Open Accessibility Menu

Defining Home Care

What is Home Care?

Defining Non-medical Home Care Services

When a person needs care in the home on a short- or long-term basis, and it cannot easily or effectively be provided solely by family and friends, they often need the services of a non-medical home care company. Also known as private duty care or custodial care, non-medical home care encompasses a full spectrum of personal care, homemaking and companionship services that are provided to an elderly or disabled person wherever they call home.

Griswold Home Care’s professional caregivers assist withActivities of Daily Living such as eating,bathing, personal hygiene, dressing and toileting; as well as Instrumental Activities of Daily Living such as meal preparation, light housecleaning, laundry and running errands. Our talented team of caregivers are certified and/or licensed as a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA), Home Health Aide (HHA) or Personal Care Assistant (PCA).

In addition to assistance with daily activities, caregivers also provide companionship and mental stimulation by engaging their clients in conversation and other interests. As an additional set of “eyes and ears” for families, they help to ensure their client’s safety by recognizing and alerting family members to potential signs of declining health and dangerous falls.

This list of services might help you decide if non-medical home care is what’s needed by you or your loved one:

Personal Care

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Toileting
  • Oral care
  • Hair and nail care
  • Grooming/personal hygiene
  • Changing adult briefs
  • Repositioning if bed-bound
  • Transfer assistance
  • Fall prevention


  • Light housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Bedmaking/linen changes
  • Grocery shopping
  • Meal planning/preparation


  • Mental stimulation
  • Socialization
  • Exercise
  • Prompting and reminders
  • Safety oversight
  • Transportation/accompaniment to events, appointments and errands

Is Home Care the same as Home Health?

‘Home Care’ and ‘Home Health’ sound similar and are often used interchangeably. Both have a primary goal of helping people stay as independent as possible at home but there are some important differences.

Home Health refers to clinical or skilled care provided at home to treat a chronic health condition or to help with recovery from illness, injury or surgery. Care is provided by trained clinicians such as physicians, nurses, and physical and occupational therapists. Home Health visits usually last 1-2 hours and occur 1-3 times per week over a 60-day period.

Home Care helps with the daily activities that allow people to stay safe and independent at home to include bathing, dressing, grooming, cooking, cleaning and transportation. Like Home Health, Home Care is often used by older adults who have one or more chronic illnesses, a disability or are recovering from surgery but Home Care does not include the skilled nursing care and therapy provided by Home Health.

The services also differ when it comes to Eligibility and Payment. Home Care, typically not covered by health insurance, is paid for out of pocket and therefore has no eligibility requirements. In some cases, Medicaid or long-term care insurance will cover the cost of Home Care. Home Health is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance plans but requires a doctor’s order and certification that the individual is homebound.

To add a bit of confusion to the mix,

Although primarily medical in nature, Home Health does include assistance with bathing, grooming and dressing (tasks that are also provided by Home Care). The difference lies in the frequency and length of time: Home Health will help with these tasks intermittently for a defined period until the individual can safely do them on their own or arrange for a Home Care aide to assist.

Powerful Partnership

Despite the differences between Home Care and Home Health, together they can make for a powerful team. Someone recovering from a major health event may need support with daily activities (Home Care) as well as specialized therapy or nursing-level services (Home Health) to continue their recovery.

Caregivers with Griswold Home Care ensure that their client gets the most out of their Home Health services by:

  • Reinforcing the exercise regimen established by the physical therapist
  • Practicing self-care skills under the direction of an occupational therapist
  • Providing safety and supervision for their client as they work toward their highest possible level of independence
  • Providing escort and transportation to follow up doctor appointments
  • Facilitating medication compliance by providing medication reminders
  • Maintaining ongoing communication between the Griswold Nursing Director and Home Health staff

Still unsure whether Home Care is the right choice for you? You’re in good company! Every day we talk with people who want a better understanding of how it works, and if it’s the “right” option for them. We are great listeners and happy to help you determine what services are most appropriate for you.

Your Story
is Our Story

Read More
  • “I just wanted to thank the both of you for the outstanding support you have provided us in very difficult situations! You provided care and comfort in a very trying time. Heather, you have gone above and beyond and I am so thankful!”
    - Ms. L.
  • “Griswold Home Care is very dependable, on top of things, and they’re concerned about my husband as well as myself. They send good caregivers and we feel like we are friends with the caregivers. They’ve very concerned about me as well and encourage me to go about my daily activities.”
    - Ms. E.
  • “Griswold Home Care NoVA West is dependable, knowledgeable, and very helpful in many different ways. We have been impressed with everybody, especially the owner and the nurse. They try to do what is best for our family.”
    - Ms. L.
  • “Griswold Home Care did a great job with Lisa, and they were professional and provided back-up when needed. They never left me hanging without a caregiver. The office staff called me regularly, worked out payments, and it worked well. Having them here allowed me to go back to work.”
    - Mr. D.
  • “I would recommend Griswold Home Care NoVA West to anyone because I have been very satisfied. My caregiver is like a member of the family. She is a good match for me because she is a very kind person and knows what I want before I have to say it.”
    - Ms. B.
  • “Griswold Home Care NoVA West made my life easier by having a caregiver to help me get out and go where I needed to go. Being in my apartment was like a prison without their services because I wasn’t able to go anywhere alone. The caregiver that Griswold provided had such a good connection with me. It was like we were meant to meet. She was fantasti ...”
    - Ms. F.

About Jean Griswold

Our founder, Jean Griswold, was a care professional who became a visionary entrepreneur when she started the first non-medical home care franchise in the United States while running her own home care business.

Jean started at her dining room table in 1982 in suburban Philadelphia. Her husband, Minister and Doctor Lincoln Griswold, informed her that an elderly woman in their parish had died through the complications associated with malnutrition and dehydration because she had no support system to care for her. Jean was deeply saddened by what she felt was an easily preventable tragedy. She was driven to act.

Jean Griswold was an extraordinary leader. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1967 at the age of 36 but continued to work actively in her office until she was 79. She published a book, “Fears of the Elderly” in 2013.

Jean was born in New York City. She received a bachelor’s degree in economics and business from Douglass College and a master’s degree in personnel and guidance from Rutgers University. She received an honorary doctorate from Holy Family University in 2006. From 2003 to 2004 she was Entrepreneur in Residence at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She won numerous awards, including the Spirit of Philadelphia Award, the Working Woman’s 2001 Entrepreneur of the Year honor, and the 2002 MS National Achievement Award of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Jean passed away on January 28th, 2017 at the age of 86. She was an inspirational woman and entrepreneur, and despite her passing, her values live on in Griswold Home Care today.

Find a caregiver

Let Us Lend You A Hand

Contact us today and a Griswold Home Care representative will reach out shortly.

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • This isn't a valid email address.
    Please enter your email address.
  • This isn't a valid phone number.
    Please enter your phone number.
  • Please enter your zip code.
    Please select an option.
    • Please verify that you understand.
*Required Fields