Two terms that sound the same but provide distinctly different services are “home health care” and “home care.” Both types of care are instrumental in keeping seniors healthy and safe at home, but the duties performed by the professionals providing them are very different.
What is Home Health Care?
Home health care sometimes referred to as “home health,” is medical care provided by a licensed professional in the comfort of the patient’s home. These professionals are often found in a hospital or nursing home: registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, occupational therapists, and physical therapists.
Home health care is usually prescribed by a doctor following an injury or hospitalization and is often provided through home health agencies, such as Dependable Senior Care. The care provided includes:
- Administration of shots or prescription medications
- Wound care
- Monitoring of health status
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Medical tests
- Intravenous (IV) or nutrition therapy
Home health care may not be necessary for seniors aging at home without significant medical issues. It’s designed for seniors recovering from surgery, requiring assistance with injuries they’ve recently suffered, or who have been diagnosed with a chronic condition, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or diabetes.
- Loved ones whose fragile health prevents them from safely traveling to and from doctors’ offices
- Older adults who need monitoring after a recent medication change
- Seniors recently discharged from rehabilitation, a hospital stay, or a skilled nursing facility
- An elderly individual experiencing an overall decline in their physical functions who could benefit from occupational or physical therapy to regain their independence
What is Home Care?
Home care is non-medical. It assists seniors who need help with daily activities and can range from light housekeeping to help with incontinence. Caregivers usually are not licensed to provide medical services and are typically hired or contracted through home care agencies.
Home care services for aging adults include:
- Companionship — visiting, going for walks, in-home activities (reading, watching movies, playing games, etc.)
- Transportation to appointments and running errands
- Assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) like bathing, dressing, grooming, and mobility
- Meal preparation
- Medication reminders (but not directly administering medications)
- Light housekeeping (washing dishes, doing laundry, vacuuming, etc.)
Home care benefits a wide variety of seniors aging at home. It provides much-needed social interaction that reduces isolation and loneliness and provides older adults the help they need with day-to-day activities.
Combining Home Health Care and Home Care
Often, families find a combination to be most beneficial for their loved ones. Healthcare professionals can provide the medical assistance a senior needs, while a home care aide can assist with everyday activities. Using both types of care ensures that a senior’s medical and emotional needs are both met.
Dependable Senior Care for Seniors in South Florida
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