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The Three Types of Atlanta Home Care

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The Three Types of Atlanta Home Care


Private Duty Home Care

Private Duty Home Care is non-medical care. The State of Georgia requires personal services to be delivered by a licensed “Certified Nurse Aide” (CNA). These services are considered custodial care and do not require a physician’s order. The patient and/or family determine the services to be delivered, the schedule needed and the timeframe of the assignment. Services are designed to help the care recipient remain in their home and familiar surroundings as independent as possible by providing hygiene, incontinence care, meal preparation, light housekeeping, companionship, errands, transportation, assistance with ambulation and medication reminders.

Private Duty Home Care is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The services are available in homes, apartments, independent living facility, assisted living facility, rehabilitation facility*, hospitals* and nursing homes*. You determine the days of service, frequency of service and time of service. The service can last for a year or more or it can be started one day and stopped the next with no penalty. It is completely customized to fit the needs of the client.

Private Duty Home Care is not covered by health insurance, because the State of Georgia currently does not allow home care providers to perform medical procedures. As a result, most Private Duty Home Care services are paid directly by the patient or family; however, they may be covered in part or whole by long-term care insurance, Veterans benefits or local government programs (generally restrictive, with limited funding and extremely difficult qualification requirements).

Private Duty Home Care often works in collaboration with Home Health Care agencies because the services are very different in nature and because typically, if someone needs medical home care, they also need caregiving assistance with their Activities of Daily Living** (ADL’S) to remain in their homes.

All Private Duty Home Care Agencies, Home Health Care Agencies and Hospice Agencies in the State of Georgia are required to be licensed by the “Georgia Department of Community Health” and must abide by the rules & regulations of the State to maintain their license.

* Georgia regulations limit the services allowed in these facilities ** Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) is a term used in healthcare to refer to daily self-care activities within an individual’s place of residence, in outdoor environments, or both. Health professionals routinely refer to the ability or inability to perform ADLs as a measurement of the functional status of a person, particularly in regard to people with disabilities and the elderly. ADLs are defined as the things we normally do…such as: • Personal hygiene (bathing, brush teeth, etc.) and grooming • Dressing and undressing • Feeding oneself • Functional transfers (Getting out of bed, standing from sitting position, etc.) • Voluntarily control of urinary and fecal discharge • Elimination • Ambulation (walking or using a wheelchair)

Home Health Care

Home Health Care is Medical care in the home for homebound patients. It is normally covered under Medicare, Medicaid, and most private health insurance if the patient meets very specific criteria. Home Health provides Nursing, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Social Work, and Home Health Aides.

To qualify, a patient typically has an acute health change requiring hospitalization, and home health is initiated upon hospital discharge. The patient must be homebound, meaning they only leave the home for medical appointments. A patient can also qualify if there is a significant change in health status, such as an acute illness or injury that does not require hospitalization. Patients can also qualify based on a new and life altering diagnosis, such as insulin dependent diabetes.

Home Health Care is almost always set up on a short term, temporary basis. It must include either nursing or physical therapy to obtain services. Home Health Care must be ordered by a physician to be covered by insurance. Visits are determined based on the nurse’s initial assessment and/or the therapist’s assessment. The goal of home health is to improve health outcomes. It’s services are guided by Medicare guidelines. Medicare expects the home health team to educate the patient and/or family in regard to the medical procedures, such as dressing changes on wounds or daily catheterization and injections, with the expectation that a responsible party will provide those services after being taught by the nurse.

Therapists provide therapy, but their main job is to educate the patient and/or family how to perform the therapy. No one really improves if they don’t follow the therapist’s exercise plan once the therapist is no longer there.

Home Health aides can only provide personal care according to Medicare guidelines. This includes bathing and grooming, but does not include providing meals, housekeeping, transportation, assistance with ambulation or any type of tasks that aren’t directly related to personal care. Normally this service is only provided on a very limited schedule and for a very short period of time. The Therapist and/or Home Health Aids who visit will typically be in the home for 45 minutes to an hour at a time.

Hospice Care

Hospice Care can be provided in homes, hospice facilities, long term care facilities and in hospitals. Medicare, Medicaid and most medical insurances cover hospice care. This service requires a physician’s order, but it does not require the patient to be homebound. It is initiated based on a terminal diagnosis. The general qualification used to be if the patient was given 6 months or less to live, but that is no longer the case. It is, however, expected that death is impending from a terminal diagnosis.

Hospice consists of Nurses, Home Health Aides, Volunteers and Bereavement Counselors, and it includes both Social Work and Spiritual Care. Patients may use all or some of the services based on their needs and preferences. In home and facility visits by Hospice personnel are short, typically between 45 minutes and 1.5 hours. Although Hospice operates under a primary physician or medical director who is a physician, Hospice nurses direct the delivery of care to the patient.

The focus of Hospice Care and Home Health Care are very different, and no patient can have both services at the same time. Home Health Care primarily concentrates on improvement, while Hospice Care concentrates on comfort, support, and the best quality of life possible for however long the patient will live. Hospice specializes in pain control and the process of dying. They address physical, emotional, and spiritual needs, not only with the patient, but with their loved ones.

Unlike Home Health Care, Private Duty Home Care works in a team effort with Hospice to provide needed care when Hospice has finished their short (45 minutes to 1.5 hours) visits. Private Duty Home Care will communicate and cooperate with Hospice while follow their direction to insure the maximum comfort and support for the patient.


Home Health Care Provides skilled medical services delivered by licensed medical practitioners such as: Registered Nurses, Physical Therapists, Occupation Therapists, etc. Service must be ordered by a physician. These services are provided on a short term, temporary basis for the purpose of teaching family members how to perform the necessary procedures themselves.

Hospice Care – Provides skilled medical and voluntary services for “end of life” care that is focused on managing pain, both physical and emotional, for the patient and the family. Service must be ordered by a physician. Services are delivered in short (45 minutes to 1.5 hours) visits. If more care is required, either a Private Duty Homecare Agency or a family member can provide the additional care needed.

Private Duty Homecare – Provides licensed professional “Certified Nurse Aides” to perform non-medical services to assist patient with their “Daily Activities of Living.” This service can be used in conjunction with either of the two above services or can function as a stand alone service, depending on the needs of the patient/client. Each “Client Service Plan” is totally flexible and customized to the needs & requirements of the patient & family.

Angel Companions is an Atlanta area in-home, senior & elderly care company. We provide part or full-time care and companionship customized to the care level each client needs. If you have any questions please use our contact page form or call us today at 770-579-5000!

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