The terms “home health care” and “home care” are often used interchangeably, however, there is a distinct and dramatic difference between these two types of in-home care. Home care or “private duty” usually refers to providing an ongoing set of services that are inherently non-medical. On the other hand, home health care is a higher level of care that is usually short-term in nature and ordered by the patient’s physician.

Home Care: Basic Day-to-Day Assistance

Senior home care is non-medical care provided at home by professional caregivers that are supervised by a licensed agency. Bethesda offers a Senior Support Solutions program for these services. Home care services are for individuals who need assistance with daily activities. Home care aides are not required to have any specific medical training. Therefore, they cannot provide any medical services, such as administer medications and change dressings.

Services Offered Through Senior Home Care

Home care services are paid primarily by private pay; however, individuals with long-term care insurance can use their benefits to pay for home care services. Medicare will not cover St. Louis home care since it is not considered a medical expense. Common home care services include:

  • Bathing and grooming
  • Transferring
  • Toileting
  • Medication reminders
  • Companionship
  • Meal preparation
  • Light housekeeping
  • Transportation

Home Health Care: Medical Assistance at Home

On the other hand, home health care provides professional or “skilled” medical services administered in the senior’s home. These agencies are typically used to provide assistance to individuals who have been released from hospital care following a surgery or serious illness. The goal of home health care in treating an illness or injury is to help an individual regain independence and become self-sufficient as soon as possible.

Services Offered Through Home Health Care

In general, home health care includes intermittent home visits (usually several times a week for 1-2 hours) to provide two or more of the following services:

  • Skilled nursing (including wound care, pain management, home IV therapy, disease and/or medication Instruction and monitoring, etc.)
  • Physical and occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Personal care from a certified nurse’s assistant (including bathing, grooming, etc.)

Paying for Home Health Care

St. Louis home health services may be provided by licensed nurses, licensed therapists, and certified nursing assistants. In order to be covered by primary insurance and/or Medicare, the home health care you use must be certified by Medicare. Generally the patient must:

  • Be under a doctor’s plan of care
  • Be homebound
  • Have a medical necessity

To learn more about Bethesda’s in-home services, including Home Health and Senior Support Solutions, contact us today.