The following is a sample of the many services and resources available to help adults remain at home. Learn more about:
People that need help with such things as preparing meals, personal care (e.g. bathing, dressing), and housekeeping have several options for hiring help. See “Hiring Skilled Nursing Care” below if skilled nursing or other professional care is needed.
Adults receiving Medicaid and eligible to hire an aide (Individual Provider) can use the Home Care Referral Registry to get a list of prescreened Individual Providers in their area. Visit the Referral Registry on-line or call 1-800-970-5456 for more information.
AARP has an entire section on providing care at home – including an article Help Wanted: Tips for Hiring a Home-Care Worker.
Home Care Agencies
Home care agencies recruit, train, pay, supervise, and are responsible for the care provided by the aide they send to your home. These agencies are licensed by Washington State. Use The National Association of Home Care and Hospice locator to find a home care agency in your area or contact your local Senior Information and Assistance office.
You can also find, hire, train, pay, and supervise an aide yourself. Learn more from the Family Caregiver Alliance’s fact sheet hiring in-home help.
Volunteer chore services
Volunteer chore services exists for low income adults who can’t afford to pay for in-home services but do not qualify for other state assistance. Volunteers can help with things like household chores, shopping, moving, minor home repair, yard care, personal care, and transportation.
Faith in Action volunteers
Faith in Action volunteers give their time to help neighbors with long-term health needs by providing simple assistance. Find out if free services are available in your area.
Home health care agencies
People that need skilled nursing care (e.g. wound care, giving injections) often get it from a home health agency. Home health agencies recruit, supervise, and pay the person and assume responsibility for the care provided. Home health care through an agency must be authorized by a doctor. Home health care agencies are licensed by Washington State.
You can also hire a nurse or therapist directly. In this case, you are responsible for finding, hiring, supervising, and paying the person. Learn more from the Family Caregiver Alliance’s fact sheet hiring in-home help .
Adults receiving state-funds (Medicaid) to pay for long term care services may also be eligible for the Nurse Delegation Program. With Nurse Delegation, a caregiver may be trained to help with certain nursing type care tasks in your home or a boarding or adult family home. Learn more about Nurse Delegation.
To find a home health agency in your area:
- Use Medicare’s Home Health Care website run by Medicare. This on-line tool provides you with information on how well the home health agencies in your area care for their patients.
- Use The National Association of Home Care and Hospice locator to find a home health agency in your area.
- Contact your local Senior Information and Assistance office.
Adult day care
Adult day care is a daytime program for an adult who needs some level of care but doesn’t need the level of care provided by an RN or rehabilitative therapist. Services in most adult day care programs include help with personal care, social services and activities, education, routine health monitoring, general therapeutic activities, a nutritious meal and snacks, coordination of transportation, first aid, and emergency care.
Adult day health
Adult day health is a daytime program for an adult who needs skilled nursing care or a licensed rehabilitative therapist. An adult day health center provides skilled nursing services, rehabilitative therapy such as physical therapy, occupational therapy or speech-language therapy, brief psychological and/or counseling services and all of the services listed for adult day care above.
Routine visits or phone calls are made to people who live alone or are not able to leave their home. Some companion services may also include help with transportation of shopping.
Home delivered meals
Nutritious meals are delivered to people who have difficulty leaving their home. Another option for meals for seniors is in a group setting at many senior center.
Senior centers are facilities in a community where older people can meet, share a meal, get services, and take part in recreational activities.
Transportation is provided for someone who no longer can drive or has access to a car.
Modifications are added into the home that help an adult with a medical or disabling condition adapt to his/her changing needs safely (e.g. ramps, a grab-bar in the shower or near a toilet, or widened doorways for a wheelchair).
Learn more about different types of assistive technology and how to find them.
- National Public Website on Assistive Technology
- Washington Assistive Technology Act Program
Find, try out and get assistive technology (AT) and see links to low interest loans that may be available.
Personal Emergency Response System (PERS)
An adult is given an electronic device to summon help in an emergency. The device is connected to a phone or the adult may also wear a portable “help” button. When activated, staff at a response center call 911 or take whatever action has been asked for ahead of time.
Hospice care involves a team of professionals and volunteers who provide medical, psychological, and spiritual care to a dying person and his or her family. Hospice care is normally provided in the person's home but is also available in other care settings, including a hospital. Hospice staff are available 24 hours a day to help care for the dying person, ensure he or she is comfortable and free from pain, and provide counseling and support for the person and his or her family. Learn more from the Hospice Association of America's library of publications about hospice care.
To find a hospice agency in your area contact:
- The National Association of Home Care and Hospice locator
- The Washington State Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
- Your local Senior Information and Assistance office
Respite care is when another person or facility temporarily takes care of a frail adult so the person caring for them at home can have a break. Respite care can be arranged through the Family Caregiver Support Program (FCSP), home health agencies, adult family homes, Assisted Living Facilities, adult day health or adult day care, nursing facilities, or family, friends, and volunteers.