The Difference Between Home Care and Home Health Care


Home care or home health care? This is a question we get asked frequently.

There are quite a few differences between home care and home health care. Here we explain some of those difference so that you may determine what might be best for your loved one. And remember, oftentimes a combination of home care and home health services might be necessary and can go a long way to help improve What is the difference between home care and home health care? FirstLight Home Careone’s quality of life.

Home care keeps individuals safe and comfortable in the place they call home.

When an adult needs assistance with the activities of daily living, or they simply need an extra helping hand around the house, home care can help. An in-home caregiver can provide a variety of non-medical companion care or personal care services to seniors who are aging in place, those living with dementia adults with disabilities and those recovering from illness.

A home care provider supports individuals who need care and assistance performing daily activities such as bathing and hygiene, transportation, light housekeeping and laundry, meal preparation, medication reminders, and more.

Caregivers help with the day-to-day care of elderly individuals who need additional support to keep their independence, but they also provide care for the everyday needs of adults living with a disability or those recovering or rehabilitating following an illness, injury, or surgery.

Home care does not require a prescription from a doctor. The services can be provided by a family member or a professional caregiver, from a few hours a day up to 24 hours a day.

Hiring a professional caregiver can offer peace of mind to family members, especially those who work full- or part-time jobs while raising their own families, as well as those providing long-distance care.

Home care is often paid for out of pocket (private pay) but can also be covered through long-term care insurance and, in some cases, veteran benefits. And now non-skilled in-home care services will be allowed as a supplemental benefit for Medicare Advantage (MA) plans in 2019.

Home health care provides skilled medical care inside the home.

Home health care may be required when clinical healthcare services are needed as part of a doctor’s treatment plan. With home health care, an individual may need therapy, wound care or monitoring of vitals. This type of care is often provided after a person has had an inpatient stay or outpatient surgery.

Home health care services are skilled services prescribed by a doctor. Providers can administer intravenous medications, treat wounds, help manage diabetes through glucose monitoring and insulin administration, provide occupational and physical therapy, and more.

These services are often temporary until the patient can get back to normal function and typical daily activities once they have recovered.

Home health may be covered by Medicaid, Medicare or private health insurance.

If you have questions or would like to learn more about how home care can help you or a family member transition back to independence, we can help. Contact FirstLight Home Care today.

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For other similar reading, check out these posts:

Finding the Right In-Home Caregiver

Home Care May Assist in Caring for Older Veterans

Home Care: Enhancing the Lives of People with Developmental Disabilities

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