What’s The Difference Between “Home Health Care” and “Home Care”?

Learn more about the differences between home health care and home care to make informed decisions for your loved ones.

As our community ages, an increasing number of loved ones wish to remain in their own homes, rather than moving to nursing homes or assisted living communities. However, accomplishing this requires an understanding of the support and services necessary to preserve independence and well-being. Home health care and home care are two integral forms of support in remaining in your home environment.  Although both are essential for supporting seniors, they vary greatly in their scope and delivery methods. 

These two types of care provide different services to meet the unique needs of aging individuals, and knowing the difference can help your family make an informed decision about your loved ones’ care. In this blog, we’ll help break down these differences.

Home Health Care

Home health involves medical services recommended by a healthcare provider. These services are usually needed following a hospitalization, surgery, or for the ongoing management of chronic conditions. What sets home health care apart is its medical focus.  Home health services are available for a short duration, typically a maximum of 60 days.

Services can include: 

  • Nursing
  • Physical therapy 
  • Speech therapy 
  • Occupational therapy 
  • Wound care 
  • Patient education 

This kind of service can be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and some private insurance plans for eligible patients. The primary goal of home health care is to provide intermittent medical needs and promote your independence.

Home Care

Home care is a non-clinical form of support which compliments home health care services. Home care focuses on personal assistance and adherence to care plans while providing companionship. Home care services can last indefinitely. 

Research indicates that professional home care enhances outcomes and reduces avoidable medical incidents such as falls, hospitalizations, or readmissions.

Key services can include:

  • Bathing
  • Grooming
  • House cleaning
  • Transportation
  • Meal preparation
  • Medication reminders.

This kind of care is often paid out of pocket, with potential coverage from Medicaid or long-term insurance. Home care provides non-clinical support tailored to your unique individual needs.

What do Home Care and Home Health Care Have in Common?

Both types of care offer comfortable and safe care at home, an appealing distinction for many who wish to maintain their independence. Home Care and Home Health Care both provide support for improving well-being through assistance with daily tasks at a lower cost than facility care.

Differences Between Home Care and Home Health Care

Key distinctions include:

  • Type of care provided: Clinical (home health care) vs. non-clinical (home care).
  • Eligibility requirements: Doctor’s order and specific criteria (home health care) vs. no eligibility requirements (home care).
  • Payment: Covered by insurance (home health care) vs. typically paid out of pocket (home care).
  • Care team composition: Skilled professionals (home health care) vs. family members and professional caregivers (home care).
  • Length and frequency of care: Determined by doctor’s orders (home health care) vs. based on budget and needs (home care).

How Home Care and Home Health Compliment Each Other

While home health care addresses specific medical needs and promotes recovery, home care provides essential daily support and companionship. Together, they offer comprehensive care that enhances overall well-being and quality of life. For example:

  • Home health care professionals collaborate with home care aides to ensure patients receive both medical treatment and assistance with daily tasks.
  • Home care services support the transition from hospital to home by helping individuals adapt to their new environment and adhere to their care plans.

By working together, home health care and home care teams create a holistic approach to care that addresses both medical and non-medical needs.

Both home health care and home care play vital roles in supporting older adults’ safety and independence at home. 

It’s important to us to outline the differences and provide personalized care tailored to each individual need. By recognizing these distinct roles and benefits of each type of care, you can best determine the care plans that address all aspects of your loved ones’ well-being, ensuring they receive the support they need to age in place safely and comfortably.

Reach out to our team to receive a free consultation and personalized care plan to guide you in finding the right option for you or your loved ones.

Call 919.426.7522 or email us at jen@goldenharmonync.com.