People often think home healthcare and home care are the same things. The terms sound similar and both types of care are delivered in the home. But there are important differences between home care and home health care.

Home Health Care

The home health care definition is medical services provided at home to treat a chronic health condition or help you recover from illness, injury or surgery. Some people start home health care after a health decline or getting diagnosed with a serious medical condition. Many people transition to home health care after a stay in a hospital, rehab centre or skilled nursing facility. The primary goals are to help people recover and stay as independent as possible. Home health care is usually less expensive, more convenient, and just as effective as care you get in a hospital or a nursing home.

The range of home health care services a patient can receive at home is limitless. A doctor may visit a patient at home to diagnose and treat the illness(es). He or she may also periodically review the home health care needs. Home health care services address intermittent, or periodic, needs and also includes:

  • Nursing
  • Physical therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Medical social work
  • Wound care
  • Patient and caregiver education
  • Help with daily tasks like bathing and dressing from a home health aide.

Home Care

The definition of home care is helping with daily activities to allow people to stay safe at home. It is often used by older adults with chronic illness, those with disabilities and people recovering from surgery. Home care is also sometimes called personal care, companion care, custodial care or homemaker services.

Home care services may include:

  • Bathing, toileting, dressing and grooming
  • House cleaning and other chores
  • Transportation
  • Meal preparation
  • Companionship
  • Medication reminders.

Home health care provides “clinical” or “skilled” care by qualified doctors, licensed nurses and therapists whereas homecare provides “non-clinical” or “non-skilled” care by professional caregivers.

Although there are many differences between home care and home health care, both types of care can help older adults stay safe and independent in their homes. Home healthcare provides clinical care to help the patient recover, and home care helps with day-to-day caregiving and tasks.

We have started a new initiative — Ayurdad — to provide home healthcare services in and around Ranchi, Jharkhand (India). We, a team of doctors, are visiting the patient’s house on-call providing quality medical services at the comfort of their homes.

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