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What is the Difference Between Home Care and Home Health Care?



Full Transcript Below:

Okay, so today we have been asked to talk about the difference between home care and home health care.
This version of Approved Senior Network TV is brought to you by Home Services Unlimited. You confined them at HSUCARES.com, and they are located in Indianapolis, Indiana. We are so happy that they have sponsored today’s show.

This is an important topic, everybody needs to know the difference and who pays for which services.


Let’s talk home care.

Home care goes by a lot of different names.

Private duty home care, non-medical in-home care, private home care, companion care, and in-home senior care. Those are all different terminologies that are used to describe home care services that are non-medical, and that means they are not covered by Medicare.


Who pays for private duty, non-medical home care?

Well again, Medicare does not pay for those service’s but- private funds, retirement funds, credit cards, long term care insurance, reverse mortgages, life settlements and, of course, the family can come together and help cover the costs of private duty home care.

The fees for a private duty home care range from $18 an hour, up to $35 an hour. It depends on the area of the country you live in- and it also depends on the home care agency that you are working with. Those prices can be all over the place. You need to call and find out what the pricing is for your local area.


Why would somebody hire private duty non-medical home care?

Normally, it is because a senior in your life might need companionship or maybe some light housekeeping, light laundry services, light meal preparation.

Maybe they haven’t been eating right because they no longer want to use the stove or they should no longer be using the stove.

And so they need just, you know, something that they can microwave for dinner or lunch.

Some errand running is also often helpful for those who can no longer drive, transportation to doctor’s appointments or to church or to- just a social gathering with friends.

Safety is usually a big concern, so if someone is not safe to be home alone for several hours a day, it might be helpful to have a home care aide or CNA or someone there with them who can just provide that safety and companionship.

Respite care for caregivers. Respite care is giving the caregiver a break. If you have family caring for an aging loved one, even temporarily or part-time, you can hire home care agency to come in a few days a week and just, you know, help out so that that caregiver can get a break and go do things that they need to take care of.

Often times, people will have home care come in just to get their senior a little exercise, maybe a walk around the neighborhood or go to the mall and “mall walk” or something like that just to get them up and moving around.

And then, of course, socialization is really important not only with the person who’s caring for them, but also to get them out of the house and to get them around other people. So these are the reasons, and there are many more…. but these are some of the reasons why people hire home care.


Home health care.- let’s talk about that for a second now.

Home health care is something that is required medically so home health care also goes by a lot of different names.

Home healthcare, skilled care, skilled services, skilled home care IV infusion services, wound care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, these are all forms of in-home health care.

Ah, and the rules are a little different.


Who pays for home health care?

Medicare will pay for home health care. You may have a deductible. Private health insurance or employer-provided health insurance pays for home health care.

And, of course, Medicaid will pay for home health care.
But there’s a difference.

Home health care is not meant for someone to have companion services or to be there for hours and hours at a time.


Home healthcare has rules.

In order to be paid for by Medicare, it must be ordered by a physician.

It must be medically necessary, meaning, let’s say, wound care or IV infusion or physical therapy must be medically necessary, and the patient must be homebound.

If your senior is out running around and doing things, they could probably go to an outpatient center.

With home health care the patient must be homebound for someone to come in the home. Visits usually last 45 minutes to an hour.

These are not the kinds of service is that help someone all day long. This is a very brief visit just to get whatever medically necessary stuff needs to be done, and then they’re out of the house.


That is what home health care is.

Home care is private-it’s long term, and home health care is short term.

It’s a recovery period, and it helps people who need things like IV infusion services, wound care, blood pressure checks after hospitalization, physical therapy, maybe after a hip replacement or something like that.

Very, very different.

I hope that helped everybody understand the difference between home care and home health care.

And certainly we want to thank our sponsors at HSUCares.com, Home Services Unlimited, serving the greater Indianapolis area.

You can call them if you need help and you live in that area at 317-471-0760 thanks, everybody. That was a short one for Approved Senior Network TV this week, but I hope it was super informative and helps you understand the difference between these two types of services.


Thanks, everybody!


If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Care in Indianapolis, IN, please call the caring staff at Home Services Unlimited. Serving Greater Indianapolis Area. Call for Immediate Info & Assistance: (317) 471-0760

Etelka Froymovich, RN, MHA
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