The Difference Between Home Care and Home Health

Leslie & Steve Whatley with another team member

One of the questions we get all the time is, what is the difference between home health and home care?

It’s important to know the difference between the two, and how each type of care can play a part in getting your loved one the very best care for them.

Home Health:

“Home health” is medical home care. Your loved one will often be referred to this type of care when they’re discharged from the hospital or discharged from a skilled nursing facility. A home heath caregiver might be a nurse, a physical therapist, an occupational therapist—any allied medical professional that meets the medical needs of your loved one.

Home Care:

What we do here at Homewell is provide home care. We don’t provide the specialized medical care your loved one might need, but instead we provide continuity of care and help where home health has to leave off.

An Advantage of Home Care:

Often we can come in more quickly than home health can, to be with your loved one as they leave the hospital and transition to home, to keep them from falling and from needing to return to the hospital. We can be there with them until and while home health comes in to do their tasks as Medicare prescribes. And we can stay with them afterwards, giving them continuity of care.

Both types of care are needed. Because of Medicare requirements and regulations, home health care is not going to be able to be a constant in the client’s life. They’re going to come in and deliver some very valuable services, and put together a great plan. But we can come in as partners to home health agencies and carry out those plans.

How Home Care Could Have Helped Steve’s Father:

In the case of Steve’s Father, he had a home health physical therapist come in and demonstrate to him what he was supposed to do between that visit and the next visit. But those instructions would get lost in the pile of things on the end table next to his chair! If he had had a home care assistant with him, that person could have helped him to keep track of those instructions, and could have worked with him on that plan. That would have made his physical therapist happier, and it would have made him happier too, because he would have recovered more quickly!

Around The House:

We can also pick up things that home health is not able to do, such as helping them around the house, getting them to their appointments, making sure that first appointment is made after they return home from the hospital. And we can work to give continual care and keep everyone, doctors and family, on the same page. In fact, we even have a nurse on staff who can coordinate with the home health nurses, and who can talk to doctors when necessary!

How Home Health and Home Care Can Work Together:

Remember, the main goals are always to keep your loved ones safe and to help them get better as quickly as possible, allowing them to recover at home! A partnership between home heath and home care is a great way to make sure that you loved one is getting the very best of care. If you have additional questions, please give us call!