Understanding “Home Care”

From Quality of Life Publishing Company

Home is where most people want to be when they are sick, recovering from surgery, disabled, or just need help with activities of daily living. Often, though a person may prefer to stay at home, he or she cannot do so safely. The person may need ongoing care, many not have anyone to help with care, or may have loved ones who need a break from providing all of the car. Home care can help.

Home care can fulfill many tasks that will relieve the family from the burdens and responsibilities of caring for a loved one. Most importantly, home care services can help your loved one stay at home, to maintain independence in familiar surroundings.

What is home care?

Home care is non-medical assistance provided in the home for people needing help with everyday activities such as feeding, dressing, personal hygiene, mobility, and more. Home care includes a full array or practical services, which may also include companionship and transportation/escort to appointments or other events.

Who may receive home care services?

Many people think home care services are provided only for the elderly, but anyone of any age with physical or mental disabilities may be helped by home care services.

Who pays for home care?

The client pays for home care services. Home care is not covered by Medicare or Medicaid. Occasionally, long term care insurance policies may cover some or all of the costs of home care services, check your policy to verify coverage.

What is the difference between home care and home health care?

There is confusion about whether or not “home care” and “home health care” are the same. The phrases are often used interchangeably because both services are types of care that are provided in the home. The main distinction between the services is whether the care is non-medical or medical.

Home care is non-medical care provided in the home by trained caregivers specializing in personal care assistance, companion care, and homemaker services. Services do not include therapy, medication prescription, or other medical services. Home care is also referred to as custodial care, senior are, private duty, or private duty home care.

Home health care is medical health care provided in the home by licensed professionals, such as nurses, physical therapists, or occupational therapists. Home health care is referred to as skilled nursing or formal care. It is important to note that home health care also used to be referred to as home care. The names of these services were changed to better describe the difference between each type of home care.