What is Home Care?

There are multiple types of high-quality home care services available and each serves a different need. Home care services should give you and your loved one peace of mind, allow for as much independent living as possible, and provide the best support and care available.

So, what is in-home care? Home care allows people with specific needs to keep living at home and receive non-clinical or non-medical help. The types of care included in this are also called companion care and personal care. This type of assistance may include:

  • Meal preparation
  • Companionship
  • Assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), such as dressing, bathing and eating
  • Mobility assistance
  • Medication reminders

In-home care is often used by older adults who want to age in place, as well as people who are chronically ill, recovering from surgery or have a disability that means they need additional help at home. People of all ages use home care assistance, which can be ongoing or short-term.

Is Home Health Care Different Than Home Care?

Yes, home health care is different. Sometimes called home health or skilled nursing care, this type of care refers to at-home assistance from a medical professional such as a registered nurse (RN) or a physical therapist. A doctor may recommend home health care as part of a patient's comprehensive care plan. Examples of medical services include:

  • Medication management, including administration of vaccines
  • Infusions
  • Wound care

Home health care services are most often used by those who are over the age of 50. However, people of all ages can benefit from this type of care. Children with chronic conditions or special needs, young adults with mental illness, and adults with Alzheimer’s and dementia use home health care. Like home care, home health care can be short-term or long-term.   

What is Palliative Care at Home?

Palliative care at home is medical care for those with serious illnesses such as cancer, respiratory conditions, kidney disease or congestive heart failure. It can be provided to people of all ages and serves to improve quality of life, help with symptoms and manage pain. 

Palliative care is considered a type of comfort care, but those in palliative care may be given life-prolonging or treatments that can potentially cure the condition. Palliative care teams can also offer spiritual counseling and grief support to families. Your primary care provider can provide a referral for palliative care services.

What is Hospice Care at Home? 

Hospice and palliative care appear similar, but have one significant difference. Hospice care is for patients who no longer have any curing treatment options available to them or those who have chosen not to pursue further treatment. Hospice care focuses on quality of life over treatment. It is compassionate comfort care, which most often takes place in the home but can also be provided in a hospital setting. Services provided with hospice care at home include:

  • Pain management
  • Nurse visits
  • Personal care such as bathing and grooming
  • Spiritual comfort
  • Companionship
  • Bereavement support

Hospice teams are comprised of specialized end-of-life professionals. Ask your primary care provider (PCP) if hospice services can benefit your loved one.

Does Medicare Cover Home Health Care?

Medicare coverage for short-term home health care may be available. Coverage usually begins when the person is in the process of being discharged from a hospital or rehabilitation facility, receives a new medical diagnosis or has a significant change in their medical condition.

Those needing Medicare coverage should work with a Medicare-certified agency or representative. There are many eligibility rules that a qualified representative will walk you through. Learn more about paying for home care.

Find Home Care and Home Health Care Near Me

We understand that choosing an in-home care provider can be overwhelming. We're here to help make the process easy for you and your loved ones. BrightStar® Home Care offers trusted care across the country, provided by compassionate experienced professionals.

We offer a variety of care options, including the full range of in-home care and home health care for people of all ages. Contact us online, search for a convenient location near you or call 866.618.7827 to discuss your home care needs.

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