What’s the Difference Between Home Care and Home Health Care?

June 19, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Navigating the world of home care assistance can be confusing. The reality is, many home care terms sound similar, yet they refer to a different service. One of the most commonly overlooked distinctions is between home care and home health care. Some home care service providers use these terms interchangeably, which makes it even more confusing to understand what benefits each service offers.

At Miami Valley Homecare, we provide patient-focused home care assistance in Dayton, OH, but we also strive to keep our clients well-informed. We believe it’s important to know about all the services available so you can make the best decisions surrounding care. Here’s an overview of the difference between home care and home health care. We hope it gives you the clarity you need when looking for the right home care assistance for your loved one.

What is home health care?

Home health care is a medical-focused service designed to help an individual recovery from surgery, an illness, or an injury. It’s also used for those who are dealing with a chronic health condition.

A home health care provider may come to the house to help with things such as wound care, speech therapy, and physical therapy. They may also assist with everyday tasks such as bathing and dressing. This type of home care is intended to be a temporary solution to help a patient return to their normal, independent way of life.

What is home care?

Home care includes some of the same services as home health care. It’s this overlap that makes distinguishing the two services a bit difficult.

A home care provider may help with bathing and grooming. Both services can include medication reminders. However, home care is designed to be a long-term solution for a chronic illness, a disability, or an aging adult. The purpose of home care is to provide enough care so the patient can remain at home and maintain an independent lifestyle.

Home care services also include house cleaning, healthy meal preparation, and transportation services to doctor appointments. It also includes companionship as many people who need home care services aren’t able to go out and spend time with friends. You’ll see home care sometimes described as companion care or personal care.

What are the main differences?

Home health care is a medical service. Someone receives home health care after their physician orders it. Also, it is usually covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance. People of any age may need home health care. For example, if someone needs help while recovering from knee replacement surgery or a stroke, their doctor may recommend home health care.

If you have an aging loved one, you are probably looking for home care services. This type of care is not medical-based and care providers are not clinically trained. They can’t provide therapy or nursing services. Home care is more focused on personal care services such as cleaning, grooming, and cooking. It also isn’t usually covered by private insurance or Medicare. You would pay for home care services out of pocket or through long-term care insurance. In some cases, Medicaid will cover the costs.

At Miami Valley Homecare, we provide home care assistance in Dayton, OH, as well as 24-hour live-in care. We tailor our services around your loved one’s needs and always put their emotional and physical well-being at the center of everything we do. Contact us today if you have any questions. We can also provide a professional assessment so you can learn more about what home care services may be best for your family.