Did you know that home health care and home care are different? Sure, they both involve someone with various health skills, including caregivers, coming to a client’s home for an appointment, rather than the client having to travel to a clinic or relocate to a rehabilitation facility.
To someone unfamiliar with medical terminology, the terms may mean the same. But there are some key differences in factors like skill levels, source of funding, and type of care.
The team at Accredited Home Care can offer home care as well as home health care. We know the differences and we are always happy to share this info with our clients. A client’s knowledge, health needs, and general interest could affect what type of care they receive and could benefit from.
In some cases, a client may end up needing both types of care, especially if their medical condition changes over time or they may need more help at home. In this case, they’ll be in luck since Accredited Home Care can offer all of these services and more.
Home health care
For people trying to learn the differences between home care and home health care, here’s a basic guide:
Home health care is general skilled services usually provided by nurses and various therapists. The home health care team will assess how the client is and compare it to past data and medical measurements.
Services available through home health care can include advanced and basic nursing care, different forms of therapy, and sometimes other skilled positions.
Occupational therapists, massage therapists, and physical therapists can visit. Sometimes social workers may be able to visit to discuss various costs, area resources, or in hospice situations, various end-of-life paperwork, and preparations.
Nursing services can go beyond the basics, such as wound cleaning.
Depending on the client’s schedule, medical needs, and budget, home health care visits can be weekly or a few times a week, sometimes lasting around an hour.
Home health care is often paid for through Medicare, Medicaid, or some private insurance forms, especially if a doctor recommends it for their quality of life.
Home care, on the other hand, offers non-skilled help around the house. Aides can come and help with everything from preparing meals to light housework. Home care aides can run errands or take a client somewhere.
While home health care personnel often have advanced credentials such as registered nurses or at least licensed practical nurses, home care aides may have less training.
Sometimes, a 24-hour caregiver may fit into home care: they may only have basic medical training, but live on-premises and are available for help all the time, rather than visiting for a few hours each week. In this position, they can also help the client all day, including assisting with medications in the morning or evening.
They can help with laundry or housekeeping. They can be there for emergencies or even for companionship/conversation. They can help with ADL, which are the activities of daily living, such as bathing, grooming, and dressing.
Funding for these positions is also often different. Although Medicare/Medicaid may approve home health care based on a provider’s recommendation, home care is sometimes paid for out of pocket or through insurance.
Some home health care agencies, such as Accredited Home Care, can offer both types of services depending on a client’s needs or situation. They can provide skilled personnel, such as nurses with years of experience. They also have aides who are just getting started in this line of work who may be interested in these types of career paths.
Some aides may accompany more experienced nurses as well to observe or help with basic procedures.
Clients may need both services or one for a shorter time. For instance, insurance may approve home health care under certain circumstances, such as recovery from surgery or for a certain amount of time after someone may return from a hospital or rehabilitation facility.
If home care is paid for out of pocket, it can go as long as the budget allows, or the client needs the services.
Services may change as the person’s condition changes, such as a decline in mobility or mental abilities due to dementia. A client may need occupational therapy for a certain amount of time to learn basic skills and then may not need regular therapy visits. But they also may appreciate help around the house all the time or someone who can run errands for them.
Sometimes, close friends or family members may offer to help with some home care positions, but home health care personnel can still visit a few days a week. This could be a good arrangement for everyone’s safety, security, and ongoing care, especially if everyone communicates.
November is a good month to learn more about different types of home care or home health care.
It’s Home Care and Hospice Month, and Home Care Aide Week typically takes place in the middle of it.
People interested in different health care career options or available services for a loved one could learn more. It’s also a good time to learn about different skill levels from entry-level aides to skilled nurses, and how they all can focus on helping clients.