Home Health and Home Care are ambiguous terms. Let us explain the difference

While both Home Health and Home Care are services provided within the patient’s home, the two terms are distinct in the types of care provided. Unfortunately, many people don’t know this and use the terms interchangeably, causing confusion. We’d like to clear up these terms and provide the true definitions of each.

Home Health

Home Health is clinical medical care provided by a registered nurse, occupational therapist, physical therapist, or other skilled medical professionals. It is pre-scripted as part of a care plan, usually following a hospital stay.

Home Health can include:

  • Skilled nursing services
  • Various Therapies
  • Medical management, including injections
  • Medical tests
  • Monitoring health
  • Wound care
  • Many more

Home Health is generally incorporated into a care plan following an inpatient hospitalization, rehabilitation, or stay at a skilled nursing facility. It can also be used during medication changes to monitor side effect and to be sure the medication is working as intended.

In the case of a decline in function, Home Health can be used to regain independence through therapies or by learning new skills. It can also be used for degenerative illnesses as a way to maintain independence longer.

Home Care

Home Care is unskilled services provided by home care aides, who are trained in senior care. They can help older adults with daily life and companionship. Home Care is classified as personal care and is non-clinical.

Home Care services can include:

  • Help with everyday skills, anything from grooming, to cleaning, to meal preparation
  • With errands or transportation
  • Companionship
  • Home maintenance or bill paying

Home Care is unskilled services provided by home care aides, who are trained in senior care.

Staying in your own home has many benefits

Regardless of if you are looking at home health or home care, there are many benefits to staying in your own home. Of course, the first is you or your family member will remain secure in the private, quiet comfort of his or her home, and can keep routines in place. They will be able to keep furniture and other possessions they have grown to cherish, eliminating the need to downsize or sell a home. They can also keep his or her pets.

They can also remain in their own neighborhood, as opposed to relocating to a care community. This allows them to continue going to the same places of worship, doing the same activities, and volunteer work they may enjoy doing. Families can live near each other. And, they can continue to have freedom and privacy, which provides dignity and independence.

Care can be tailored to the individual and family needs, with updates and communication as requested. One-on-one care also means more of a personal touch and better management of medical conditions.