Home Care vs Home Health Care: What's the Difference?

 terms home care and home health appear to be the same, however, they provide completely different services. It is vital to know when and how to use home care vs. home health care. 

Home care provides nonclinical assistance such as companionship and meal preparation, while home health offers professional medical help. Moreover, home health provides insurance and is covered by Medicare; home care is not (Samuels et al.,2021).

What is Non-Medical Home Care?

Home care offers help and compassion for elders who need assistance with their daily activities. The level of care can vary depending on the need of the patient. Home care assistants, also known as caregivers, are trained to understand the variation of care in elderly individuals. Caregivers are generally not licensed to give medical support. 

Home care services include:

  • transportation to and from medical appointments and daily living activities
  • assistance with ADLs (activities of daily living) from using the restroom to bathing
  • companionship for individuals who feel isolated at home 
  • assistance with cleaning, cooking, and other household activities

It is important to differentiate between medical home health and non-medical home care. The terms private duty care or personal health care both refer to nonmedical home care. Medical home health essentially goes by the name: home health. Both can be crucial to rehabilitation and continuing quality of a patient's life. 

What is Home Health?

Home health care or simply home health consists of a group of medical professionals such as physical therapists, occupation therapists, and licensed or registered practical nurses that can all assist with the medical needs of the patient. The suggestion of home health is given and supervised by physician as a part of a home health regimen following injury or hospitalization. 

Home health services includes:

  • Administration of prescription shots or medications
  • Occupational and physical therapy
  • Medical tests
  • Wound care
  • Observation of health status

Benefits of Home Health

Home health is beneficial to the following: 

  • Loved ones who require monitoring after a recent change in medications
  • Elderly individuals who were recently discharged from a hospital stay, rehabilitation, or a skilled nursing facility.
  • Seniors whose poor health prevents them from transportation to and from the physician’s office
  • Individuals who experience a decline in functions could benefit from physical or occupational therapy to rehabilitate

What are the Conditions for Home Health?

Although home health provides an abundance of benefits for patients, only patients who meet certain criteria can obtain it. A doctor will prescribe home to patients who need skilled requirements such as nursing to check blood pressure, blood sugar, manage medications and provide wound care. In addition, the individual must be bedridden. This means that leaving the home takes some effort, cue for assistance (HCAC, 2021).

Home Care vs Home Health 

  • Home care can be acquired without the approval of a physician 
  • Home health must be approved by a supervising provider
  • Home care is nonmedical, home health is medical 
  • Home care is not covered by insurance, home health may be covered by your insurance 

Despite home health and home care sounding very similar, they are not. It is critical to learn the role of each system to properly differentiate them from each other. While one provides nonmedical assistance and companionship to help the patient with their daily living, home care, the other provides professional medical support to nurse the patient back to health, home health. Nonetheless, home care vs home health care both work towards meeting and helping the patients needs. 

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Samuels, C. (2021). Home Health vs. Home Care: What’s the Difference? | A Place for Mom. Retrieved 24 June 2021, from https://www.aplaceformom.com/planning-and-advice/articles/home-health-vs-home-care

Home Care vs. Home Health Care & What Caregivers Do. (2021). Retrieved 24 June 2021, from https://homecareassistance.com/blog/home-care-vs-home-health-care