

    Gail has discovered that there is life after caregiving: She has become a successful ceramic artist and installation artist. She created Crystal Illumination Art to bring the transformative quality of illumination, light and color to the human experience and celebrate its ability to inspire, heal and nourish our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well being.