If you’ve considered hiring a caregiver, did you know they can offer varying levels of medical and non-medical support? There are differences between home care and home health care services that you should be aware of. At Liberty Resources Home Choices, we specialize in providing seniors and people with disabilities by delivering the in-home help they need. Here, we discuss the differences between home care and home health care and how you can choose between the two.

Home Care Services

A home care aide, or caregiver, provides non-medical lifestyle support for those who need some extra help to live safely at home. A care plan involving these professionals may include a broad range of services that are focused on everyday tasks and routines, such as:

  • Personal care, including bathing and dressing
  • Homemaking
  • Exercise and activity assistance
  • Bedding changes
  • Running errands

Companionship is another big role for a caregiver. They may aid in keeping the individual company at home by playing games, going for walks, and doing crafts together. Caregivers also help people remain engaged within their community. This could mean transporting individuals to social groups and classes. Companion services are vital to combating loneliness and isolation as well as maintaining mental wellness.

The biggest aspect to consider with home care is that caregivers can’t provide clinical support, which requires a medical professional. For instance, while caregivers do provide medication reminders, they cannot administer medication or check vital signs. In-home care services are focused on helping individuals live as independently as possible. These services are provided by professional caregivers who may or may not have a background in the medical field.

Home Health Care Services

A home health care aide provides clinical or skilled nursing support, addressing specific wellness needs on a temporary or permanent basis. This may include the following services:

  • Physical therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Medical tests
  • Health status monitoring
  • Pain management
  • Wound care
  • IV therapy and injections
  • Personal care

Whether you’re recovering from an illness or surgery or have been diagnosed with a serious medical condition, a home health care aide can help you recover and remain as independent as possible. These services are provided by licensed nurses and therapists.

Where Caregiving Duties Overlap

When staying at home is the ideal solution for you or a loved one, one service may be more advantageous than the other. It all depends on the individual’s unique needs. No matter the type, in-home care services offer assistance in the comfort of the individual’s home. Both levels of in-home support also help avoid unnecessary hospitalizations and delay facility transitions, which in turn enables the individual to thrive in the home they know and love for as long as possible.

Getting the Level of Care You Need

Finding a caregiver that provides the right level of support is possible. Start by considering your current challenges. Caregivers can provide the following services:

  • In-home safety, such as fall prevention
  • Dressing and hygiene
  • Laundry, cleaning, and other chores
  • Home organization assistance
  • Grocery shopping and meal preparation
  • Transportation for errands and appointments
  • At-home medical care and therapy

Once you know which tasks you’d prefer help with, consider how often you need help. Caregivers can be hired on an as-needed basis at all hours of the day or night. Coordinating professional assistance with family caregivers can ensure the needs of you or your loved one are met. And respite care is available if a primary family caregiver is temporarily unavailable.

If you think your care plan will need to be adjusted in the future to meet the health challenges you face, you may also arrange modifications. Care plans can be adapted. It’s common for individuals to start by receiving assistance from a home care aide to maintain their independence and then hire a home health care aide later when there’s a change in wellness status.

Learn More from Liberty Resources Home Choices

Initiated by Liberty Resources, Inc., a center for independent living in Pennsylvania, our organization puts the power of choice in your hands when you or a loved one needs at-home assistance. Our home care aides are screened for competency, compassion, and quality assurance, and they’re available to help 24/7. Liberty Resources Home Choices has offices in Philadelphia and Allentown, Pennsylvania. Contact us today to craft a care plan that suits you best.

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