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Home Care Vs. Home Health Care: What You Need To Know

Today we wanted to bring up the differences between Home Health Care and Home Care (Personal care). This is a pervasive question that people who work with seniors have. Many people who are interested in starting a business to help seniors need to understand the differences as well!

The confusion between these two different portions of the Senior Care Industry can result in your agency being offered the wrong type of referrals. It can even result in no referrals at all if they’re already referring to a Home Health agency. Before visiting referral sources, ensure you can properly explain the types of care and services your agency offers. 

Tip: Mention anything that sets you apart from your competition, differentiators are huge!

Home Care

One advantage that you have is that Home Care agencies now have a seat at the table alongside the various healthcare components related to the senior care industry.

Unlike traditional healthcare services, which primarily focus on addressing medical concerns, home care encompasses an approach that considers the physical, emotional, and social well-being of clients. At the heart of home care is the concept of aging in place. This allows seniors to remain in the comfort and familiarity of their own homes while receiving personalized assistance. This continuity of environment is particularly beneficial for seniors who may experience anxiety or stress when transitioning to unfamiliar settings.

Home Care agencies provide care with tasks related to Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs). Home Care can help them with everything from picking up their prescriptions or grocery shopping. As well as helping them bathe, cook, clean, and dress. They can also be there ensuring that they take their medications on time, and providing standby assistance when they are completing the prescribed exercises.

Moreover, home care providers play a crucial role in monitoring seniors’ overall health and well-being. They serve as vigilant observers of any changes in physical or cognitive function. By conducting regular assessments and communication with clients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals, home care agencies can identify emerging issues early and intervene proactively to prevent complications or deterioration in health.

Beyond practical assistance, home care fosters meaningful companionship and emotional support for seniors who may feel isolated or lonely. Caregivers develop trusting relationships with their clients, providing compassionate companionship, engaging in meaningful conversations, and participating in enjoyable activities together. This social interaction is essential for maintaining cognitive function, emotional well-being, and overall quality of life.

Home Health Care

Home Health Care services are primarily healthcare-oriented, addressing intricate medical needs that demand professional expertise. One of the primary objectives of home health care is to facilitate the transition from the hospital or skilled nursing facility to home. This ensures continuity of care and promotes recovery in a familiar environment. This seamless transition reduces the risk of complications and readmissions while maximizing comfort and independence.

Home healthcare provides a range of medical treatments and procedures that would typically be administered in a hospital or clinic setting. These may include intravenous (IV) therapy, infusion services, wound care management, catheter care, medication management, and post-operative care. By delivering these services in the home environment, home health care maximizes convenience, comfort, and privacy for clients while minimizing the risk of exposure to healthcare-associated infections. Home health professionals also provide valuable guidance on medication management, disease management, symptom recognition, lifestyle modifications, and preventive measures, equipping clients with the knowledge and skills to manage their conditions effectively.

Notably, these services are covered by insurance, offering financial respite to the recipients.

Educating Referral Sources

When marketing I still found myself explaining to Social Workers, Discharge Planners, Admissions Directors, and Nurses that senior care agencies are more than sitter-services, and are vital to keeping their patients safe at home post-discharge. Therefore, when meeting with Social Workers/Discharge Planners in hospitals, Skilled Nursing Facilities, etc… I would remind them that Home Healthcare companies focus on healthcare needs, such as wound care, Physical and Occupational Therapy, IV infusion and port management, and other medical needs, where home care is not.

Combining the Two

If you’re a new agency and haven’t begun working on partnerships with Home Healthcare agencies, they can be a great referral source for your business. Virtually every patient that they see needs additional care. As you deepen your partnership, make sure that you teach the Home Healthcare companies how to qualify leads for you. 

Remember, insurance covers Home Healthcare. However, it does not cover many services from Home Care agencies like yours. Rather than having Home Healthcare companies send you all of their leads, guide them toward which leads will make the most sense to send over. You may have to remind them about your costs gently and that if most of your business is private pay, your clients pay either out of pocket or through Long Term Care insurance. However, if your agency also takes Medicaid, then it may be easier to turn their leads into clients.

This blog has given you some differences between Home Care and Home health care in the senior Care industry. We hope this guide has been enlightening for you. Do you have any specific questions or experiences about navigating the diverse avenues of senior care? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. Our team is here to provide insights and support as you navigate care for your agency’s clientele. Thank you for joining us on this journey!

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