Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Home Care and Support Services Definition


Individuals who receive Home Care and Support Services obtain a maximum level of independence, functioning, and health, and extend the time it is possible to live safely at home and in the community.


Home Care and Support Services provide individuals with assistance and care so they can live safely at home independently or with caregivers. Individuals may need and choose from an array of care provider services and support that can include:
  1. personal care aide services such as supervised, basic activities of daily living; monitoring of self-administered medication; assistance with activities and care needs required to live at home safely; routine exercise, safe lifting, and healthy movement routines to maintain ambulation; and education and interventions to prevent falls, injuries, health decline and to maintain independent functioning; and
  2. homemaker services such as housekeeping, meal preparation and food safety, transportation, grocery shopping, monitoring of self-conducted household management tasks, monitoring of self-administered medications, and other instrumental activities of daily living.


Viewing: PA-HCS - Home Care and Support Services


Note: For the purposes of these standards, “caregiver” refers to friends, family, and other non-professional supports. “Care provider” refers to direct-care personnel providing in-home services.

Note: The Home Care standards are consistent with services known in the field as “professional-agency,” which include a prominent client-centered philosophy and worker training and support components, as compared to services with a self-directed orientation. The latter approach is being instituted in some states to place responsibility for obtaining services and payment directly with clients and caregivers.

Note: Please see PA-HCS Reference List for the research that informed the development of these standards.

Note: For information about changes made in the 2020 Edition, please see the HCS Crosswalk.