daytonYou may have heard the terms “home care” and “home health care” and thought they were interchangeable. But that one little word can make a very big difference in your care! Before you call the wrong kind of agency and engage more or less care than you need (not to mention pay for it), here are the key differences between the two found here in the Dayton area.

The Basics

With home health care, you’ll get skilled medical care, such as wound care, medical tests, administering of medication, and therapy. Non-skilled home care, on the other hand, includes services like meal preparation and assistance with grooming, not to mention companionship. Many agencies offer both home care and home health care—take Graceworks at Home, for exampleor home care services only like Assistant Care Services.

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The Uses

Home care is appropriate when you need assistance with the routine tasks you encounter on a daily basis (you’ll see these tasks referred to as ADLs or Activities of Daily Living). Here’s how Home Instead Senior Care (with offices in Springfield and Dayton) describes its services: “In-home care provides practical support with a human touch. Our compassionate caregivers assist elder clients with common activities of daily living like showering, cooking and much more.” Often the home care facility will also drive you where you need to go or even run your errands for you!

If you’ve just been released from the hospital or have an illness or disease, chances are you’ll need the services of a home health care agency, which has a variety of medical professionals on its payroll, including nurses, social workers, and occupational, physical and speech therapists.

The Cost

Home health care, when prescribed by a physician, are covered by medical insurance, including private-pay plans, Medicare and Medicaid. On the hand, home care may only be covered by long-term care insurance or Medicaid.

The Trust

Because it’s provided in your home, home care of any kind is more convenient and comfortable for you. However, by the same token, inviting someone you don’t know into your private space can also be a little uncomfortable. A good home care provider, not matter if it offers skilled medical care or assistance with ADLs, screens its employees thoroughly and provides you with a feeling of trust.

According to Family Bridges Home Care, “That’s why our highly personalized screening system is the best in home care and designed to maximize your peace of mind. You’ll have the opportunity to interview any caregiver who we refer to you.”


Share your experiences with home care and home health care.