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Home Health vs Home Care

Author: Tammy Rampton, RN, BSN 


Language is fun. Two things can sound similar and have very different meanings. No one is going to hand you a bouquet of flour (can you imagine the mess?) or put a cup of flowers in a cookie recipe. Home health and home care sound the same, but each has their own place and function. Read on to learn the difference! 

What is home health? 

Think of home health as your medical support group, but on wheels! Instead of having to travel to your various appointments, your appointments come to you. Home health includes professionals in the medical field such as: 

  • Registered Nurses  
  • Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) 
  • Physical Therapists  
  • Occupational Therapists 
  • Speech Therapists 

    Often, home health is ordered after a stay in a hospital or skilled nursing facility and is used to treat an illness or infection, heal an injury, or set up management for a chronic condition. For instance, registered nurses and LPNs may manage medications, provide wound care, and/or monitor your blood pressure. Physical, occupational, and speech therapists often focus on rehabilitation therapies to improve activities of daily living (ADLs) such as walking, using a wheelchair, dressing, bathing, and eating. 

    These services are often provided through a home health agency (such as All Care Health Solutions) with full or part of the expense covered by health insurance. It’s important to reach out to your individual insurance agency to verify coverage before starting services.   

    What is home care? 

    Home care is your non-medical support group. We all need help sometimes, and injury and illness can make even the simplest tasks around the home daunting and exhausting. Home care is there to ease some of that burden. Some examples of what home care providers can do include: 

    • Clean rooms in the house 
    • Wash laundry 
    • Prepare meals 
    • Pick up groceries and prescriptions 
    • Give rides to appointments 
    • Transfer the patient to/from the bed, chair, or toilet. 
    • Provide personal care (bathing, dressing, and/or grooming) 
    • Act as a companion for emotional support 

      Home care is a valuable resource for those wanting to stay in their home but are not independent enough to safely do so. Home care is usually not covered by insurance.  

      Do you have to pick just one? 

      Not at all! In fact, having both home health and home care working together for you, or your loved one, can be ideal. Over the last 30 years more and more emphasis has been placed on caring for people in their own homes instead of moving them to a facility. This has been a wonderful shift in our society. However, safety and the ability to receive needed medical care are essential to successfully remain at home. Home health and home care can fill in the gaps to make this a reality.  

      You can discuss your individual needs and circumstances with your physician to figure out what the best course is for you. You can also contact us at 208-473-2717 with any questions you might have. 

      Author:  Tammy Rampton, RN, BSN

      Rampton Medical Writing