Home Health Care vs. Home Care Assistance

What is the difference between Home Health and Homecare Assistance?

Home care includes custodial care and anything non-medical or non-skilled. “Home health care” would involve everything administered by skilled medical professionals to help someone recover from illness or injury.

Homecare and home health both help adults and seniors live independently. The duration of care can be long term, short term, with or without illness, or injury, and covers a wide range of services that help seniors with their daily needs. Having extra help around the house can often delay long-term nursing home care.

Things home care and home health care covers but are not limited too are:
  • Assisting ambulation
  • Bathing
  • Cooking
  • Light housekeeping
  • Monitoring medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Speech therapy

Paying for care

The cost of care differs between home health and home care. Anything non-medical will be an out of pocket expense. Clients can also subsidize their care with any long-term care insurance policies that they have been paying into or Medicaid may also help cover the cost for low-income seniors. If your care is considered medical care, (home health can be covered by medical insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid.)

When to use Home Health:
  • Following hospitalization
  • Following rehabilitation or skilled nursing facility
  • Transitioning back to independence
  • Recent medication changes and doctor orders monitoring care
When to use Home Care:
  • Signs of decline in health and hygiene
  • A need for reminders to take medication
  • Signs of inability to perform normal daily tasks such as cooking and cleaning
  • Companionship or a need of a driver to and from medical appointments
  • Assisting with bathing and grooming

Ensuring Quality Care


With any purchase of services, it is wise to do your research and when dealing with a loved one quality of care is a top priority with your final decision. Leaving a stranger to care for your loved one can be daunting. You must gain confidence that whoever you leave to care for your loved one has their best interest at heart.

Here are some great questions to ask any health care provider:
  • Is the agency licensed with the state?
  • Does the agency provide a care plan?
  • How closely do supervisors oversee the care of each client?
  • How often is the agency available and is there on-call assistance?
  • Are the care providers licensed with the state?

Now that you fully understand the difference between home care assistance and home health assistance you can feel confident in your decision making with your local providers.

BONUS! Learn how to help seniors stay independent longer here: https://a1care.com/5-ways-to-help-seniors-stay-independent/