Difference Between Home Care and Home Health Care

Although they’re oftentimes used interchangeably home care and home health care are not the same thing. The term home care describes services that address activities of daily living (ADLs), like personal hygiene, meals and transportation. On the other hand, home health care is more extensive, covered by Medicare, and usually ordered by a doctor after a nursing home or hospital stay. If you’re an aging in place senior, or are currently taking care of one, knowing the difference between home care and home health care is important.

Home Care

Blue Arrow Home Care

Depending upon the state you live in home care services are usually provided by certified nursing assistants (CNAs) or nurses’ aides. Although home care aides are well-trained on chronic illnesses and disabilities, they cannot typically perform medical-related services and most work under the direct supervision of a licensed nurse.

Blue Arrow Care services may include:

  • Bathing, dressing and grooming
  • Toileting and incontinence care
  • Basic nutrition assistance
  • Companionship
  • Transportation
  • Medication reminders
  • Light housework
  • Food shopping and meal preparation

When Might Home Care Be Needed?

Otherwise independent elderly adults who are starting to slow down due to poor mobility, a chronic illness or disability might benefit from home care services when they:

  • Can’t provide their own transportation
  • Need help with personal care
  • Are feeling lonely or socially isolated
  • Can no longer safely perform activities like cooking, cleaning or bathing
  • Have dementia or other memory loss issues

Home Health Care

Home health care is clinical, medical supervision that’s provided by a licensed healthcare professional like a nurse, social worker, physical therapist or occupational therapist. Those “skilled care” services are usually ordered by a doctor and then delivered through home health
or hospice care agencies.

Common types of home health care services include:

  • Administering prescription medications, nutrition therapy or injections
  • Wound care and dressing changes
  • Patient education
  • Monitoring a patient’s health status
  • Medical testing
  • Physical, occupational or speech therapy

When Might Home Health Care Be Ordered?

A physician might order home health care as part of an overall health and wellness care strategy following a surgery, hospital stay, serious illness or injury.

A patient who still lives at home could receive home health care if they:

  • Were recently discharged from a hospital, rehab center or skilled nursing facility
  • Are in poor health that prevents them from safely getting to appointments
  • Need to be monitored after a recent medication change
  • Are experiencing an overall decline in function when therapy might help them regain their independence

Does Insurance Cover In-Home Care?

Because home health care services are deemed to be medically necessary, they are covered by most medical insurance providers- including Medicare. Conversely, home care services- although they are important for maintaining one’s independence- are classified as being elective and therefore typically not covered by medical insurance.

If your loved one has a separate long-term care (LTC) insurance policy, it may provide at least some coverage towards home care services. Medicaid will cover both types of in-home care for income-qualified individuals, although that coverage varies by state.

Using a Combined Caregiving Approach

There are instances when families combine both home care and home health care for their loved one, for example after they’ve been discharged from the hospital. This blended caregiving approach allows home healthcare professionals to address essential medical care at the same time home care aides are assisting with ADLs so that all the elder’s daily caregiving needs are being met.

Your Reliable Blue Arrow Home Care Source in Kingston

Although caring for an independent senior is a labor of love, it can also be hard when you have your own household to manage or live far away. When you need an extended family in your loved one’s home contact Blue Arrow Homecare. As a fully licensed and insured home care agency our full menu of “cream-of-the-crop” in-home services includes personal care, respite care, dementia care, household duties and companionship care.

The focus of our carefully screened and highly trained professionals is lifting the spirits of the elders and family caregivers we serve by offering them exceptional care combined with flexible scheduling options and 24/7 availability. To learn more now about Blue Arrow Care Prefer Homecare, or to schedule a FREE consultation for a senior in Cobham  or Richmond RoadKingston upon Thames , please visit us at: www.bluearrowcare.co.uk

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