If you are unaware of the differences between home health and home care, you are not alone. It is common for people to confuse these two types of care that are provided in the home. The advisors at Elder Care Direction can help you to understand the differences and which might be a better option for you or your loved one.
What is home health?
Home health is a type of medical care that is provided in the home by skilled medical professionals such as registered nurses, physical therapists or occupational therapists. It is commonly prescribed following a hospitalization as a part of a care plan. Services that may be available through home health include the following:
- Skilled nursing and therapy
- Medication administration
- Health status monitoring
- Medical tests
- Wound care
- When home health should be used
Home health may be prescribed in the following situations:
- After an inpatient stay in the hospital or at a skilled nursing facility
- When there has been a recent change in medications
- When seniors experience declines in functioning
Paying for home health
Home health is considered to be a type of medical care, meaning that it may be covered by Medicaid, Medicare and private medical insurance. It may be covered by Medicare when it is prescribed by a physician. Medicaid may also pay for the cost of care for qualified people. In cases in which it is not prescribed, a senior may pay for home health privately.
What is home care?
Home care is unskilled care that is provided by home care aides who have been trained to understand the care needs of seniors. They may help elderly adults with the activities of daily living or offer some companionship.
When home care should be used
Home care may be appropriate if your elderly loved one has the following needs:
- Assistance with activities of daily living such as grooming and meal preparation
How to pay for home care
Home care is not medical care, so it is not paid for by Medicare. However, long-term care insurance or Medicaid for low-income seniors may cover the costs. It can also be paid for privately.
Services provided by home care
Home care may offer the following services:
- House cleaning
- Meal preparation
- Bathing, dressing and grooming
- Bill paying
- Reminders to take medicine
Combining home care and home health
Some families find that using both types of services may be helpful for seniors who are recovering after inpatient stays. The home health workers can help to address the clinical needs of the elder while the home care workers can help to address the personal care needs of the elder. To learn more about both of these types of in-home care as well as other options, contact Elder Care Direction by filling out our contact form.