Virginia has specific requirements and definitions for independent providers or agency direct-care services given to people in their homes.

Home Health Care and Home Care Services
These for-profit or non-profit services provide skilled nursing services based on a medical plan and supervised by a health care professional. In-home care services are regulated by the Virginia Department of Health’s Office of Licensure and Certification Home Care and Hospice Unit. Some home agencies can opt-out of state health department licensure for approved reasons. Home health care must provide skilled nursing services and at least one in-home therapeutic service such as physical, occupational or speech.

Home care services
A public or private organization that provides in-home health, pharmaceutical or personal care services to those who need help to remain independently at home.

Personal care
This in-home care includes assistance with daily activities – the things we normally do to take care of ourselves and live independently. These include bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, continence control, walking, transferring from one place to another in the home. Other non-skilled nursing care may be provided. Care agencies must have a state health license. Consumer-directed personal assistance services are also available through the Virginia Department of Rehabilitation Services and through various Medicaid waiver programs.

Homemaker services
Assistance is provided to those who have problems with “instrumental activities of daily living” such as meal preparation, personal shopping, money management, telephone use and light housework. These services may also allow respite for family caregivers.

Home attendant care
A non-licensed person perfoms in-home skilled, personal and pharmaceutical services under health professional supervision. Home attendants are also known as certified nurse aides or CNAs, home care aides, home health aides or personal care aides.

Companion services
An individual provides in-home care for people who can’t care for themselves without assistance. Services include meal preparation, transportation, shopping, light housekeeping, household management and companionship.

Chore services
These programs help those who can’t do non-routine heavy home maintenance. Services include carrying coal, wood or water; minor repairs of furniture and appliances; chopping wood, removing snow, yard maintenance and painting.

Pharmaceutical services
A provider comes to a patient’s home to dispense or administer medication, instruct patients or give feeding tube support

Adult day care
These non-residential day programs are held in special centers where a variety of health, social and support services are provided. They are a useful component in caring for seniors, the infirm and disabled adults in a protective setting. Adult day services, regulated by the Virginia Department of Social Services, may be combined with in-home care.

Home-delivered nutrition program
Nutritious meals are delivered to those who cannot shop or cook for themselves through programs such as Meals on Wheels.

Short-term, in-home help for caregivers who take care of an older person. Trained professionals or volunteers care for the older person so the caregiver gets personal time.

The terminally ill get coordinated care from a medically directed team to meet physical, psychological, social, spiritual and special needs during the final stages of illness and during dying and the family’s bereavement.

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