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, 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