The Difference Between Home Health Care and Non-Medical Home Care Services

The Difference Between Home Health Care and Non-Medical Home Care Services

The first step in hiring senior services provided in the home is identifying the difference between non-medical home care and home health care. It is important to understand this distinction, since the type of care will both guide your search for the appropriate caregiver as well as define how you will be able to pay for home care.

What is Non-Medical Home Care?

Non-medical home care can also be identified by the following terms: personal care, companion care, homemaker services, custodial care, unskilled, and non-clinical. It provides valuable social interaction, help with household chores, and assistance with activities of daily living including:

  • Meal Preparation
  • Laundry
  • Light Housework
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Eating
  • Toileting
  • Transportation
  • Mobility Assistance
  • Medication Reminders

What is Home Health Care?

Home health care is medical in nature. A prescription from a doctor may be required to obtain these services that are provided by healthcare professionals such as registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and physical, occupational, and speech-language therapists. Home health care may also be described as clinical care and skilled care.

Home health care companies provide the following services:

  • Administration of medication (including IVs and injections)
  • Monitoring Vital Signs
  • Wound care
  • Assistance with recovery from illness or injury
  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech-Language Therapy
  • Monitoring of medical equipment
  • Expertise in specific medical conditions (like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia)

Note that there may be some overlap in the provision of services. For example, a home health care company may also provide non-medical "homemaker" and personal care services if you identify a need for household assistance in your care plan.

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