Non-medical home care and home health/skilled nursing services are two different types of care that can be provided to people who need help at home. While the two types of care may seem similar and the terms may often be used interchangeably, there are some important distinct differences.
Let’s take a closer look into what each of these services entails and how they can benefit your loved ones.
ℹ️ NOTE: This blog post is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider before making any decisions about your or your loved one’s healthcare. As a non-medical home care agency, we cannot provide medical advice or assessments that would help you make decisions based on the person’s health or condition.
What is Non-Medical Home Care?
Non-medical home care, also known as home care, personal care, companion care, or homemaker services, focuses on helping individuals with daily activities to ensure they can stay safe, and comfortable and live independently at home. This type of care is often utilized by older adults with chronic illnesses, those with disabilities, and individuals recovering from surgery.
Home care services from registered agencies like The HomeAides include support with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as assistance with fall prevention, bathing, toileting, dressing, grooming, light housekeeping, meal preparation, companionship, and medication reminders.
These services are typically paid for out-of-pocket or through long-term insurance.
What is Home Health Care?
Home health care provides medical services at home to treat chronic health conditions or assist in recovery from illness, injury or surgery. It’s often initiated after a health decline or diagnosis of a serious medical condition.
Many people transition to home health care after a stay in a hospital, rehab center or skilled nursing facility.
Home health care services address intermittent needs and may include nursing, physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, medical social work, wound care, patient and caregiver education.
When ordered by a doctor, Medicare, Medicaid and some private insurance plans cover the cost of home health services for eligible patients.
While both types of care are delivered at home and aim to help individuals recover and maintain their independence, there are a few key differences:
Type of Care: Home health care provides “clinical” or “skilled” care by licensed nurses and therapists. In contrast, home care provides “non-clinical” or “non-skilled” homemaker and companion aides.
Services: Home health care services are more medical in nature while home care services focus on assistance with daily activities.
Payment: Home health services are often covered by Medicare, Medicaid and some private insurance plans when ordered by a doctor.
On the other hand, home care services are typically paid for out-of-pocket or through long-term insurance.
We are proud to be an approved provider for the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders, and we gladly accept both private-pay and long-term care insurance, making our services accessible to a wide range of families across Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Choosing What’s Right For You
In many cases, you or your loved one may either need or be recommended a combination of the two.
When deciding between non-medical home care and home health/skilled nursing services, you should consider the following factors:
- Your needs: What type of care do you need? If you need help with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and eating, then non-medical home care may be a good option. If you need medical care, such as wound care, medication management, or physical therapy, then home health/skilled nursing services may be a better option.
- Your budget: Non-medical home care is typically less expensive than home health/skilled nursing services. However, home health/skilled nursing services may be covered by insurance for a specified duration of time.
- Your insurance coverage: Check with your insurance company to see what type of home care services are covered.
- Your preferences: Do you prefer to have a non-medical home care provider or a home health/skilled nursing provider? Do you want to have a caregiver who comes to your home for a few hours each day, or do you need someone who can provide 24/7 care?
Once you have considered these factors, you can start to narrow down your options. You can ask your doctor for recommendations, or you can search for providers online. When choosing a provider, be sure to read reviews and interview multiple candidates.
Upon choosing a provider, be sure to communicate your needs and expectations clearly. This will help the agency to provide you with the best possible care.