How to find the best in-home care for your loved one

How to Find In-Home Care
The PicnicHealth Team
December 14, 2022
Blog post originally written by the AllStripes community team. AllStripes was acquired by PicnicHealth in 2023.

Caring for a loved one with a chronic or debilitating condition can be daunting. However, in-home care can offer a haven of safety and comfort, helping them maintain a level of independence which is vital for their dignity and quality of life.

Types of In-Home Care

In-home care can take many forms, depending on the patient's needs. The most common types of in-home care available are: 

  • Personal Care: This type of care involves assisting with basic daily living activities such as bathing, dressing, eating, relieving, and grooming. It also includes personal hygiene tasks like brushing teeth or combing hair. Personal care services may be provided by a trained caregiver who visits the patient’s home regularly or by a live-in caregiver who provides 24/7 support.
  • Medical Care: This type of care involves providing medical services such as administering medications or wound care. It may also include providing transportation to doctor appointments or other medical services. Medical care services may be provided by a licensed nurse or another healthcare professional who has experience working with the condition your loved one is managing.
  • Home Maintenance Services: This service involves light housekeeping, such as cleaning windows or doing laundry. It also includes yard work like mowing lawns or raking leaves. Home maintenance services can help patients maintain a clean and safe living environment and can be provided by a caregiver or a home maintenance company.
  • Emergency Response Services: This type of service provides immediate help in an emergency at home. Most emergency response services include 24/7 monitoring and access to qualified medical personnel who can respond quickly. 

How To Find Qualified In-Home Care Providers

Hiring a qualified in-home care provider is a crucial element of care for any condition. Here's how to locate the right support:

  • Ask your doctor for recommendations. Your doctor may be able to provide recommendations for reputable home health agencies or individual caregivers who have experience working with your loved one’s condition.
  • Search online for local agencies that specialize in providing home health services. You can use search engines like Google or websites like to find agencies that provide in-home care services in your area.
  • Check the agency’s license and insurance. When evaluating potential agencies, make sure that they are licensed by your state to provide home health services and that they have insurance to cover any potential claims that may arise from their services.
  • Ask about their experience working with your loved one’s condition. When interviewing potential agencies or caregivers, ask questions about their experience working with your loved one’s condition. This will help you understand their level of expertise and how they approach caregiving.
  • Consider their availability and services offered. When comparing different agencies or caregivers, consider factors such as their availability (e.g. do they offer 24/7 care or only daytime services?), the types of services they offer (e.g. personal care, medical care, companionship services, etc.), and the cost of their services. These factors will help you find a provider that meets your loved one’s unique needs and budget.

Finding qualified in-home care providers for a loved one can be challenging, but it is crucial to take the time to do it properly. By conducting thorough research, you can ensure that your loved one receives the necessary support from knowledgeable professionals who understand how to best care for individuals living with your loved one’s condition while also allowing them to enjoy the comforts of home.


The PicnicHealth Team

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Create a List

List the names of all the doctors, hospitals, and other facilities your loved one visits regularly, along with those they have visited in the past. Try to go back as far as you can, striving for at least the last 5-10 years, but do your best. Even if you can’t remember them all, having a strong baseline can help you quickly identify gaps in records.

Ensure You Have the Appropriate Legal Status

It is important to make sure that you are fully empowered to make decisions on behalf of your loved one with Alzheimer’s. Your relationship status with the patient may not be enough to legally give you access to your loved one's medical information. It is a good idea to talk to an expert about securing special legal status, such as Power of Attorney (POA), a legal document that allows an individual to name someone as their decision maker should they no longer be able to make decisions on their own.

Gather and Organize the Medical Records in One Place

It’s important to have all of your loved one’s medical records together in one spot. This makes it much easier for you and your loved one’s physicians to accurately map the patient’s medical journey and more easily share information between doctors. Fortunately, tools exist to make record management and access simple. A free resource like PicnicHealth helps you collect and organize all of this information. PicnicHealth’s intuitive timeline allows you to pinpoint data across the medical history, eliminating your need for keeping heavy binders filled with paper records or keeping track of multiple software portal logins.

Review the Medical Records to be an Informed Advocate

The better you understand your loved one's medical history, the better you can advocate on their behalf. Access and understanding of this information will help you to ask informed questions with physicians. Through regular communication backed by the data in the medical records, you can help your loved one’s care team develop a more successful care plan.

Learn more about PicnicHealth’s commitment to the Alzheimer’s community and the Alzheimer’s Association

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Together, we can make a difference.

Learn more about PicnicHealth’s commitment to the Alzheimer’s community and the Alzheimer’s Association

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Build a support network.

When you’re juggling appointment times and insurance claims, putting a robust support system together might not strike you as the most urgent task. Investing the time to cultivate relationships with people can turn to in times of need will pay dividends. The next time you need a last-minute ride or just someone to listen, you won’t be on your own.

There are many condition-specific support groups and support groups for caregivers generally in person or online. In addition to the encouragement and empathy they provide, support groups can be a helpful source of tips, resources, and recommendations for navigating caregiving.


Stay organized.

The backbone of effective caregiving is organization. Keep medical information, appointment schedules, and medication lists in order. Use a planner or a digital service like PicnicHealth to stay on top of your responsibilities. This attention to detail can prevent future complications and reduce day-to-day stress.


Explore treatments and clinical trials.

We’ve seen incredible breakthroughs in treatment over the past couple of years, powered by patients and their caregivers participating in research. Stay in the loop about the latest in medical advancements and available resources that could benefit your loved one. Whether it’s a new therapy option or a community service that aids independence, being informed can make a world of difference in the quality of care you provide.


Make time for self-care.

It may seem self-centered to focus on self-care—but when you feel good, you can be a better caregiver. Whether it’s exercise, a mindfulness practice, a soak in the bath, or just time to rest when you need it, carve out those moments in the day when you can unwind, reset, and stay healthy mentally and physically. Think of it as building up your reserves of kindness, patience, and understanding—which can only benefit your loved one. No one can pour from an empty cup.

Having trouble managing your loved one's medical records?

Easily manage all of your loved one's medical records and contribute to ongoing Alzheimer's research with PicnicHealth.

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LC-FAOD Odyssey: A Preliminary Analysis, presented at INFORM 2021

Data from real-world medical records:

(from 13 patients with LC-FAOD)

16 yrs old

Median age at enrollment

38% Female

15 providers / patient

7.5 years of data / patient

Data from patient-reported outcome (PRO) survey

(from 13 patients with LC-FAOD)

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However, it's important to consult with a healthcare provider or registered dietitian to determine the appropriate amount of protein for your individual needs. In general, a diet with moderate protein intake (about 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight per day) is recommended for people with kidney diseases.

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