Most home health care providers offer a combination of services, such as nursing, physical therapy, and medication management, as well as home care services, like housekeeping, meal preparation, and personal care tasks, such as bathing and dressing. Home health care is medical care, and home care is non-medical care. Many agencies use the terms interchangeably depending on the state. The terms sound similar, but there are distinct differences. Some home health care providers only provide medical care so it is important to check with the potential service provider to ensure they can accommodate all your needs.
Benefits of Home Health Care
Home health care and home care benefit seniors recovering from injuries or managing acute or chronic health conditions by helping them remain where they want to be. It also benefits them by helping with the activities of daily life.
It provides safety, comfort, and convenience for elderly adults. For example, patients receive help managing their medication, which prevents harmful drug interactions. It also provides relief for family caregivers, and healthcare teams can educate family members in the process.
Most importantly, it prevents avoidable trips to the hospital by offering regular monitoring and education. Patients can also have 24/7 access to a professional they can call. Some families may save money as Medicare and private health plans cover home health care. Patients can receive help from professionals such as nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, social workers, and aides. There is a wide range of services that every patient can access.
Finally, it provides high-quality personalized care by offering one-on-one attention and care plans tailored to the patient’s specific needs
Home Health Care Services
Skilled home health care services vary significantly and can include some of the following medical services:
- Skilled nursing care
- Wound care
- Patient and caregiver education
- Medication administration
- Monitoring serious illness and unstable health conditions
- Fall reduction
Home health care does treat illness or injury and can help a patient recover, regain independence, become self-sufficient, maintain their current level of function, and prevent slow decline.
Home Care Services
Standard home care includes some of the following services:
- Help with personal grooming, like bathing or getting dressed
- Medication reminders
- Help with moving around, getting in and out of bed or the shower
- Preparing meals
- Light housekeeping like washing dishes, vacuuming, or doing laundry
- Companionship and friendship
Standard home care helps with everyday activities like bathing and dressing, meal preparation, and household tasks to enable independence and safety. It is also known as non-medical care, home health aide services, senior care, homemaker care, assistive care, or companion care. Generally, home health care and in-home care often work together.
The Cost of Home Health Care
The cost of home health care or in-home care can average $5,000 per month. The median hourly rate across the nation is roughly $27.
Costs vary depending on location; home healthcare and home care costs differ significantly in each state. It primarily depends on specific care needs and associated costs, duration and scope of services, and geographical location and its influence.
Medicare and private health insurance plans generally cover home healthcare. It’s essential to check your health plan to see what is covered and contact your health insurance provider.
Medicaid also covers standard home care but is typically paid directly by the patient or long-term care insurance.
Making a Decision for Home Health Care and Home Care
Our experts recommend locating an agency that provides everything under one umbrella. Working with one healthcare provider instead of multiple providers becomes more cost-effective and less stressful. Moreover, having one provider can also ensure better coordination of care. The team of professionals from one agency can work together more seamlessly, leading to better overall care.
However, not all home healthcare providers offer both types of services, and the quality and scope of services can vary significantly from one provider to another. Therefore, discussing your specific needs with your family doctor, insurance company, and the different home health care providers is essential. While it can be more cost-efficient and beneficial to use one provider for both home health care and home care services, it’s crucial to be specific about needs and ensure these are met.
Frequently Asked Questions: Home Health Care
Who administers home health care?
Generally, there are two types of skilled professionals who deliver care—nurses and physical therapists.
How do I get home health care?
There are several ways to apply. Generally, the first step is to have a doctor evaluate your condition drawing up a home health care plan. The next usually involves contacting your health insurance provider and working directly with a home health care agency.