Home Care vs. Home Healthcare: The Who, What, & Why
Home Care providers supply companionship and assistance for those who wish to remain at home but are not incapacitated or in need of medical care. The purpose of Home Care is to increase the quality and security of day-to-day life allowing your loved ones to age in place.
Home Health Care providers do all the above and more. The provider works with the family to understand what the client needs and keeps the family apprised of the general health and wellness of the patient. A Home Health Care provider covers the day-to-day care with non-medical staff in addition to registered nurses who handle regular healthcare check-ups, administer medicine, evaluate the living conditions and health/wellness of the patient, potentially respond in an emergency, and coordinate with facilities if needed as the patient requires increasing levels of care.
Example: Family needs care for mother who has been living at home by herself since husband died; mom really wants to stay at home as long as possible; kids live more than 50 miles away; mom has diabetes and can't drive due to old age.
Solution: Home Health Care provider discussed the needs of the mother with the family members. A plan that included both a companion (to do things like laundry, drive her to drug and grocery store and appointments, accompany to church or religious services, general cleaning, and companionship) and a nurse who visited weekly to check blood and medicines.
WHO - Who needs Home Care? Those who are not incapacitated or in need of medical care.
WHO - Who needs Home Health Care? Those who need medical care.
WHO - Who needs healthcare provided by a facility? Those who need medical care beyond that which can be provided at home or the patient/doctor/family determines they are more comfortable with the medical care being provided at a facility.
WHAT - What is provided by Home Care Agencies? Caregiving that is not medical-related such as companionship, personal care, transportation, household chores, etc.
WHAT - What is provided by Home Health Care Agencies? Potentially the above non-medical-related services (typically by a non-medical caregiver) as well as medical-related care (by a licensed registered nurse/RN). These services might include but are not limited to administration of medicine and medical assessment and evaluation.
WHY - Why would someone need Home Care? To provide downtime for spouses or other care-givers/family members, to transport patient, to handle home upkeep tasks that the patient struggles to provide themselves.
WHY - Why would someone need Home Health Care? Mainly to provide medical care while remaining at home, possibly to provide downtime for spouses or other care-givers/family members, to transport patient, to handle home upkeep tasks that the patient struggles to provide themselves.
Published August 2019