If you have an elderly loved one who is determined and able to continue living at home with additional support, home care agencies in Long Island offer different levels of assistance that you may want to consider. This care is important not only for physical well-being but for emotional and mental health as well. That’s why it’s important to know what’s included in the different types of home care. Here’s what you need to know.

Medical vs. Nonmedical Care

First of all, it’s important to understand that home care doesn’t necessarily mean medical care is needed. Some older adults simply need help with personal care or tasks or perhaps need someone to interact with when family or friends are unavailable. Medical home care options can help meet the most basic medical needs or provide more intensive care and end-of-life care as well. Nonmedical care typically falls into companion care and personal care categories, while medical care includes home health, skilled nursing, and hospice services.

Companion Care

Companion care offers the least amount of assistance among all the types of home care, but it’s still an extremely valuable service to consider. Caregivers providing this level of care are mainly tasked with keeping the patient company and providing social interaction. Caregivers may also run some errands or do light housekeeping tasks in the home. Since there isn’t any personal or medical care required, these professionals don’t require specific education or licensing to qualify for this job.

Personal Care

Personal care is usually provided by caregivers that are certified nursing assistants (CNAs) or home health aides (HHAs). These professionals help with personal care tasks, such as dressing, using the toilet, and bathing. They may also provide services that a companion caregiver would, including preparing meals, grocery shopping, transporting the patient to medical appointments, and more. One or both types of nonmedical care services may be utilized for people needing help moving around the home safely, especially in the bathroom. It’s also a good option for those suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease who are mostly able to care for themselves but require extra supervision.

Home Health

Home health care is usually covered under Medicare for a certain period of time because it’s often needed after recovery from an illness or other health problem requiring a longer recovery and rehabilitation period. The doctor prescribing home health care may instruct the caregiver to regularly check vital signs and monitor the need for and administration of pain and other medications. Home health care can also include different types of therapy, including speech, physical, and occupational therapy.

Skilled Nursing

Skilled nursing care or private-duty nursing care offers more intensive care for those recovering from a health problem or those living with a permanent or serious condition, such as ALS, MS, cancer, or brain or spinal cord injury. In addition to monitoring vital signs and administering medications, skilled nursing caregivers can provide feeding tube, catheter, ostomy, ventilator, and tracheostomy care. They’ll care for wounds and provide necessary injections as part of a comprehensive health monitoring plan.


The final type of home health care in Long Island is hospice care. This care is for terminally ill patients, usually those with six months or less to live. These caretakers monitor vital signs and provide pain management as well as medication administration. To learn more about what type of care is right for your loved one, contact Oyster Bay Senior Campus today.