The Difference Between Senior Home Care And Home Health Care

Posted on: 9 April 2019


When you know a senior loved one needs help, but you're unsure of the type, terms such as "in-home nursing care" and "senior home care services" may be confusing. Many people have little knowledge about elderly home care services and the various options until their loved one needs it. There are several different senior home care options available, but the one area that may often cause confusion is the difference between home health care and senior home care, sometimes referred to as personal care. To help make the choices easier, here are the primary differences between home health care and senior home care services.

Elderly Home Care Services

If your senior loved one needs help in the home and does not have a chronic medical condition that must be treated, then senior home care services may be the better option for your loved one. These types of services consist of a professional caregiver visiting your loved one as little or as often as assistance is needed. Professional caregivers can assist seniors with everything they need in their day-to-day life to be comfortable and safe, without healthcare. Senior home care may include help with:

  • Household chores
  • Bathing
  • Personal hygiene
  • Using the bathroom
  • Dressing
  • Cooking
  • Shopping

Senior personal services may also include support to physically get in and out of bed or move around the house. One of the most beneficial things that home care can provide is socialization and companionship. Whether it's simply watching television or playing board games with homebound seniors, professional caregiver services are the ideal solution to prevent isolation and loneliness for the elderly.

Home Health Care

Home health care consists of skilled medical workers providing in-home care. In-home health care providers are typically registered nurses or licensed practical nurses. Those requiring in-home health care typically have chronic, recurring medical needs that require treatment, such as monitoring, wound care, or the administration of intravenous medications.  Some common conditions that require in-home health care include:

  • Diabetes
  • Post-surgical conditions
  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Pulmonary disease
  • Muscular or joint injuries

In-home nursing care can be thought of as an alternative to a hospital stay. If your senior loved one was hospitalized for a procedure and they are well enough to return home but they still require some form of medical care, such as weekly blood draws or daily dressing changes, in-home health care services can be an alternative that allows them to go home from the hospital quicker and receive these medical interventions in the comfort of their own home.

Whether your loved one needs senior home care services or in-home health care, there are several advantages of having professional help with the care of your loved one. In most situations, especially in the case of health care, your senior will need to have a doctor's recommendation for elderly home care services. If your loved one is being discharged from the hospital and will receive in-home health care services, it is important that these arrangements be made before the discharge date. When you are considering senior personal care services, it is important to have a conversation with your loved one to discuss the type of help they will receive and to ensure they are comfortable with the personal services provided.