There’s a lot of misinformation regarding in home care vs home health care. Both take place in a loved one’s home, but the type of services provided are very different.

What is Home Health Care?

Home health care is usually not full-time care. It’s medical help from a licensed professional, but carried out in the patient’s home. This type of caregiver can provide medications, intravenous injections, treat wounds and provide a care plan. A home health specialist is someone who can provide the same level of care as a registered nurse, but rather than provide said care at a hospital or skilled nursing facility, the home health caregiver visits the patient at their home.

When is Home Health Care Appropriate?

Home health care is usually required when a person has just undergone a surgery or illness, but they are also sought after when a senior is changing medications. This way, a licensed professional can help a senior recover and regain their independence while they’re living at home.

This type of caregiver not only changes dressings, provides medications and injections, but they can also offer therapy. Especially for elders who have just undergone surgery or medical illness, their mobility may be limited. As a result, home health caregivers can provide physical therapy to help get the seniors back on their feet. They can also provide speech or occupational therapy as well.

What’s more, home health caregivers work hand-in-hand with the patient’s primary caregiver (friend, neighbor, family, etc). They help show them how to provide quality care for their loved one so that the senior can maintain some independence and recover at home, rather than in a skilled nursing facility.

What is In Home Care?

In home care help seniors with the activities of daily living. If that sounds vague, it’s because these “activities” range from laundry, housework, and meal preparation to providing 24 hour care and companionship.

When is In Home Care Appropriate?

If your senior or loved one struggles with the activities of daily living, then in home care can help. If your elder’s health is in a state of decline, then in home care might be the best option. Or if you are the primary caregiver for your loved one and need some additional help, in home care is a suitable answer.

There are a range of uses for in home care because it’s not just about the senior’s health, but yours as well. Most caregivers (professional and relational) forget that they need to take care of themselves too. Many even guilt themselves over it, thinking that if they put their needs before their loved one then they’re being selfish, but this isn’t the case. In home caregivers are not only trained professionals you can trust with your loved one, but they can also offer you respite. Whether that takes the form of 2 hours a week while you get a well-earned massage or a week-long care service while you go on a cruise, the flexibility to provide care when you need it is available.

In Home Care vs Home Health Care

While the both forms of care take place in the elder’s home, the level of care varies greatly between the two. Home health care provides medical and rehabilitative care while in home care aides with daily living.

Both take place inside the senior’s home, but the duration is very different. Typically, home health care is short-term assistance that provides medical help as needed (such as injections and redressing). As such, home health care providers rely heavily on the primary caregiver (son, daughter or loved one) to properly care for their elder. Meanwhile, an in home care provider is usually a long-term care solution and the hours are flexible. An in home caregiver may start with as little as a few hours every week, but extend to several hours a day if the elder’s health is in a state of decline.

Which Form of Care is Right for my Loved One?

In a broad sense, the level of care can be viewed as the following:

  • Home health care is for your senior’s medical health
  • In home care is for your senior’s quality of life

Home health care is typically necessary. If your loved one requires IV injections or the redressing a wound, then home health care is a more cost effective way to provide care. Home health care providers can catch signs of infection or problems early, so your elder doesn’t wind up in as an inpatient in the hospital again – and if your senior does need to return, a home health care professional can catch the problem before it becomes an emergency.

In home care does not provide medical care, they cannot provide intravenous injections or prescribe medication, but they can assist with their care needs: meal preparation, errands, laundry, companionship, travel to and from doctors’ appointments, grooming, bathing, and so on. In home care is meant to assist with your loved one (and your) quality of life.

Havenwood Home Care provides in home care in Spokane, Washington and Boise, Nampa and the Magic Valley areas in Idaho. If your loved one needs assistance with the activities of daily living, or you need some help taking care of your senior, we can provide the services you need.