Types of assistance
Several different types of personal assistance are available. Each type requires different types of training and qualifications, and each is able to offer different services. A good deal of overlap occurs between these levels of care, so you should always ask about the specific types of services you need.
Home Care Assistants: No training, license, or certification is required for HCAs. They cannot provide medical care. Typically, HCAs will offer help with shopping, cleaning, and errands. Some HCAs might also offer help with transportation, getting into or out of the bath or shower, dressing, and other less intimate personal care tasks. HCAs are sometimes referred to as homemakers or home care workers.
Home Health Aides: HHAs must be trained and certified by the Commonwealth. In addition to shopping, cleaning, and errands, HHAs also generally offer personal care such as bathing and dressing; feeding and toileting; checking and changing simple dressings; and checking vital signs such as blood pressure and temperature. Some HHAs also offer transportation. HHAs are sometimes referred to as personal care aides (PCAs).
Certified Nursing Assistants: CNAs are the most highly trained of the 3 levels. They can provide intimate personal care, measure vital signs, make beds (even if the person is completely bedbound), prepare and serve meals, set up medical equipment (such as oxygen machines), and observe and report changes in a patient's condition. CNAs usually work under the supervision of a nurse or physician and are required in the home only for people who are very ill. CNAs may also provide transportation, although they are an expensive option for this service.
Some local agencies
Costs for home care services vary greatly based on how often they come, how long they stay when they come, and what services they provide. Most private pay home care agencies have a minimum number of hours for which you must contract in order to use their services. Please be sure to ask in advance about any minimum hour requirements. Some agencies also accept long term care insurance. Remember to ask in advance about this and to check current rates with each agency.
Brookline residents: please also see Brookline Council on Aging's HELP, which offers low-cost assistance, including medical escorts and transportation.
- Additional Care Private Care, (781) 396-2633
- Altranis Home Care LLC, (978) 640-0066
- Always Best Care Senior Services, (617) 489-9000
- Always Here Home Care, (877) 933-8884 or (617) 933-8884
- Bayada Home Health Care, (617) 332-7600
- Care Solutions, (508) 366-1766
- Comforcare Senior Services, (781)255-6910
- Comfort Keepers, (781) 721-5522
- Conlin Health Care Inc., (781) 329-3400
- Elder Achievers, (617) 983-0044
- Ezra Home Care, (617) 527-9000
- Home Care Assistance, (866) 454-8346
- Home Instead Senior Care, (617) 229-7962 or (866) 969-0200
- Home Staff Inc., (508) 658-7714
- Houseworks, (617) 928-1010
- Partners Health Care at Home, (800) 698-2628
- Senior Homecare Solutions, (617) 431-1165
- Seniors Helping Seniors, (617) 877-3163
- Springwell (Area Agency on Aging), (617) 926-4100