Understanding Home Care:
A comparison of providers that perform home care services

In the past few years, “home care” has become a catchphrase to include everything from dog walking and house cleaning to high tech nursing. These services are generally provided by Homemaker / Companion Services, Licensed Home Healthcare Agencies and Nurse Registries. It is important to understand the differences in home care providers in order to make safe, informed decisions for your loved ones.

Companion Agencies

Companion Agencies are registered with The Agency for Health Care Administration. They are not licensed to provide any type of medical or personal care. Because services are not medical, there is no requirement for supervision by a skilled nurse. Companion agencies are often lower priced than home health agencies and can be an excellent solution when a client is in need of assistance with meal preparation, shopping, light housekeeping, and companionship. When hands-on assistance is needed, companion agencies are not permitted to provide this service and employees may or may not be sub-contractors with minimal to no supervision.

Home Healthcare Agencies

Home healthcare agencies are licensed by The Agency for Health Care Administration following a comprehensive survey. Patient care is assessed and supervised by a Registered Nurse. In addition to the services provided by a Companion Service, a Home Health Agency can assist with personal care and offer skilled nursing services including medication management and Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Certified Nursing Assistants or Home Health Aides provide all personal care and home health agencies are required to have a nurse available at all times. A Home Health Agency is a good choice when nursing involvement is desired or when a client is in need of assistance with activities of daily living including bathing, dressing, toileting, eating, and physical transfer. There are 2 designations within licensed Home Healthcare Agencies. Medicare certified home health agencies specialize specifically in skilled nursing care and therapy while private duty home health agencies hold a specific designation given to home health agencies that choose to specialize in personal care and activities of daily living. Both these home healthcare agency designations work closely together to provide patients with a comprehensive care experience in the comfort of home.

Nurse Registries

Nurse Registries are licensed by The Agency for Health Care Administration.  They perform many of the same services as a Home Health Agency.  However, a registry refers independent contractors to patients directly, thus making the patient the employer. All caregivers who contract with registries are independent contractors and the registry is not responsible for directing the care they provide to their patients. A Registry does not supervise independent contractors. Unlike an agency, caregivers work as independent contractors and are responsible for obtaining their own liability and workers compensation insurance. They must also comply with tax laws pertinent to independent contractors.

Understanding home health care is important, for those who need medical aid or general in-home assistance. Home health care is a comforting, realistic and safe alternative to assisted living or admission to a skilled nursing facility. Home health care can be individualized to meet the needs of any client, and many clients feel better in familiar surroundings with the support of family and friends.

Bayshore Home Care is able to customize a home care plan for each client and family that we serve, and services can always be adjusted as needs change. Bayshore Home Care offers peace of mind in that all home health caregivers are qualified, educated, insured and screened. We also offer Alzheimer’s and dementia care.

Bayshore provides Home Healthcare in Largo, Pasco, Hillsborough, Pinellas County and throughout surrounding areas.