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Home Care vs. Home Health Aid: What You Should Know

home health (1).jpgYour senior loved one is experiencing the need for assistance regularly. As you seek to offer them the support needed, you will probably do your best to find solutions that will allow them to stay in the comfort of their own home. There are many services available to help the aging remain at home. Home care, for instance, offers assistance with needs like personal hygiene or mobility. Home health care services provide for specific medical needs and therapy.

Here’s what you need to know to determine the kinds of services your loved one needs:

What is Home Care?

Even if your loved one does not have significant health issues, home care can be helpful. Home care aims to support your loved one in their desire to age in place at home and remain independent. Examples of common home care services include:

  • Assistance with personal hygiene and care
  • Companionship services
  • Mobility support
  • Transportation
  • Light housekeeping or cooking
  • Helping with medication reminders
  • Tracking activities like eating or using the bathroom
  • Assistance and safety for those living with Alzheimer’s or Dementia

Home care assessments can help you determine the types of services your loved one may benefit from.


Benefits

The services offered by caregivers help relieve families of the difficulty of personally providing dignified and consistent care for loved ones in need of assistance. Home care can offer aging adults and their families healthiness, happiness, independence, comfort, and peace of mind.


In fact, many caregivers believe their services are part of a calling, not just a job. As a result, many aging adults appreciate the support, companionship and assistance caregivers offer.


Limitations

Although a wide variety of home care services are available, a limitation of home care is that caregivers cannot offer medical diagnosis and care. If your loved one needs certain medical treatments while remaining at home, additional services will be required. That said, most care for people can be done by home care aids.

home health 1 (1).jpgWhat is Home Health Care?

In contrast to home care, which focuses on assisting with personal and safety needs for the aging, home health assistance offers medical support in the home. Generally covered by programs like Medicare, home health agencies may provide medical services like:

  • Medical care for wounds or sores
  • Pain management
  • Physical or occupational therapy
  • Therapy through medication or intravenous injection
  • Medicinal Injections
  • Tracking and monitoring of serious ailments and conditions
  • Education and coordination regarding care for patients and caregivers

To obtain home health care, a doctor will typically need to write a prescription for your loved one detailing instructions for home health providers and which services are needed.


Benefits

For seniors struggling with health conditions or in need of regular medical care, the benefit of home health services is that they receive the care needed right at home. Able to stay in their familiar environment and be independent as much as possible, many seniors prefer to receive care in their house instead of in a facility. Health care services available for those aging in place are extensive.


Limitations

In rare instances seniors find that not all their medical needs can be met at home. Seniors receiving medical care at home are also likely to need support getting to and from doctor’s appointments and medical treatment facilities. Many seniors with medical needs also need assistance with personal hygiene and other tasks that home care, not home health, agencies provide.

Selecting Home Services for Your Loved One

The reality is that many seniors will need both home care and home health care  while aging in the comfort of their own home. Home health care services are often intended for short-term issues and tend to be used in conjunction with home care services. When home health and home care work in tandem most families will be surprised to discover that almost everything that can be done in a skilled facility can be done in the comfort of home.


Fortunately, both home care and home health aid services are available. Financial aid options are also available to many seniors as they age in place at home. To learn more about selecting and paying for home care services, download this FREE Guide.

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