Services Covered by IHSS

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  1. Review your IHSS Provider Notification which lists the services that are authorized for your consumer by the IHSS program. Ask your consumer/employer how many hours you are authorized to work each month. If they are unable to tell you, contact the county and ask about the services and hours authorized.
  2. Once you find out about the services and hours authorized, look at the list below to determine which tasks are included.

Remember, most consumers will not have all of these services authorized, and you can only be paid for the services and tasks that are authorized to your recipient. Also keep in mind the amount of time authorized for each service.

Accompaniment to Alternative Resources

Helping the consumer get to and from alternative resources the IHSS recipient receives services instead of IHSS.

Accompaniment Appointments to Medical

Helping the consumer get to and from the doctor, dentist, or other health related appointments. Wait-time is included if the consumer needs assistance with specific IHSS tasks during transportation and/or to and from the destination. Wait-time is also included when the recipient is able to drive himself/herself to appointments but needs assistance at the destination. Wait time (or “Wait Time-On Duty”) is only authorized when the provider is not performing work duties but unable to use time effectively for his/her own purposes. Generally, “Wait Time-On Duty” is unpredictable and short duration. “Wait Time-On Duty” is compensable. Wait time (or “Wait Time-Off Duty”) is not authorized when the provider is completely relieved from work duties and has enough time to use effectively for his/her purposes such as take a meal break, run a personal errand or read a book. The provider must be informed in advance and will not have to resume work until a specified time. “Wait Time-Off Duty” is not compensable.


Assisting the consumer with walking or moving from place to place inside the home, including: to and from the bathroom; climbing or descending stairs; moving and retrieving assistive devices such as a cane, walker, or wheelchair, etc.; and washing/drying hands before and after performing these tasks. Ambulation also includes assistance to and from the front door to the car, including (getting in and out of the car) for medical accompaniment and/or alternative resource travel.

Bathing, Oral Grooming Hygiene/

Helping the consumer take a bath or shower; bringing a washcloth, soap, and towel to the consumer and putting them away; turning on and off faucets and adjusting water temperature; assisting the consumer with getting in and out of the tub or shower; washing, rinsing, and drying the parts of the consumer’s body he/she can’t do; and applying lotion, powder, and deodorant. Brushing teeth, rinsing mouth, caring for dentures, and flossing. Hair combing/ brushing; hair trimming when the consumer cannot get to the barber/salon; shampooing, applying conditioner, and drying hair; shaving; and washing and drying your hands.

Bowel and/or Bladder Care

Assisting the consumer with getting on and off the toilet or commode; wiping and cleaning the consumer; helping the consumer with using, emptying, and cleaning bed pans/bedside commodes, urinals, ostomy, enema and/or catheter receptacles; application of diapers; positioning for diaper changes; managing clothing; changing disposable gloves; and washing/drying consumer’s and provider’s hands. This service does not include insertion of enemas, catheters, suppositories, digital stimulation as part of a bowel program for a person with paralysis, or colostomy irrigation. All of those tasks are part of “Paramedical Services.”

Care and Assistance with Prosthesis

Assistance with taking off or putting on, maintaining, or cleaning prosthetic devices such as an artificial limb and glasses/hearing aids as well as washing and drying hands before and after performing these tasks. This service area also includes assisting the consumer with self-administration of medication, i.e., reminding the consumer to take prescribed and/or over-the-counter medications at appropriate times and/or setting up the medications.

Domestic (Housework)

Limited to sweeping, vacuuming, and washing floors, kitchen counters, and sinks; cleaning the bathroom; storing food and supplies; taking out garbage; dusting and picking up; changing bed linen; cleaning oven and stovetop; cleaning and defrosting refrigerator; bringing in wood for cooking for those who only have wood stove; changing light bulbs; and wheelchair cleaning or recharging wheelchair batteries.


Washing/drying hands; helping the consumer put on and take off clothes, corsets, elastic stockings, and braces and/or fastening/ unfastening, buttoning/unbuttoning, zipping/unzipping, and tying/untying of garments and undergarments; changing soiled clothing; and bringing tools to the consumer to assist with independent dressing such as a sock aid.


Helping the consumer eat and drink liquids; assisting the consumer reach for, pick up, and grasp utensils and cups; and washing and drying your hands before and after feeding. This does not include tube feeding, which is part of “Paramedical Services.” It also does not include cutting food into bite-sized pieces or pureeing food, which is part of “Prepare Meals.”

Heavy Cleaning

Thorough cleaning of the home to remove hazardous debris or dirt. This is a one-time service that usually involves throwing away large amounts of clutter into a dumpster. It is rarely needed or approved. You will be expected to keep the home clean with Domestic services (if approved) after the heavy cleaning is done.

Meal Cleanup

Washing, rinsing, drying dishes, pots, pans, utensils, and appliances, and putting them away; loading and unloading the dishwasher; storing/putting away leftovers; wiping up spills from the table, counter, stove, and sink; and washing and drying your hands.

Menstrual Care

Limited to external application and changing of sanitary napkins and external cleaning; and wiping and drying hands before and after performing these tasks. You should not insert a tampon, even if that is the consumer’s preference. If the consumer wears a diaper, time for menstrual care should not be necessary as the time would be assessed as part of “Bowel and/or Bladder Care.”

Move In/Out of Bed (Transfer)

Helping the consumer from a standing, sitting, or lying down position to another position and/or from one piece of equipment or furniture to another. This includes transfer from a bed, chair, couch, wheelchair, walker, or assistive device generally occurring within the same room. This may include using a Hoyer lift or similar device or a transfer belt. This service does not include turning a consumer who is bedbound to prevent skin breakdown or pressure sores. That is part of “Rub Skin and Repositioning.”

Other Shopping and Errands

Picking up prescriptions and shopping for non-food items the consumer needs. This includes making a shopping list, traveling to/from the store, shopping, loading, unloading, storing supplies purchased, and performing reasonable errands such as delivering a delinquent payment to prevent a utility shutoff or picking up a prescription. This does not include time to pay monthly bills.

Paramedical Services

Paramedical services are skilled tasks that the consumer’s doctor or a nurse has taught you to do such as the administration of medications, puncturing the skin to give the consumer a shot, inserting a medical device into a body orifice such as tube feeding, inserting a catheter or irrigating a colostomy, activities requiring sterile procedures such as caring for an open bed sore, or activities requiring judgment based on training given by a licensed health care professional such as putting a person who has paralysis into a standing frame.

Prepare Meals

Planning meals; removing food from the refrigerator or pantry; washing/drying hands before meal preparation; washing, peeling, and slicing vegetables; opening packages, cans, and bags; measuring and mixing ingredients; lifting pots and pans; trimming meat; reheating food; cooking and safely operating the stove; setting the table; serving the meals; pureeing food; and cutting the food into bite-sized pieces. When the food is cooking and doesn’t need your attention, you are expected to be doing other services.

Protective Supervision

Observing the behavior of a consumer who is impaired or mentally ill in order to safeguard injury, hazard, or accident.

Removal of Ice and Snow

Removal of ice and snow from entrances and essential walkways when access to the home is hazardous.

Rub Skin and Repositioning

Rubbing of skin to promote circulation; turning in bed and other types of repositioning; and range of motion exercises. This does not include care of pressure sores if they have developed. That care would be part of “Paramedical Services.”

Respiration Assistance

Limited to non-medical services such as assistance with self-administration of oxygen, assistance with setting up machine, and cleaning IPPB and CPAP machines.

Routine Bed /Baths

Bringing soap, washcloth, and towel to the consumer; filling a basin with water and bringing it to the consumer; washing, rinsing, and drying body; applying lotion, powder, and deodorant; cleaning basin or other materials used for bed sponge baths and putting them away; and washing and drying your hands before and after bathing.

Routine Laundry

Washing and drying laundry, mending, ironing, folding, and storing clothes in closets, on shelves, or in drawers. You are expected to do other IHSS services while the clothes are in the washer and dryer.

Shopping for Food

Grocery shopping at the nearest grocery store. No additional time is allowed for the consumer to go to the store with you. Shopping for food includes making a grocery list, travel to/from the store, shopping, loading, unloading, and storing groceries.

Teaching and Demonstration

Teaching the consumer how to perform certain tasks when they could learn to become independent if taught. Teaching and Demonstration is only allowed for a short period of time.

Yard Hazard Abatement

Removal they are of grass, weeds, rubbish, or other hazardous items when they are a fire hazard. This is not gardening.

Contact Information

Adult and Aging Division
Human Services Department
Business Hours
Monday – Friday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
3725 Westwind Boulevard
First Floor
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.510185, -122.796579