What is Home Nursing?

Home Nursing is health care provided in the patient's home by healthcare professionals or by family and friends (also known as caregivers, primary caregiver, or voluntary caregivers who give informal care). Often, the term home nursing is used to distinguish non-medical care or custodial care, which is care that is provided by persons who are not nurses, doctors, or other licensed medical personnel, whereas the term home health care, refers to care that is provided by such licensed personnel.

Home nursing aims to enable people to remain at home rather than use residential, long-term, or institutional-based nursing care. Care workers visit service users (patients) in the person's own home to help with daily tasks such as getting up, going to bed, dressing, toileting, personal hygiene, some household tasks, shopping, cooking and supervision of medication.

While there are differences in terms used in describing aspects of Home Care, Home Nursing, or Home Health Care in the United States and other areas of the world, for the most part the descriptions are very similar.

Estimates for the United States indicate that most home care is of the informal variety with families and friends providing substantial amounts of care, including very high tech kinds of care as well as simpler assistance with bathing or dressing. For formal care, the health care professionals most often involved are nurses followed by physical therapists and home care aides. Other health care providers include respiratory and occupational therapists, medical social workers and mental health workers. Physicians may perform home visits also. To find such a physician, contact the American Academy of Home Care Physicians (AAHCP. In the U.S., home health care is generally paid for by private employer-sponsored health insurance or public payers (Medicare and Medicaid), or by private-pay (paid with the family's or patient's own resources).

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