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Home Health Vs. Home Care: What’S The Difference?

The terms “home health” and “home care” might sound similar, but there is a vast difference between the two kinds of services. Let’s begin by understanding the meaning of home care. Within the sphere of home care, lies non-clinical aid- companionship, meal prep and so on. On the other hand. Home health offers professional medical help. Another key difference between the two terms is that private insurance or Medicare usually covers home health. The same is not true for home care.

But the common thing between the two categories of care is that they can be provided to your family at home, without the need to visit a hospital or clinic. Also, these services can be customized as per the needs of the care receiver.

Home Health

It is important to understand that home health is medical/clinical supervision that is rendered by a certified professional. Home health services can be provided by licensed occupational therapists, nurses as well as physical therapists. This is often done via agencies or hospitals. Home health is care that is typically prescribed by a medical professional such as a doctor. They do this to ensure that a senior citizen is taken care of after an injury or hospitalization. These services can include the following:

  • Occupational and physical therapy
  • Medical tests
  • Wound care
  • Administering prescription shots or medications
  • Monitoring health status

Examples of conditions in which home health care might be required include:

  • Strokes
  • Pulmonary disease
  • Heart conditions
  • Diabetes
  • Post-surgical conditions
  • Muscular or joint injuries

In simple terms, home health could be thought of as a practical alternative to staying at a hospital. In many cases, patients may have fully recovered and would be in a condition to return home post a hospital procedure. However, they might still need some kind of medical care like daily measuring of vital signs, regular blood tests, regular dressing change and so on.

This medical home health model offers care which equal to the care level that is provided by a rehabilitation center, hospital, surgical clinic etc. However, it comes at a much lesser cost.

Home Care

Home care might be the ideal option for those whose loved ones need help at home. They may not, however, have a chronic disease or medical condition that requires treatment. In home care, professional caregivers may visit the patient as often as required and could stay for the time period needed to give necessary home care. Hiring caregivers to offer some medical aid to your loved one is the ideal option to take care of their needs.

Professional caregivers could help senior citizens with anything and everything they require in their daily life. Their aim is to make these senior citizens feel comfortable and safe. But, they don’t tend to healthcare. Their services may include personal care, housework and even companionship. One of the biggest causes of depression is isolation, therefore it is critical to not underestimate the importance of companionship. There are several benefits of socialization such as delaying memory loss, stimulation brain function and emotional welfare.

Professional caregivers could provide senior citizens with housework that might get too difficult for them. These include cooking, doing laundry, shopping, light cleaning etc.

Personal care could include things such as dressing, using the toilet, bathing and so on. These professional caregivers could also help senior citizens move around, get into bed, get out of bed, dressing etc.

It is important to understand that providing caregiving to a loved one is not an easy task. So, hiring a professional caregiver could be helpful for you too. This is a demanding, full-time job, which is difficult to manage, especially if you’re a working professional.

When you have a professional caregiver, you could take out some time to relax, do your chores and also manage your own relationships, responsibilities and other aspects of life.

To sum up, home health services are usually prescribed after an individual undergoes an outpatient surgery or inpatient stay. These individuals might be unable to reach follow-up appointments all by themselves and are not able to perform any basic recovery advice recommended or prescribed by the surgeon or physician.

In such cases, the referral of a doctor allows the patient to contact a certified home health agency that sends out the right caregiver. These could range from CNAs, LVNs RNs and physical or occupational therapists.

According to an AARP report based on a survey, 77 per cent of individuals wish to stay at home during their ageing phase. But not all of them are able to do so. As people age, they require help. With home care and enough planning, one can easily age in their home. Staying in familiar surroundings is critical to the wellbeing of senior citizens who might find it difficult to move to a senior citizen home. This is why home care is slowly becoming one of the most attractive options.

Find out more about Home health and Home Care professions on this home health related blog here.

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