For many senior adults, there is no place like home. As AARP reports, 90% of seniors prefer to stay in their own homes during their enjoyment stage. But when an aging loved one needs care, it can be challenging to figure out whether they need home care or home health care.
Understanding home health vs. home care can help you make the right decision for your loved one.
Home Health Vs. Home Care
Home Care Definition
Home care provides nonmedical assistance, such as meal preparation and companionship, to the elderly at their home.
Home Health Care Definition
Home health care also referred to as home health, offers professional medical assistance to seniors from the convenience of their homes.
What Does Home Health Care Do?
Home health care specializes in a wide range of health care services that can be delivered in your home for any illness or injury. While home health care can be less expensive, it is also just as effective as care at a hospital or nursing facility and it is more convenient.
Similarities between Home Care and Home Health Care
To understand the differences between home care and home health care, it is essential to know the similarities. Both home care and home health care offer:
Care in the comfort of your home
More affordable care than facility care or a hospital
Assistance to elderly adults to lead independent lives
Help with everyday tasks like taking a shower and grooming
Differences between Home Care and Home Health Care
Some main differences between home care and home health care are:
The services offered
Home health care services are centered on providing medical assistance. Home health aides help seniors with daily tasks such as bathing and grooming until they can carry out the tasks independently or get a caregiver who can assist them. The primary focus of home health care is nursing and therapy.
On the other hand, home care is not focused on providing medical assistance. Home care professionals make the lives of seniors easier by offering them help with daily tasks such as cleaning, grooming, and transportation.
The type of care offered
Home health care is provided by licensed therapists and nurses, while home care is offered by professional caregivers who do not need to have expert medical training.
Home health care needs a doctor's approval, and potential candidates for home health care must meet specific criteria. For example, their medical condition must limit their ability to leave their homes, thus requiring help. On the other hand, home care has no eligibility requirements since the services are often paid out of pocket.
The duration of care
Home health care will go on as long as the doctor approves and your loved one meets the eligibility criteria. On the flip side, home care can go on as long as you want, based on your budget and the needs of your loved one.
The frequency of care
According to an individual's needs and the doctors' orders, visits by home health care aides are often a few hours a week. Home care aides, on the contrary, can offer their services 24/7, depending on your budget and the needs of your loved one.
Who Can Benefit from Home Health Care?
Doctors may recommend Home health care for the following groups of people:
Seniors who have just been discharged from a hospital, a rehabilitation center, or a nursing facility
Loved ones whose delicate health conditions impair their ability to travel to and from their doctor's office
Seniors who are gradually losing their ability to function due to a medical condition or require physical therapy to restore function.
Who Can Benefit from Home Care?
The following groups of people can benefit from home care:
Seniors who need assistance with activities of daily living
Elderly individuals who are still active but need help running errands and going to doctors' appointments
Seniors who require companionship due to feelings of isolation
Combining Home Care and Home Health Care
Most families find that combining home care and home health care works best for their loved ones. Health aides routinely provide medical assistance, while care aides help with everyday living. This is a holistic approach that ensures that the emotional and medical needs of the elderly are met.
Talk with a Care Professional at Life Care at Home
When looking at home health versus home care, you should remember that your loved one can simultaneously receive both services. You don't have to settle for one or the other. Despite the differences between home care and home health care, both services are essential in helping your loved ones stay safe and independent in their own homes.