Home Health vs Home Care
Navigating senior home care options can be challenging and overwhelming. It doesn’t help when the terms “home health” and “home care” are used interchangeably. Many seniors and their families refer to home health when they’re actually talking about home care, and vice versa. In order to bring clarity between the two distinct entities, here is a basic overview of each, including when you would receive such care, so that you have a better understanding about the care options available to seniors.
Home health refers to the care provided in your home for a variety of medical reasons. Typically, there is a skilled nursing care need or need for rehabilitation care services in order to qualify for home health. Examples include wound care, injections, tube feeding, monitoring serious illness, or receiving therapy after experience a decline.
Seniors who have had hospital stays or short-term rehab facility stays often return home with home health in place. Home health helps them transition from the hospital or rehab facility to their life at home. While you can pay privately for home health, typically home health is covered entirely or partly by most insurances. In order for insurance to cover the cost, or partial cost, of home health, the senior needs to have had a qualifying stay in the hospital and show signs of improvement while receiving home health care. The exception is hospice care, where the senior is receiving end-of-life care.
As an overview, home health is generally temporary skilled care provided by skilled nurses, certified nursing assistants, and/or skilled therapists. Visits are conducted in the patient’s home with at the purpose of helping them acclimate to their home environment after a hospital stay. Once the patient has plateaued, meaning they are no longer making improvements, or they’ve met their goals as established by their skilled providers, home health services end. It is not ongoing care, unless there is a skilled care need, and even then, the patient needs a physician’s referral and insurance approval in order to continue with care.
Home care refers to the care provided in your home for a variety of non-medical reasons. Such care often includes assistance with basic hygiene, toileting, light housekeeping, meal planning and preparation, assistance with errands, or companionship. Home care doesn’t require a hospital stay or referral from a physician.
Seniors who need a little assistance in order to remain safe and independent in their own home typically receive home care. However, seniors can still receive home care even if they are independent, but perhaps are socially isolated, lonely, or want a companion to improve their quality of life.
The cost of home care varies according to a client’s needs and frequency of visits. Home care is paid privately; most medical insurance plans do not cover in-home care, although some long-term care insurance policies provide coverage. Seniors and their families who are new to home care may be surprised to find that the cost of home care is similar or even less than the cost of moving to an assisted living community. The best part of home care is that services continue until the client chooses to end the partnership. Many seniors have enjoyed years of companionship with their home care caregiver and thrive with a weekly visit from a senior home care caregiver.
Home care is often a great supplement to home health should you need home health services. Home health is able to meet the medical needs, while home care can assist with other non-medical tasks and provide companionship. When home health services end, home care can continue seamlessly.
To review, home care is non-medical assistance provided by a private caregiver in the comfort of the client’s home. It is ongoing care and does not require a physician’s referral in order to qualify for home care services. Home care is focused on the client/caregiver relationship, while home health is more focused on providing medical care or therapy for the patient.
Should you need home care services, please consider Visiting Angels Fort Worth for your senior home care needs. We pride ourselves in our dedication to personalized care and family communication. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many seniors continue to be vulnerable to feeling isolated and alone. We understand that some families cannot visit their aging loved ones during this pandemic for many reasons. We remain open and are able to accept new clients in order to provide the care that many seniors need in the midst of a pandemic. Getting started is as easy as contacting our office today. We can even arrange a virtual meeting so that seniors and their families can be on the same page, no matter their various locations. Please call us at 817-877-1616 to learn more about our senior home care services.