Home Care vs. Home Health...What Option is Right for You?

There seems to be some confusion as to the difference between home "health" and home "care."  Simply put, home health involves medical care provided by licensed professionals, such as a registered nurse, or physical therapist and is a service typically covered by one's medical insurance.  Home care refers to "supportive" care, such as bathing/dressing, housekeeping and/or transportation to name a few.

Home health is typically warranted when a person has had a recent inpatient stay at a hospital, rehabilitation, or skilled nursing facility.  Home health can also benefit those who have had recent medication changes and are in need of education related to potential side effects and monitored to ensure the medication is effective.  For someone who shows a decline in overall physical functioning, physical and/or occupational therapy, provided in the home, can assist that person in regaining their independence.

Home care, or home support, is be beneficial to those individuals who are having difficulty performing various activities of daily living.  They may need help with cleaning their house and with laundry.  Transportation to and from doctors appointments, obtaining groceries, or for running errands is of benefit when a person no longer is able to drive.  Home care services can also be of benefit to someone, on a short-term basis, who recently had surgery, resulting in limited mobility, or for someone who's primary caregiver, such as their daughter, will be out of town for a week, or so.  In the instance of recovering from surgery, that person may benefit from both home health and home care services.

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