portrait of senior woman with carer

How can a caregiver recognize when someone needs home health medical services?

Understanding the complex laws that apply to medical and non-medical in-home services can be quite an undertaking. Private duty, or non-medical, caregivers are sometimes asked to assist home care clients with services that require a licensed medical professional. Explaining this to a client or their family members isn’t easy. It’s not that the caregivers don’t want to help, it’s just that the laws are set-up to protect people by making sure only qualified medical professionals are used for all medical-related care.

Allways home care is a non-medical provider of in-home services for seniors and people with disabilities. We work closely with licensed medical providers whenever a client needs in-home healthcare services like wound care, physical therapy, and medication consultations.

Our caregivers are trained to identify the need for health services, and to provide recommendations for what types of services a client should consider (home health, hospice, therapists, etc.). The following are the guidelines used by Allways home care caregivers regarding home health recommendations.

  1. Any medical treatments including wound care, physical therapy, speech therapy, medication management, or any other medical treatment can only be administered by a licensed healthcare professional working for a licensed healthcare provider. For example, home health nurses, hospice nurses, physical therapists, doctors, and medical directors, can provide these types of care. We can assist a licensed professional with some medical assistance- only if we are directed by them with specific, written instructions and oversight from them. In these cases, Allways Home Care management must be notified before any treatment is provided.
  2. A client themselves or their immediate family can direct some in-home treatment. They will need to provide the same specific, written instruction and management must be notified before any treatment is provided.  
  3. Caregivers never make decisions about wound care treatment (ointments, cleaning, bandaging, not bandaging).
  4. Caregivers never make decisions about medication (what to take, how much, and when).
  5. Caregivers can’t monitor vital signs including blood sugar monitoring, blood oxygen levels, blood pressure, heart rate, etc. Caregivers can assist clients with self-monitoring and can follow instructions from an RN or MD as needed.
  6. Caregivers can’t recommend physical therapies or speech therapy. Caregivers can assist clients with self-guided physical therapy and speech therapies when proper instruction has been provided.

For more information about the services provided by Allways Home Care, see our services page.

ALLWAYSHomeCareCaregiver TrainingResources
How can a caregiver recognize when someone needs home health medical services? Understanding the complex laws that apply to medical and non-medical in-home services can be quite an undertaking. Private duty, or non-medical, caregivers are sometimes asked to assist home care clients with services that require a licensed medical professional. Explaining...