Home care and home health are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. While they both involve providing care to individuals in their own homes, there are some important differences between the two. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at home care and home health and explore the key differences between them and how they work together to create holistic care for individuals who need both services.
What is Home Care?
Home care is a broad term that refers to a range of non-medical services provided in the home. These services are typically designed to help seniors and people with disabilities with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, grooming, and meal preparation. Home care may also include assistance with household chores, transportation to appointments and errands, and companionship.
Home care is usually provided by non-medical caregivers, such as home health aides or personal care attendants. These caregivers may be hired through a home care agency or directly by the individual or family.
What is Home Health?
Home health, on the other hand, refers to medical care provided in the home. This can include skilled nursing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other medical services. Home health care is typically prescribed by a doctor and is designed to help individuals who are recovering from an illness or injury, or who have a chronic condition that requires ongoing medical care.
Home health care is provided by licensed healthcare professionals, such as registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and physical therapists. These professionals work with the individual’s doctor to develop a personalized care plan and provide ongoing medical care in the home.
Key Differences Between Home Care and Home Health
Medical vs. Non-Medical Care
The key difference between home care and home health is that home health provides medical care, while home care provides non-medical care. Home care is focused on helping individuals with activities of daily living, while home health is focused on providing medical care to individuals with complex medical needs.
Professional vs. Non-Professional Caregivers
Another key difference between home care and home health is the type of caregivers who provide the services. Home care is typically provided by non-professional caregivers, such as home health aides or personal care attendants, while home health is provided by licensed healthcare professionals, such as nurses and physical therapists.
Doctor’s Orders vs. Personal Choice
Home health care is prescribed by a doctor and is often covered by insurance, while home care is usually paid for out of pocket, but long-term insurance policies, VA benefits, and Medicaid can cover services depending on coverage. Additionally, home health care is typically provided on a short-term basis, while home care can be provided on a short- or long-term basis, depending on the individual’s needs and preferences.
Which is Right for You?
Deciding whether home care or home health is right for you or a loved one depends on your individual needs and preferences. If you require medical care or rehabilitation services, then home health may be the best option. If you need help with daily tasks or companionship, then home care may be the best choice.
It’s important to note that in many cases, a combination of home care and home health may be the best option. For example, an individual recovering from an illness or injury may need skilled nursing care and physical therapy provided by a home health agency, as well as assistance with daily tasks provided by a home care agency. If you have questions, feel free to contact us! We’re happy to answer any questions and be your resource.
Home care and home health are two distinct types of care, each with its own unique benefits and services. Understanding the differences between the two can help you make an informed decision about the type of care that is right for you or your loved one.