Home health care vs. home care: Breaking it down
Home health care and home care are two separate ways to help aging relatives manage their health while providing them with a high-quality lifestyle. Home health care provides clinical services, whereas home care provides non-clinical help with daily living. Understanding the difference can help you land the best-fit caregiver and determine the optimal way to pay for those services.
The chart below offers a general overview of the two types of care.
|SERVICES OFFERED||HOME HEALTH CARE||HOME CARE|
|Performs medical tests||✓|
|Monitors health status||✓|
|Meal preparation and delivery||✓|
|Assistance with bathing, dressing and grooming||✓|
|Reminders to take medicine||✓||✓|
|IV therapy and injections||✓|
|Covered by Medicare||✓|
|Covered by Medicaid or Medicaid Waiver program||✓ *||✓ *|
|Private health insurance||✓|
|Long-term care insurance||✓ **|
* Details vary by state
** If specified in individual policy
Services provided under each type of care
Home health care can help with an individual’s medical care. Typically, a prescription from a doctor will be required to obtain these services, which are then administered by a health care professional, like a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse or a therapist. Home health care often includes the administration of medication, medical testing, caring for a wound or injury, help with recovery from an illness and different types of therapy, including physical, occupational and speech-language.
Home care focuses on providing the elderly with assistance in their daily activities. You might also see home care referred to as personal care, companion care, homemaker services, custodial care, unskilled or non-clinical care. Depending on the individual’s needs, a home care aide might assist with meal prep, laundry, light housework, bathing, dressing, eating, using the bathroom, transportation and mobility. They may also help alleviate loneliness by providing companionship.
It’s important to note that the fields can overlap. Oftentimes, a home health care company may also provide personal care for an individual if it’s part of their care plan.
When to use in-home care services
Because of the medical nature of its services, home health care is usually needed after someone has been hospitalized, is undergoing rehabilitation or is transitioning out of a nursing facility. It can also be used when there has been a change in medication that needs to be closely monitored. If you’ve noticed a considerable decline in health and functioning, home health care can also provide the necessary therapy to help a senior regain independence and work on skills needed for day-to-day care.
Alternatively, older adults who don’t require substantial medical attention may benefit from home care if they need help driving or with transportation, require assistance with grooming and cooking or simply need companionship because they live alone.
How much do they cost?
If prescribed by a physician, Medicare will pay for skilled services at home — such as therapy and nursing. Medicaid may also be an option for qualified individuals. Eligibility for Medicaid coverage varies greatly from state to state, but it’s usually dependent on income and medical need for care.
Both home health care and home care can be paid out of pocket by the individual (also known as private pay). For home care, paying out of pocket is common for families where Medicaid and long-term insurance cannot be applied.
The information in this article was taken from www.care.com. For more information on this article, please click here.