Senior Home Care and Home Health Care – What’s the Difference?

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When you’ve decided that your loved one either needs or could benefit greatly from home care, the decision-making process is far from over. Before you decide on a trusted home care service, you’ll need to choose which type of care is best for your situation. Often, that means deciding between senior home care and home health care.

Although the two are sometimes used interchangeably, there are some distinct differences between senior home care and home health care.

What Is Senior Home Care?

Senior home care is designed to help your loved one perform the daily activities they need to continue living at home safely. Many seniors utilize home care temporarily after a surgery or other procedure, or while transitioning home from a hospital or nursing home facility. Others choose continuing home care when it becomes clear their loved one is struggling to maintain proper hygiene, perform housework, track medications, and other activities of daily living.

RELATED ARTICLE: Why COVID-19 Is Driving the Demand for In-Home Senior Care 

Senior home care professionals are not necessarily licensed medical staff but can help your loved one by providing ongoing services, including:

  • Meal preparation
  • Light housekeeping and chores
  • Toileting and hygiene
  • Medication reminders
  • Companionship
  • Transportation

What Is Home Health Care?

Like in-home senior care, home health care is also commonly used by seniors who are transitioning back to a home environment from a nursing home facility or hospital. Many people seek home health care for loved ones who are unable to handle their own daily needs. However, home health care consists of skilled medical services geared toward recovery from surgery or other issue, or management of a long-term health condition. These services are ordered by a physician after a face-to-face evaluation or upon discharge.

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Home health care professionals are skilled and clinically licensed nurses or therapists. They can provide temporary or as-needed services like:

  • Wound care
  • Therapies, such as speech therapy, physical therapy, or occupational therapy
  • Skilled nursing services
  • Education and advice on the patient’s condition

Which Should You Choose?

Home health care is best for individuals who need ongoing medical attention after a release from a medical facility, or who need help managing the daily symptoms of a chronic illness. Seek medical advice from your physician if you believe you might benefit from skilled services.

If your loved one doesn’t have pressing medical needs but needs assistance with non-medical activities of daily living, senior home care may be the solution. Often, patients use a combination of the two if it is in the care plan—home health care professionals to provide skilled care and home care aides who can help with dressing, bathing, and grooming. Also, some seniors benefit from short-term home health care while transitioning home from a facility and will need ongoing senior home care moving forward.

If you’re still unsure which type of care is best for your loved one, Arista Home Care Solutions is here to help. We offer skilled and companion-based home care services as well as new home health care options staffed by licensed medical professionals.

Please call (419) 754-1897 to schedule your in-home assessment.

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