Home Health vs. Home Care: What’s the difference?
Hi my name is Patrick and I am the executive director of Harmony Home Care, now BrightStar Care. I’m here today to talk about the difference between home health and home care. Some people think they sound exactly the same and that there is no difference, but there actually is a huge difference.
A case in point, one of my clients called me recently, her husband had just been discharged from the hospital after heart surgery. They told her that they would be sending home health home with them to provide nursing visits. They thought that meant there would be someone there to help the wife get him in and out of bed, help feed him, and help get into the toilet. Turns out, none of those things are true.
Home health means that there is going to be a nurse to come visit after three or four days, who is going to check on his blood pressure and his vital signs; they might help with physical therapy or occupational therapy. They might do some wound care, and occasionally even IV therapy. These are all skilled services requiring medical professionals that will come and visit after a hospital stay to take care of the medical needs of the client. The home health services, the skilled services, are vitally important. You absolutely need those. But they’re going to be there for an hour maybe an hour and a half at the most when they come visit just taking care of the medical needs. Home care, on the other hand can be there anywhere from four hours to 24 hours a day to help take care of all of the aspects of daily living that are so vital to keeping up the quality of life. Like keeping up the housework, shopping, meal preparation, pet care, grooming, bathing, dressing. All things that are vital, that as we get older or maybe we after being in the hospital are more difficult to take care of.
If you do come across a home care agency that claims that they can administer medication for you, run. This is an unlicensed illegal agency and can they not only get themselves in a lot of trouble but they can also cause some serious injury to your loved one as well. Home care cannot administer medications but they can do everything else. Home health can take care of the medications but they won’t stick around to do the activities of daily living for you. Please go to our website and download our latest brochure to see how we can help with overwhelming burden of taking care of your aging parents.
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