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In-Home Nursing Care : What You Need to Know

Written by Dayna C
Last Updated :
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The elderly and people who are experiencing any type of increased dependency have the option to live safely in their homes.

Just the thought of residing in a nursing home makes some aging people feel uncomfortable or even scared.

However, in-home nursing care can be a great solution here.

Family members usually take on the responsibilities of being caretakers at the same time.

Yet, most of them have their jobs, look after their children, or have some other things to maintain during the day.

In other words – time limits them from being a full-time caretaker.

In that case, a person in need will have some time for an empty walk during the day.

An in-home nurse is a person who stays with a patient for a couple of hours a day and monitors his/her medical condition.

Guidance and professional service of in-home nursing care will provide any person with the care they require.

What Does It Seem Like to Receive In-Home Nursing Care?


The main idea of in-home nursing care is to provide a person in need with the highest possible quality of life.

Three things in-home nursing care focuses on are:

  • Enabling safety,
  • Enabling security,
  • Increasing independence.

This type of service contributes to:

  • Avoiding unnecessary hospitalization,
  • Managing the ongoing medical condition with the utmost professional care,
  • Aiding with recovery after a hospital stay, injury, or an illness (short- or long-term).

Home care services may also include:

  • Companionship,
  • Assistance with daily activities (dressing, bathing, managing household tasks),
  • Rehabilitative services,
  • Therapies,
  • Ventilator care.

What Is The Difference Between In-Home Nursing Services?


If you have been considering in-home nursing services lately, it is important to distinguish different types of medical assistance.

Patients are aiming to receive medical assistance in the comfort of their homes rather than going to a care facility or into a nursing home.

According to different services included, we will divide them into two following, main categories:

  1. In-home nurse,
  2. Home care helper.

An in-home nurse is a licensed practical or registered nurse who provides the best care suitable for everyday living to a patient (an aging person, a person with an injury, a disabled person in a wheelchair, or someone who is recovering after a hospital stay) in the comfort of their home.


Treatments an in-home nurse provides include:

  1. Giving injections,
  2. Colostomy care,
  3. Dressing wounds,
  4. Monitoring vital signs,
  5. Performing medical therapies.

We have a home care helper on the other side.

This person is a non-medical care provider of elderly, personal, respite, and companion care services.

The main difference between a home care nurse and a home care helper is that the second one provides assistance for household chores and home tasks as well.

We can further divide the home care helper category into home caregivers and companion homemakers. The latter usually don’t perform toilet assistance, bathing, grooming, and other personal duties.

A home caregiver provides a couple more services than an in-home nurse:

  • Buying groceries,
  • Meal preparation,
  • Light housekeeping,
  • Works on weekends and holidays.

By understanding which types of in-home caregivers exist, you can get a clear image of what services you or your loved one require.

In-home nursing care is the best option for elderly or disabled persons who need medical care exclusively.

However, if you or your loved one needs additional care assistance and companionship, you should consider taking home care helper services.

Explore a variety of engaging and fun crafts for senior citizens in nursing homes with our video, “Entertaining Crafts for Senior Citizens in Nursing Homes!”

Once You Make a Decision…


If you have decided to start using in-home nursing services, we would like to discuss a couple more things to consider.

It seems like a skilled in-house nurse is necessary for providing care.

If you are the one who would use these services, talk about your family and let them know about your decision.

On the other hand, if you are thinking about hiring an in-home nurse for your family member, it would be best to talk about everything right now.

You want to explain the benefits of using such services and how in-home nursing care will help them.

An in-home nurse doesn’t provide 24/7 assistance.

If the patient’s medical condition requires full-time assistance, it would be better to consider caregiving services.

Having an in-home nurse means that you, or your loved one, will have the assistance of licensed, educated, and certified professional.

Nurses go through one of three accredited programs and earn their diplomas and degrees.

The final step is to get a Home Health Care Nurse certification.

This certificate is the evidence they are qualified to work as in-home nurses.

Benefits of In Home Nursing Care

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Most people believe the greatest benefit of in-home using care is the fact they are staying in the comfort of their room and being close to family.

However, this story has numerous benefits, which we will enumerate in the following paragraphs.

  • Health condition monitoring

As we already mentioned, family members can’t be around all the time.

In-home nursing care will be at your disposal for periods when a person in need stays alone.

During this time, a service provider will regularly check vital signals (such as heart rate and reactions to medication).

This person watches after the slightest change in a patient’s health condition and reports the main ones (both good and bad) to the family.

  • Administering prescribed medications

As in-home nurses are licensed and registered, they have the authority to administer prescribed medications given to a patient.

However, a nurse can’t prescribe them.

The physician would give approval after consultations with an in-home nurse.

Some people have specific medications prescribed, which is difficult to administer independently, especially among aging people.

  • Providing basic assistance


An in-home nurse provides additional tasks, such as toilet hygiene assistance (getting to the walk-in tub, then getting up, self-cleaning), moving the patient from one place to another, eating, dressing, and grooming assistance as well.

Each in-home nurse is capable of performing fundamental living activities.

  • Companionship

With time, you and your in-home nurse will get to know each other better.

Time will also make you grow fonder physically and emotionally.

A nurse will take care of you and assist you when you have difficulties with independence, which will make you gain trust in this person very soon.

On the other hand, just being in the comfort of your home and in a familiar surrounding will make you feel more relaxed and less vigilant.

This will influence creating a friendly interaction between you and your nurse.

Finding an In-home Nurse

There are two channels through which you can get in contact with potential nurses.

One way is to get in touch with home health agencies in the neighborhood.

The first thing to pay attention to is whether the agency you are working with is Medicare-certified.

Besides that, you want to check on what types of services the agency provides exactly.

This has a lot to do with the services we described in the previous paragraphs.

If you are still unsure what services you need, go and re-check the type of services an in-home nurse provides and the type of services a caregiver provides.

It would be great to get a reference from someone who already knows more about this topic.

For example, your physician may help you a lot with this, or a social worker, health clinic, and hospital discharge planner.

In the end, you want a certified, licensed, and skilled medical care professional who is also pleasant to communicate with.

How to Pay In-Home Care

Using in-home care is not the privilege of the rich, as many people who are struggling to make ends meet find a way to help their loved ones in need.

In general, costs of in-nurse care depend on where you live (urban/rural areas, west/east) and on whether you are looking for medical care, or homemaker services, or general companionship.

Options you should really consider are:

  1. Veteran benefits (90 or more days of active duty),
  2. A reverse mortgage (62 years or older, the user has to be an owner of a house),
  3. Long-term care insurance (but be careful – as some insurances cover in-home care services, while others accept only nursing home care),
  4. An annuity (find a reputable financial institution to turn your pension or savings into a steady income),
  5. Medicaid (covers short-term in-home care),
  6. A collective sibling agreement (family makes a plan according to which a sibling pays to another one to take care of their parents).


Providing your loved one with intermittent skilled healthcare service will make their life so much easier in multiple ways.

We all prefer staying in our homes when not feeling so well, especially aging people or people using mobility aids such as walking cane

An in-home nurse will provide medical monitoring, basic life activity support, and companionship for a person in need.

No matter if short-term or long-term assistance is needed, in-home nursing care is the best option for people who can’t devote their whole day to taking care of the patient.

After all, you have the choice on this one as well, depending on the medical condition requirements and the expected time you will spend with the patient.

About Author

Dayna C
Dayna has an incredible passion for helping others and a background as an in-home caregiver for the elderly. She left the field temporarily three years ago to stay at home with her twins, but found that she really missed working with senior citizens. She launched LoAids as a way to help not just her own loved ones and former clients, but ALL seniors live life to the fullest in their golden years.  Follow her on LINKEDIN and TWITTER. Read her LATEST POSTS. Learn more about her HERE.

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