Home Health Care vs. Home Care

Which is right for you or your loved one?

It is important to take care of one’s health and well-being, which can be done by seeking the help of a professional. Home Health Services offer a variety of services for seniors and those who need assistance with daily tasks, including medical equipment.

This type of care is usually prescribed by a doctor as part of a senior health care regimen following hospitalization or injury. Home health care services can provide you or your loved one with quality medical care in the comfort of your own home. Home health care staff are able to provide  skilled nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology, nursing care, wound care, administration of prescription meds, and more.

What can you expect from a Home Health Care Provider?

Home health agencies provide help for those who are unable to care for themselves, whether they have a chronic illness or need assistance with daily activities due to an illness or injury. Home health services can be provided by visiting clinical nurses, personal care aides, and other providers.

Home health care may not be necessary for seniors who are aging in their own home without significant medical concerns. Home health services most often benefit elderly adults who require assistance with recent injuries, who are prone to falling, or who have a chronic condition, like diabetes or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Some of the other types of candidates for Home Health services include:

  • Seniors who recently were discharged from rehabilitation, a hospital stay, or a skilled nursing facility
  • Elderly people who need monitoring after a recent medication change
  • Loved ones whose fragile health prevents them from safely traveling to and from doctors’ offices
  • Seniors experiencing an overall decline in function 

What is the cost of Home Health Care?

Due to the full-time nature of home health care needs, the cost of a skilled care provider in the home can exceed $4,500 per month. This budget is based on a recent report published by Genworth Financials 2020 Cost of Care Survey and assumes 44 hours of service each week.

Based on the geographic area and level of services, this expense can increase above this average.

Due to the full-time nature of home health care needs, the cost of a skilled care provider in the home can exceed $4,500 per month.

How Home Health Care Services differ from Home Care Services

There is often confusion for families between the term “home health care” and “home care”. The terms are so closely associated but are very different services.

First, “home care” does not include medical and/or prescription medicine administration. Generally, the home care provider is not licensed to provide those services.

What a “home care” provider can provide includes assisting with preparing meals, other basic activities of daily living (ADLs), and some transportation. They are also great as a ‘substitute’ for family members who can not be with their aging loved ones with the frequency and time that they might need. This means that a “home care” provider can check in on the senior as well as provide some companionship to minimize loneliness.

Because the amount of time and services for a “home care” provider can vary greatly, depending upon the needs of the senior, it is hard to estimate the cost. But, according to the Genworth survey, the average hourly cost of a home care provider is approximately $24. 

What’s the best home care strategy for your family member?

Each senior has very specific needs – needs that will probably change over time. If they are recovering from a recent medical procedure, the need may diminish in time. But, if the senior is naturally aging in place, the need will probably increase to a full-time need.

A good approach to home care for an aging family member is to combine the two services – limiting the more expensive “home health care” services to just those services that require a licensed medical person. This can help to reduce the ongoing, monthly budget for home care for some period.

But, ultimately, the cost of full-time home care can equal or possibly exceed the cost of an assisted living community, where many of these needs are met, 24/7. You or your family will have to look at the budget and determine – with professional and medical advice – what is best. And, if you decide that the time has come to look at assisted living options, please contact us to learn more. Our services are free to you, so contact us today.