Home Care vs. Home Health Care

By September 30, 2018Home Care

When considering all of your home care options for a loved one, it’s important to carefully understand their medical, functional, and emotional needs, as the types of home care required will vary. Take time to consider all of your options, which range from enlisting the help of a non-medical caregiver to hiring a credentialed medical professional who is supervised by a physician.

The two most common types of in-home services consist of home care and home health care. What is the difference?

Home care is non-medical care; home health care is provided by medical professionals. Both aim to help seniors live safely and independently in their own homes.

Home Care

Home care, or private duty home care, is non-medical care that focuses on helping seniors with the everyday activities that are required to lead a normal, independent life. Home care is generally not covered by insurance, and it does not require care to be provided by a credentialed professional. Home care services focus on assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs and IADLs). A non-medical home care agency such as LivHOME is the right place to turn for this type of support.

A non-medical, private duty caregiver can help your elderly loved one with the activities of daily living (ADLs), which are the six fundamental self-care activities required to lead a normal, independent life. The six ADLs are:

  • Eating
  • Bathing & Hygiene
  • Dressing
  • Grooming
  • Transferring & Mobility
  • Toileting & Continence

A caregiver who’s trained in home care can also help with the instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs). IADLs are not essential for survival; however, they are essential for older adults who want to live independently at home. The six IADLs are:

  • Communicating
  • Transportation
  • Shopping & Meal Preparation
  • Housework & Home Maintenance
  • Managing Medications
  • Managing Personal Finances

If your elderly loved one needs assistance with any of these essential self-care activities, it may be time to hire a home care agency.

Home Health Care

Medical home health care, offered to seniors in the comfort of their homes, can be just as effective—and far more convenient—than many services provided in a hospital or rehabilitation facility. Home health care is often prescribed as part of a care plan following a hospitalization, and it is provided by a registered nurse, occupational therapist, physical therapist, or other credentialed medical professionals.

Most health insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, will cover in-home nursing health care services, such as:

  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Skilled nursing care
  • Pain management
  • Wound care
  • Injections
  • Mobility training

In either case, as you consider the differences between home care and home health care, it’s important to find a professional whose qualifications are a good match for the level and type of care required your loved one needs. Skilled nurses, for instance, are licensed to provide medical care, but are likely to be less experienced at helping with day-to-day caregiver services such as household assistance, light housekeeping, and companion care.

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