Home Care vs Home Health Care: What’s the Difference?
Getting the Help Your Loved One Deserves
When the time comes that mom, dad, or your beloved loved one can no longer fully care for themselves, a discussion should be had between all parties involved. Determining the best care option may not be an easy discussion, but it is one that should happen often. Understanding Home Care vs Home Health Care in that they both provide compassionate, personalized services tailored to your requirements, you can better decide which service is better suited for your loved one. We know you may have a lot of questions about elderly home care, and our team of dedicated professionals is here to offer answers and suggestions for any concerns you have.
Home Care Assistance: Help at Home
While your elderly loved one may struggle with admitting they need help at home or professional home care assistance, it’s important they get the help they need and deserve. You may notice that they are struggling with their grooming and household chores or just need a friendly face to talk to during the day.
The idea of moving them to a nursing home or an assisted living facility may stress them and you at the same time. Many seniors want to remain at home, and home care services can help them age in place in the comforts of their own homes, and give you peace of mind that they’re receiving personalized assistance.
Which Care Option is Best?
Hiring a home caregiver to come in daily to help with activities of daily living (ADLs), prepare meals and tidy up? Consider an assisted living to help with socialization and staying active? While there are many factors to consider, the best thing you can do is find out your loved one’s preference while keeping in mind the safest and affordable option.
Hiring a home care private duty caregiver to come in and help daily is a great option to help with ADL’s and other needs such as meals, cleaning, and laundry services.
However, when someone thinks about home care, they assume home care and home health care are the same, but that is not the case. This can be confusing for families searching for the right type of care – and the right care providers – for their loved ones.
While there are some similarities, the Number 1 question we get is,
What is the Difference Between Home Care Vs Home Health Care?
Let’s start with a Home Health Care Agency. This is the skilled side, meaning there is a skill that must be taught by an RN or certified therapist. This service must be written by a doctor’s order and is typically covered by Medicare insurance.
Home Health includes the following services:
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Administration of prescription medications or shots
- Medical tests
- Monitoring of health status
- Wound care
Who can benefit from home health care?
Home health care may not be necessary for seniors aging in place that do not have a significant medical concern. It really benefits elderly adults who require assistance with recent injuries such as a fall, who are prone to falls, or who have been diagnosed with a chronic condition, like diabetes. Most often, it benefits:
- Seniors recently discharged from rehabilitation, a hospital stay, or a skilled nursing facility (Home health therapists can come to where the senior is residing upon discharge if additional therapy is recommended after their recent medical stay.)
- Elderly people who need monitoring after a recent medication change
- Seniors experiencing an overall decline in function or mobility who could benefit from occupational or physical therapy to regain independence
What is home care (aka private duty)?
Meanwhile, a Home Care Agency is geared more toward home care services, often known as private duty home care services. This typically includes light cooking, housekeeping, and help with activities of daily living (ADL’s) such as bathing, dressing, toileting, and medication management. These services are not covered by insurance and are paid privately. Similar to assisted living, there are some programs to help cover the cost such as Veteran benefits.
Some care services for the elderly Home Care provides include:
- Meal Preparation/Diet Monitoring
- Light Housekeeping
- Grocery Shopping
- Medication Reminders
- Joyful Companionship
- Respite Care for Family Caregivers
- Care is Available Mornings, Mid-Day and Evenings
- Temporary or Long-Term Care is Available
- Weekends and Holiday Care is Available
- 24-Hour Care Available
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When Should You Consider Home Care vs Home Health Care?
From a skilled perspective, you or your loved one should consider Home Health Care if there is a clinical need such as a decline in health or worsening shape. As mentioned before, it requires a doctor’s order to receive home health services. There are plenty of home health care options in the Central Florida area and oftentimes, the doctor will recommend a few places. It should also be considered if there is a risk of falls. Physical therapy will help strengthen the muscles. Also, if your loved one needs help with managing their meds, a nurse can come in as well to make sure meds are being taken correctly.
Home Care or Private duty is less clinical. If there’s a need that does not require a doctor’s order like help throughout the day with bathing and dressing or help to tidy up and light cooking, home care would be a great option. This is paid privately, however, and as mentioned earlier, some programs will help cover the cost, but insurance is not accepted. However, a Long-Term Care insurance policy is accepted. In comparison to Home Health care, Home Care can be present in the home 24/7 as you pay private, so essentially you can dictate how much care or time you want a caregiver in the home.
Are there any Limitations?
There are a few limitations to both Home Care and Home Health Care that you should be aware of.
Usually, for Home Health Care, if Medicare is covering, your loved one must be homebound, meaning they cannot leave the home easily. If they are able to leave and get therapy outside the home, Medicare will not cover it. A Nurse from the home health care company will do a care plan based on individual needs and will dictate how often they need to come into the home. Typically, therapy will come to the home 2-3 times a week and stay about an hour each visit.
There are some limitations to Home Care similar to Home Health Care as well. Home Care is not able to do certain things an RN can do such as administer meds and wound care. Also, typically, there is a minimum number of hours you must agree to before they are able to provide services. Usually, it starts around 12 hours or a week, but this could be more or less. Since insurance does not cover the cost, the average hourly cost for services falls between 18-23/hr as well.
Can You Have Both Services Simultaneously?
The simple answer, yes. Both services can come in and assist you or your loved one. There is no conflict, one is private pay and one is covered by insurance but as mentioned, there will be some limitations.
They also can help plan for a smooth transition if your loved one is looking to move to an assisted living community. Even after you or your loved one moves to an assisted living, services can still take place and be beneficial post placement as well. No matter where you or your loved one is, home care and home health care can come to the residence.
North Star Senior Advisors, the leading senior placement company can direct you to several agencies to assist with these services. In the event your loved one needs 24/7 oversight and private duty Home Care or Home Health Care may no longer be an option, an assisted living community could be a wonderful alternative that provides similar care plus lively activities, three chef-inspired meals a day and more! If you are interested in learning more about communities near you, contact a trusted Senior Advisor at North Star Senior Advisors by calling 407-796-1582 or visit www.northstarsa.com.
Established in 2014, North Star Senior Advisors Mission is to offer FREE support and guidance through your transition into senior living. We’ll explain the process, provide an overview of senior living communities and accompany you on tours to ensure that you find that perfect new home in Lake, Seminole, Orange, Osceola, and Volusia Counties! We never charge a fee to families! We are paid by the assisted living or memory care community that you choose!
Assisted Living communities in Florida and memory care communities in Orlando are numerous, and the task of finding your loved one the ideal new home environment can be stressful. Our complimentary and personalized service eliminates the stress of searching for multiple communities on your own. An experienced senior advisor will locate the right home for your loved one.