Home Care Versus Home Health

Home Care

There is often a lot of confusion about “home care” versus “home health.”  The two phrases are almost identical, but are the services?  Home Care is assistance with the activities of daily living or homemaking services.  Other common names for home care are personal care, attendant care, non-medical care, and companion care.  Home care services provided by a caring, professional staff will allow one to remain comfortable and as independent as possible.  Below is an outline of some typical home care offerings.

Needs Review

Generally, home care services will start with an initial visit from a potential agency to the residence.  This needs review visit is helpful to understand the type of home care services needed and concerns and challenges you or your loved one may have.  The Needs Review will offer insight into a person’s current healthcare team to complement existing providers and find the best caregiver match.

Nurse Assessment and Oversight

After the Needs Review visit, a Nursing Assessment happens in most states to design a client specific care plan. Often, people consider home care services to be light chores and companionship.  However, it can be much more involved. The goal of a care plan is to provide the services that allow one to remain safe and independent at home.  In addition, regular nurse oversight is an integral part of home care because monitoring one’s health and changing needs will serve them better.

Home Care Services

caregiver serving tea to seniorsOnce a nurse has designed a customized plan, care can begin.  Caregivers are available to help with all the activities of daily living, including:

Personal Care and Hygiene.  Assistance with things like bathing, showering, shaving, dressing, skincare, and dental care.

Walking, Transferring, and Positioning.  Sometimes one may need a little help and encouragement to move around their residence and find a comfortable position in their favorite chair.

Meal Preparation and Assistance with Eating.  Many people may need help preparing meals and eating. A caregiver will be there, from food shopping to meal preparation to assistance with dietary restrictions.

Toileting.  From reminders to assistance, caregivers can help.

Light Housekeeping and Errands.  Caregivers can help with light housekeeping chores such as organization, straightening up, de-cluttering, washing dishes, and vacuuming. A caregiver can also help organize mail, trips to the bank, pharmacy, medical appointments, and helping coordinate with any community-based programs utilized.

Laundry and Linen Washing.  A caregiver can help wash personal clothes, linens, and towels, fold clothes and make beds.

Safety Monitoring and Companionship.  Sometimes people want someone to whom they can talk.

Care plans for home care services can help one remain independent at home and protect or enhance their lifestyle.

Care Coordination

A whole team is involved with home care services – clients, family, agency caregivers, nurses, physicians, pharmacists, support planners, and other healthcare professionals.  As needs increase, the coordination among the team members becomes more important. As this occurs, many people become overwhelmed by the prospects of managing their care.

The purpose of Care Coordination is to help coordinate care among team members. At the heart of this model should be a Client Relationship Manager. This professional is a wealth of information and can arrange or coordinate many of the services needed. Of course, if home care needs change, a Client Relationship Manager can arrange meetings with the caregiver and nurse or arrange a referral to a home health agency for home health services.

Home Health Services

Short-term skilled nursing and therapy services are the backbones of Home Health care.  Patients usually need these serviceshome health nurse taking blood pressure after a hospitalization or a discharge from a nursing home or rehab center.  Doctors must prescribe home health services and they typically last for 30 to 60 days.  Below is an outline of some typical home health care services.

Skilled Nursing

Skilled nursing can help after injury, illness, surgery, or care needs related to a chronic condition. Services include complex wound dressings, medication management, disease management, patient monitoring, and education to help one recover as quickly as possible.

Physical Therapy

“PT” or physical therapy can help improve bodily function through an exercise program, balance training, and education. Physical Therapists will help regain strength, endurance, and flexibility.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy can improve motor skills and reasoning abilities or compensate for permanent loss of function. Occupational Therapists help patients with their ability to do everyday activities safely in the comfort of their homes.

Speech Therapy

Speech therapists evaluate and treat swallowing, cognition, and communication problems after a stroke or other neurological condition.  Problems could include stuttering, apraxia, dysarthria, or language disorders such as aphasia.  Speech therapists can provide oral motor exercises to help patients improve their speaking ability and help them communicate more clearly.

Medical Social Services

Medical social workers provide assessments and connect the patient and their loved ones to community resources to help manage their condition. Further, medical social workers recommend various specialty programs to speed recovery and get the patient into the highest activity level possible.

HomeCentris Provides Home Care, Home Health Care, and Mobile Primary Care

HomeCentris is positioned to provide all of your home care needs – personal, skilled nursing, and even primary care. For more information, please contact our offices at 410-486-5330 and ask to speak with one of our Client Admissions Specialists.