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Home Care vs Home Health Care: What's the Difference?

December 21, 2022

Did you know that around one in five Americans are caregivers, providing extra support to an adult or child at home?

Anything from an illness or injury to a genetic disease or surgery recovery can mean someone in your life needs support at home. Many options are available to you, including care options that enable your loved one to remain at home in a space he or she knows.

Though you may hear someone use the terms “home care” and “home health care” interchangeably, these services are vastly different. An excellent way to think about home care vs. home health care is to remember the differences between non-medical vs. medical services. 

Home care vs. Home health care

  • Home care involves the personal assistance of a caregiver. 
  • Home health care is administered by a registered nurse or therapist. 

To help you understand the differences, so you can understand which type of home care program is right for you or a loved one, here’s a quick breakdown of what you can expect when caring for a person with disabilities at home:

What Is Home Care? 

Home care services aim to allow individuals to live independently in their homes rather than needing to move to a group home or nursing facility. Personal care assistants (PCAs) receive payment for providing non-medical care to individuals under this program. And many of these personal assistants can include family members or close friends of the recipient of care. 

Home care services center around helping someone perform daily activities, such as eating, toileting, grooming, bathing, and mobility. Other home care services may include: 

  • Assistance with meal planning, money managing, and grocery shopping 
  • Help to perform daily household chores, get around the house and neighborhood, and participate in community events and activities.
  • Support in performing healthy activities, such as range of motion exercises and stretching

Home care services are available to children, adults, and seniors. The first step is for the client (i.e., recipient in need of care) will undergo a PCA assessment.

What Is Home Health Care?

Like home care, home health care takes place in a client’s home but is usually short-term (2-4 weeks). Examples of home healthcare services include:

  • Rehabilitation 
  • Physical Therapy 
  • Supervised Administration of Medications
  • Monitoring of Medications
  • Pain management
  • Injections
  • Nursing

To become a home health care provider, you'll need additional education and a nursing degree or medical certification to perform the required duties. Best Care does not provide home health care services.

Finding Quality Home Care Near You

If you or a loved one needs home care services to perform daily activities and live independently, contact Best Care today to learn about getting started with home care services. 

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