home help

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home help (plural home helps)

  1. A person employed, especially by a social services department, to perform household chores and provide aid to a patient or infirm person in the latter's own home; a carer.
    • 2003, Tempo Kröger; Anneli Anttonen; Jorma Sipilä, “2: Social Care in Finland: Stronger and Weaker Forms of Universalism”, in Anneli Anttonen; John Baldock; Jorma Sipilä, editors, The Young, the Old, and the State, page 32:
      The work of the assistant home helps was particularly focused on older people (Simonen, 1990).
    • 2006, Roger Sapsford, Survey Research[1], page 24:
      Home helps performed domestic and social care tasks (cleaning, for example, or helping clients shop or collect pensions).
  2. (uncountable) The aid provided by such people.
    • 1994, Christina R. Victor, Old Age in Modern Society: A Textbook of Social Gerontology, 2nd edition, page 219:
      The origins of the home help service can be traced back to the Sick Room Help Society based in the East End of London.
    • 2005, Wienke G. W. Boerma, Carl-Andy Dubois, 2: Mapping primary care across Europe, Richard Saltman, Ana Rico, Wienke G. W. Boerma, Primary care in the driver's seat?: Organizational reform in European primary care, page 33,
      In contrast to home nursing, home help services are not a part of health care but are considered as social services, except in Ireland, the Netherlands and to some degree in Germany.

Usage notes[edit]

In contrast to home help, a carer is often unpaid, and may be a close relative of the person cared for.


  • (person paid to do chores and provide aid in another's home): carer
  • (provision of the services of such people): home aid, home care