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The Difference Between Home Care and Home Health Care

Home Care Agencies

Home Care Agencies are non-medical agencies that provide services in people's homes or places of residence, such as the client’s home, an independent care facility, or assisted living facility. The goal of in-home care is to allow the client and their spouse to stay safely in their place of residence and continue to be as independent as possible. Home care clients can be seniors; individuals recovering from an accident or surgery; new moms; and people with chronic health issues or physical disabilities.

Home health services include skilled nursing care, occupational therapy, physical therapy, specialized use of durable medical equipment, and other personal healthcare-related services.

Agencies like Home Helpers are specialized in non-medical home care and provide services that do not require a physician's order. Non-medical home care or senior care includes personal care (bathing, toileting, continence care, lifting, assistance with ambulation, and feeding) homemaking (cooking, laundry, light housekeeping), and companionship (shopping, errands, and incidental transportation).

Typically, non-medical home care agencies assist with activities of daily living (ADL's), independent activities of daily living (IADL's), and companionship.

ADL's (Activities of Daily Living) are ambulating (walking), transferring (getting up from a chair), dressing, eating, drinking, personal hygiene, and taking medication. IADL's (Instrumental Activities of Daily Living) are driving, preparing meals, doing housework, shopping, managing finances, managing medication, and using the telephone.

In-home care is health care or supportive care provided in the patient's home by healthcare professionals or by family and friends (also known as caregivers, primary caregiver, or voluntary caregivers who give informal care).

Often, the term home care is used to distinguish non-medical care or custodial care, which is care that is provided by persons who are not nurses, doctors, or other licensed medical personnel, whereas the term home healthcare, refers to care that is provided by medically licensed professionals.

"Home care," "home health care," "in-home care" are phrases that are used interchangeably to mean any care given to a person in their own home. Both phrases have been used in the past interchangeably regardless of whether the person requires skilled care or not. More recently, there is a growing movement to distinguish between "home health care" meaning skilled nursing care and "home care" meaning non-medical care.

Home Health Care in Suffield CT, North Central CT, and Western Mass

In-home health care, the health care professionals most often involved are nurses followed by physical therapists, respiratory therapists, occupational therapists, medical social workers, and mental health workers.

Home Care: Companion Care, Homemaker Services, Life Assistance

Home care aims to make it possible for people to remain at home rather than use residential, long-term, or institutional-based nursing care. Home Care providers usually render services in the client's own home. These services may include some combination of professional health care services, life assistance services, homemaker services, and companionship. Professional Home Health services could include medical or psychological assessment, wound care, medication teaching, pain management, disease education, and management, physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy.

Estimates for the U.S. indicate that currently, most home care is informal with families and friends providing a substantial amount of care. According to AARP (American Association of Retired Persons), approximately 40 million Americans care for an older adult. Professional in-home care is usually provided by agencies like Home Helpers, which hire Certified Nursing Assistants or Personal Care Assistants.

We believe that formal in-home care provided by an agency like Home Helpers Home Care can help to reduce stress for these family caregivers, improving the quality of care provided.