A Look at Home Care vs. Home Health Care

As a caregiver, you want to do your best to make your family member happy, but you also need to ensure health, security, and safety.

Many senior citizens prefer to remain in their homes, even after they’ve been hospitalized for surgery, an injury, or illness.

Home health, home care, or a combination of both types of services may be the best possible solution. These added services ensure that your loved one can maintain some level of independence.

Before you decide on a type of care provider, you should review these two different types of services. While they share some similarities, home health and home care feature significant differences.

Keep reading to help make the right choice for your family.

What is Home Care?

If your family member enjoys being at home but needs a helping hand with daily tasks, home care may be the answer.

Home care benefits senior citizens, people with disabilities, and others who:

  •       Recently spent time in a hospital, rehabilitation center, or skilled nursing facility
  •       Struggle with chronic conditions
  •       Need time to recover from surgery, injury, or illness

Unlike home health care, however, home care focuses on day-to-day activities and lacks a medical or clinical component.

Home Care includes assistance with:

  •      Bathroom use
  •      Personal bathing, grooming, and dressing
  •      Bills and other vital paperwork
  •      Housekeeping and chores
  •      Preparing meals and snacks
  •      Mobility
  •      Transportation
  •      Companionship

The terms companion care, custodial care, or personal care mean the same thing as home care and include the same services.

The frequency and length of visits vary according to the patient’s needs. Professional caregivers may offer daytime, evening, overnight, or around-the-clock care.

Who Should Choose Home Care Services?

If you work full-time or don’t live nearby, your family member may benefit from our services.

A caregiver will provide a quality, non-clinical solution for adults who want to remain active and in their homes. This also offers additional benefits in the form of assistance with everyday tasks.

In-home care benefits seniors and other adults who need help with activities of daily living, sometimes called ADLs. These are day-to-day things like using the bathroom, taking a shower, getting dressed, and making meals. If your senior can remain safely in the house provided they get some help with these basic activities, then consider this type of service.

Companionship Services also offers a boost to seniors who may be feeling lonely and isolated. Having a caregiver with whom to share meals, basic household duties, and outings can make a huge difference in a senior’s mental and physical health.

If your family member remains healthy and active but needs transportation to physicians’ offices and other appointments, these services are available as well.

What is Home Health Care?

When older adults desire the comfort and independence of home but need clinical care to help with recovery from surgery, serious injury, illness, or a chronic medical condition, home health care may be a solution.

People often seek home health care following time spent in a hospital, rehabilitation center, or skilled nursing facility.

Home health care focuses on professional services, including:

  •      Physical therapy, speech therapy, and/or occupational therapy
  •      Medical testing
  •      Wound care
  •      Dispensing medication
  •      Administering injections
  •      Nursing care

In addition to skilled care, home health providers help educate both patients and loved ones who act as caregivers. They can also assist with medical social work needs like counseling, next treatment steps, and other health-related services.

Home health emphasizes clinical treatment, though aides may assist with some personal care like bathing, dressing, and grooming.

With home health, caregivers such as licensed practical nurses, therapists, and other professionals visit the patient for short-term medical care a few hours each week according to a doctor’s instructions.

Who Should Choose Home Health Care Services?

When we think about ideal candidates for home health care services, we tend to imagine senior citizens released from a more advanced level of professional treatment.

Home health care offers assistance for patients who can no longer perform daily tasks but may improve with at-home rehabilitation.

This level of in-home care also benefits individuals whose health makes transportation to a physician’s office a challenge, as well as those who need supervision following a change in prescription medication.

Home health care services are not just for senior citizens. If you have a loved one who needs aid following a health setback, a home health caregiver can help restore independence and confidence.

Can I Combine In-Home Care with Home Health Care Services?

Illustration of home care services depicting a nurse offering coffee or tea to a senior in a wheelchair

As you examine the differences between home health care and home care, you may be trying to decide which type of service will best provide the help your family needs.

You should know that you may choose to combine caregivers trained in both of these services if you think your senior will benefit from clinical and companion care.

Depending on your preference, you may choose one agency that staffs both medical and non-medical caregivers, or you may choose separate providers.

With home care and home health services, you have extra peace of mind. Holistic care management will cover a broader scope of your loved one’s medical, physical, and emotional needs.

A Look at Medicare, Medicaid, Long-Term Insurance, and Private Pay

Many individuals and families worry about the cost of providing services to remain in the home.

If your family member needs home health services, private insurance and Medicare will cover the costs if the service is prescribed by a physician. Medicaid may help foot the bill for eligible consumers, though income regulations for medical assistance vary from state to state.

Long-term care insurance may help pay for care if it’s part of your loved one’s coverage. Medicaid may offer some cost assistance. Most often, patients pay out of pocket or private pay for these services.  

Comparing Types of Care

Table comparing Home Care and Home Health Care Services

Both home care and home health care will offer your family member a level of comfort and independence at home they would not have otherwise. These workers are trained to adapt to each patient’s needs and may be the difference between staying at home and admittance to a hospital or long-term assisted living facility. You can even combine services.

Now that you know the differences between these types of care, you can choose the best possible option for your loved one.

To learn how Advance Choice Home Care can help with your caregiving needs, click here to contact us today.

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