Which One to Choose And Which Do You Actually Need?
Choosing between home health and home care services for loved ones can be difficult, especially with the overwhelming number of options available. With more than 1,300 home care agencies in New York City, it can be difficult to know where to begin.
The first step is to understand each type of service; so you can make a more informed decision.
Home health services are typically for patients who require medical care, such as wound care, medication management, and physical therapy.
On the other hand, home care services are geared towards patients who require assistance with daily activities, such as bathing, dressing, and meal preparation.
Let’s explore the benefits of each service to help you decide which type of in-home support is right for your situation.
Defining Home Health and Home Care
Home health and home care providers offer services at the patient’s home. Home health is usually medical in nature and is provided by registered nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and other health care professionals.
Conversely, home care services are non-medical, and may include assistance with tasks of daily living, such as companionship, light housekeeping, meal preparation, and transportation.
Both home health and home care services are designed to help individuals take comfort in their homes for as long as possible. These services are provided to individuals of all ages and give them the support they need to stay safe and independent.
However, it is important to note that home care and home health services are not mutually exclusive. You can combine these services to create a comprehensive care plan for your loved ones.
Benefits of Home Health vs. Home Care
Let’s take a look at the benefits of home health and home care services:
Benefits of Home Health:
- Experts help with the management of chronic conditions, recovery from surgery or illness, and prevent hospital admissions where possible.
- Care providers can educate the family on the right ways to care for the client, and provide support to family members
- Service providers help with medication management, wound care, and other medical treatments that require a licensed healthcare professional
- Home health services coordinate care with other healthcare providers, such as doctors and specialists in managing the health of the client.
Benefits of Home Care:
- Home care services are ideal for senior citizens, as these services allow individuals to age in their homes and maintain independence
- Home care staff provides companionship and social interaction, which can reduce loneliness and depression
- These services offer flexibility in scheduling and care plans to meet individual needs
- Home care services provide respite care for family caregivers, allowing them to take a break and avoid burnout
- These services can provide transportation to appointments and errands.
Home Health Vs. Home Care Services: Qualifications
Home Care Service Providers
The qualifications for home care service providers vary depending on the state and the care provided. However, home care service providers in New York must:
- Have a high school diploma or equivalent
- Have certifications from a Home Health Aide training program approved by the New York State Department of Health.
- Be physically capable of providing care
- Have no criminal history
- Be listed in New York State Home Care Registry
- Pass a competency evaluation to demonstrate proficiency in basic care skills
Home Health Care Providers
Home health care providers in New York must:
- Complete an approved home health aide training program and pass a competency evaluation
- Complete the NYS Medicaid program
- Have a current certification in Basic Life Support (BLS) for healthcare providers
- Pass a physical examination and provide documentation of their immunization status
- Be listed in the New York State Home Care Registry
- Have no criminal history
- Be free of communicable diseases and not have a history of substance abuse or addiction.
Factors to Consider When Deciding Between Home Health or Home Care Services
Home health and home care services are great options for those who need extra assistance with daily living activities. When deciding between the two, there are several factors to consider.
Level of Medical Care Needed
Home health services are ideal for individuals who require regular medical attention due to illnesses, injuries, or aging. Home care services are more focused on assisting with daily living activities.
Level of Independence Desired
Home health services are more medically focused and require individuals to follow their doctor’s orders for care and treatment.
Home care services are more focused on providing assistance with tasks of daily living and offer individuals greater independence.
Cost of Services
According to Genworth Financial’s Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of in-home care in the United States is $4,957 monthly. This may seem daunting, but it’s important to remember that in-home care can be a practical and comfortable choice for individuals who wish to remain in their homes while receiving medical attention. Home health care costs are even higher, coming in at an average of $5,148 a month.
Whatever your healthcare needs may be, it’s always a good idea to research your options and plan for the associated costs.
Long-Term Vs. Short-Term Treatment
Short-term treatment plans are typically used to manage acute health problems associated with an illness or injury. These plans require the patient to be seen at a doctor’s office or hospital regularly, often including physical therapy, medication management, lifestyle changes and other treatments.
As these plans aim to alleviate symptoms and return patients to a healthy state quickly, they usually only last for a few weeks or months.
Conversely, long-term treatment plans are designed for chronic health conditions that require ongoing monitoring and care over a longer period. These illnesses and conditions can include heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other ongoing medical issues.
Such plans are typically centered around lifestyle changes and home care, such as exercise, diet modifications, and stress reduction. Long-term plans often incorporate the use of medications to manage symptoms, but they also include aspects of preventive care, such as regular check-ups and screenings.
Overall, whether home health or home care is the best option for you depends on what you need in terms of health care.
Home health can provide services like physical and occupational therapy, social work, and nursing, which are invaluable for those with medical conditions that require frequent monitoring and specialized care.
However, if your needs are more like homemaking assistance or companionship, home care may be the better option because it prioritizes comfort and supervision.
By looking at your situation closely, you can make an informed decision as to what type of in-home assistance best meets your unique needs.