Tough Choices – Home Care or Home Health?

As a person gets older, it may become necessary to receive some help in treating medical conditions or in living with certain physical limitations. Thankfully, many of these services can be provided right in the home, allowing many people to stay in their own homes rather than relocate to treatment or long-term care facilities.

Many people have heard the terms “home health” and “home care” but may not know exactly what each refers to. Although the names sound similar, they refer to different services that are designed to fill different needs. Depending on a person’s health and circumstances, it may be advisable to take advantage of one or both of these types of care.

What is Home Health?

Home health care can refer to services or supplies that a person receives at home as part of a plan prescribed by a doctor. This care is provided by a licensed professional and may include skilled nursing, physical or occupational therapy, speech language therapy, wound care, or administering of medications. It can also refer to medical equipment, such as wheelchairs, walkers, or hospital beds that are provided in a person’s home.

Individuals who receive home health care usually do so because they are unable to leave their homes because of an illness or injury or because they have a medical condition that makes it inadvisable to go out.

Depending on the specific reason for the prescribed care, home health care may be designed to improve a patient’s condition (such as in recovery from injury or surgery). In other instances, its purpose may be to prevent certain conditions or to slow their progression.

Home health care is covered by many insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid.

What is Home Care?

Home care, also known as custodial care, refers to “non-skilled” personal care provided by a home health aide. Although many have had some training and lots of experience, home health aides are not medical professionals.

Home care usually offers assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, light housekeeping, and meal preparation. Home health aides may offer transportation for seniors who are no longer able to drive. In addition to help with personal care, home care can also be a source of companionship for those who may be at risk for social isolation.

In most cases, Medicare will not cover home care, however both Medicaid and long-term care insurance may offer some coverage for these services.

Although they refer to different sets of services, home health and home care are not mutually exclusive. Oftentimes, seniors may benefit from a combination of the assistance provided by home health and home care agencies.

Visit the Davis Community’s Assisted Living in Wilmington NC

If you or loved one are no longer capable of living a safe, independent lifestyle, then call the Davis Community today at 910.686.7195 or simply complete and submit our online information! request form. We provide exceptional assisted living in Wilmington NC with a strong and supportive environment where your loved one will feel welcomed and part of an active community. Get to know the difference today – schedule a visit to the Davis Community!


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