Reference.com states that formal care is care that is given to a person in his own home by those in a medical profession. "Formal care" is often considered to be a synonym of "home care."
Reference.com also states that the purpose of formal or home care is to allow a person to stay at home rather than receive any sort of care based in a public area. Common health services include physical/mental analysis, physical care and education with regard to medication. Other services include providing food, medical reminders, transportation and companionship. These services can also be given informally, meaning that they are not provided by licensed professionals and are given by family or friends instead. Specific occupations in formal care include nurses, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, occupational therapists, social workers and mental health workers. Health care given at home is usually paid for by health insurance, public programs or the patient's own funds.