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Home Health and Home-based Services

Many people living with a disability face difficulties traveling long distances to receive healthcare in a clinical setting, which can pose particular challenges in rural areas. Home healthcare services are one way to bypass the barrier of receiving healthcare and similar services without having to travel. Home healthcare encompasses a range of services that are provided in the home to meet a variety of healthcare needs in both short-term and long-term situations.

Home health is made up of a variety of medical and social services that are provided in an individual's home. This model is especially important to individuals with disabilities who have advocated for receiving care in the community, rather than in institutional settings. For many individuals with disabilities, home health care includes assistance from a personal care attendant; it may also include a range of other services, which require care coordination to organize. The following section highlights care coordination models for rural residents with disabilities.

In addition to personal care assistants, types of caregivers that can provide home care to people with disabilities include:

  • Nurse practitioners
  • Registered nurses/public health nurses
  • Physical therapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Speech-language therapists
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Social workers
  • Community health workers
  • Care coordinators
  • Family members

Program Clearinghouse Examples

Resources to Learn More

Caregiver Self-Assessment Worksheet
This worksheet can be used by a range of different types of caregivers to assess their needs and the amount of support they are able to offer their clients/patients/family members.
Organization(s): Department of Veterans Affairs
Date: 3/2014

Direct Care Worker Training for Aging Clients with Developmental Disabilities
This provides an overview of how Pennsylvania Direct Care Workers were trained to meet needs of older rural residents with developmental disabilities.
Author(s): Mabry, J.B., Kemeny, M.E., & Chateau, A.
Date: 7/2010

Farm Assessment and Rehabilitation Methods (FARM) Program
The FARM program delivers rural rehabilitation specialists to farmers to help them continue to operate and work on their farm operations despite disabling injuries and illnesses.
Organization(s): Rural Health Information Hub

Quality of Care Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waivers
The Medicaid-funded home and community-based services (HCBS) program works to provide a variety of services to Medicaid beneficiaries within their own home or community. These programs serve a targeted population groups, such as people with mental illnesses, intellectual or developmental disabilities, and/or physical disabilities and programs vary by state
Organization(s): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Medicaid

Rural Caregivers Website
Resources for caregivers in rural settings, including online support groups, links to disability-related organizations, financial information, state and region-specific caregiver information, and other educational materials.
Organization(s): Purdue University and Indiana State Office of Rural Health