Types of Home Care Agencies

As your loved ones grow older, they may not be able to stay at home by themselves. Instead of going to a nursing home or an assisted living facility, many seniors want to stay in the comfort of their own home and hire a home care agency. Fortunately, there are numerous home care agencies that are willing to work with seniors and provide them the care they deserve. There are several types of organizations that are able to provide home care for the elderly population. An important distinction that you will have to make when choosing an agency for your loved one is what type of home care your loved one needs. There are non-medical or medical home health care services that you must choose from. Keep reading to learn more about each category in order to find the right choice for your loved ones.

Non-Medical, In Home Care Agencies

Non-medical, in home care agencies provide your loved one with non-medical care. The range of care they provide depends on the needs of your loved one. For example, they can provide personal care, respite care or companion care. They also can come to your loved ones house to cook dinner or help your loved one run errands. Agencies that provide non-medical, in home care services provide services that are non-skilled. Their services are not considered to be medical and the services are often provided by certified personal support workers or home health aides. Some agencies may also hire homemakers, , caregivers or sitters to come to your loved ones home, depending on their needs.

Non-medical home care agencies provide services that include personal care, supervision and companionship. They also can help your loved one do things around their home such as cooking, cleaning and laundry. Some agencies even provide caregivers with the means to help your loved one run errands, visit with family, or go to church. The different caregiving services offered will be different for each agency in your local community. Within the non-medical, in home care agency industry there are several different types of agencies. The following are the most common agencies that you may find when searching for the right agency for your loved one.

Full Service, Non-Medical Agencies

These agencies provide a full spectrum of services and manage the home care experience for their clients. You can hire them directly and tell them the needs of your loved one. Then, they will send an employee to your loved ones home to assess their needs. These agencies will then screen and select the perfect caregiver for your loved one. These agencies are licensed (where required), comply  with labor laws and will have proper levels of insurance such as general& professional liability and worker’s compensation).

Registry and Staffing Agencies

Registry and staffing agencies are private-duty agencies that provide nursing, home care aides and companion services to patients for finder’s fee. These agencies often act as an employment agency for established nurses, caregivers or home health aides. Whenever a job opens, they tell their people on staff and find the perfect caregiver for your elderly loved ones needs. The chosen caregiver does not work for the registry or staffing agency; instead you or your loved one become the caregivers’ employer, pay them directly and responsible for all payroll taxes.

Private Hire

The third option is to hire a private caregiver by yourself. To do this, you and your family must recruit, hire and supervise the caregiver. You may be able to find caregivers in the newspaper or in ads through the local hospitals. When hiring a private caregiver you or your loved one becomes their employer. You pay the caregiver directly, responsible for all payroll taxes, and worker’s compensation.

Medical or Skilled Home Health Agencies

Medical or skilled, home health care agencies provide your loved one with medical home health services. If your loved one needs medical care such as wound care, pain management, medication management, nursing care services, oxygen services, medical supplies and equipment, physical therapy, speech therapy or any other type of medical service then you should look into hiring an medical home health care agency. The main purpose of medical home health agencies is to provide your loved one with skilled care for treatment or rehabilitation while they are in their home. These health professionals strictly adhere to your loved ones doctor’s orders and can continue to come to your loved one’s home as long as their doctor deems it necessary.

Medical home health workers tend to be nurses or skilled medical workers. Most often, they come to a person’s home during a set time during the day or week to take the patient’s vitals and provide the necessary medical care for them. If your loved one needs someone to help them take medication, needs wound care or any nursing care, then they may benefit from medical home healthcare. This type of care is often paid for by their insurance company because it is given in conjunction with their physician’s orders.


If your loved one has gotten to the point where they are unable to care for themselves properly, then they may benefit from home health care services. Home health care services come in two different categories: non-medical or medical. Non-medical services are for patients who do not need medical treatment but simply need a caregiver in their home to help them with everyday things such as personal care, light housekeeping, laundry, meal preparation, running errands, shopping, and companionship. Medical home healthcare is meant for patients who have a disease or a medical issue that needs to be addressed on a daily or weekly basis. These patients may benefit from medical home healthcare if they are unable to make it to the doctor’s office each day or week. Medical home healthcare is often prescribed by a doctor and is paid for by insurance companies. Either type of home care allows your loved one to continue to live in the comforts of their own home.

For more information about home care agencies, check the following articles in our blog: