There often comes a time when senior loved ones need home services, whether It be home care and/or home health, it is important to understand the difference between the two services. It is common for people to confuse in-home care and home health care as being the same thing. Although both types of services are provided in a home setting, there is a distinct difference between the two services. If your senior loved one needs home services, the first step is to identify the difference between home care and home health, which will help you determine which the appropriate service for your loved one. To ensure your senior loved one gets the appropriate services, here is a brief explanation of the difference between the two types of in-home services.
Home care is an in-home non-medical service that is provided by caregivers who have been thoroughly trained to care for aging adults. The services provided vary depending on the specific needs of the individual. Home care services may include assistance with daily living activities, such as bathing, dressing, toileting and other personal hygiene needs. Home care also includes companion care, medication reminders, transportation, meal preparations and light household chores. This type of in-home service is often utilized for seniors who have certain conditions that may interfere with their ability to complete daily tasks without assistance. It is important to keep in mind that home care service providers are not permitted to dispense medications, give injections or dress wounds.
Home health care generally includes services that are medically necessary. A prescription from a physician is usually required in order for home health services to be provided. The services provided are done so by licensed professional nurses (RN), licensed practical nurses (LPN) and therapists (speech, physical and/or occupational). In most situations, home health care is recommended following a hospital discharge, a change in treatment for chronic illness or a change in the health status. Services provided by a home health care professional may include wound care, monitoring of vital signs, medication services, monitoring health status, help managing diabetes by monitoring glucose and/or administering insulin and/or monitoring medical equipment, such as a ventilator. Home health may also include assistance pertaining to specific medical conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Both types of in-home service focus on the well-being, healing and safety of your senior loved one. In many situations, home health care services are short-term, whereas home care is generally long-term. It is common for both services to be utilized together. For example, the services of a home nurse may be only be needed until a wound heals, but the home care staff may continue to provide services, even after home health is no longer required.
If you need more information about which in-home services are best suited for your loved one’s needs, please contact us.