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Health care services for the elderly are wide and varied. While some people move to a nursing home, others may prefer to live in an assisted living facility. Others may choose to remain at home. For those who choose to stay in their homes, they can pick from a wide range of services offered. Home health care, home care, recovery care…the options are wide and varied, so it is important to know the differences between these services since the care you receive will vary dramatically depending on your choice. The most common confusion is between home health care and home care.

What Is Home Care?

Home care providers offer non-medical services. They provide companionship and help with the activities of daily living. Unless you are recovering from a surgery or an illness and home care is prescribed by a doctor, non-medical care services are not covered by insurance. A standard home care service will include:


From walking your pet to playing a game of cards or even attending a social event, a caregiver can help you cope with the loneliness that often comes with being homebound.

2.General Housekeeping

Meal preparation, house cleaning, help with grooming, laundry, simple maintenance issues, etc. will all be taken care of with home care.

3.Shopping & Transportation

A home care aide can also help with your grocery shopping, drive you out for doctor’s appointment, take your letter to the post office, etc.

This kind of service is usually paid privately or via long-term care insurance.

What Is In-Home Health Care?

In-home health care includes medical care which consists of skilled medical services offered by a registered nurse, therapist, and/or other skilled medical practitioners. This is covered by Medicaid and Medicare or other private insurance only when prescribed by a physician and required for a short term. A care manager is assigned to develop a care plan after discussing the needs and variables with the doctor. Some of the services covered by in-home health care include:


This includes in-home physical therapy, occupational therapy, and/or speech therapy. When an elderly person experiences a significant decline in daily living, these services may be prescribed to help them learn new skills or relearn lost skills.

2.Wound Care & In-Home Medical Care:

This is designed and supervised by the patient’s physician and includes regular medical monitoring, wound care, catheter care, IV care, injections, caregiver education, medication education, and so on.

Sometimes, home care and home health care can overlap. For example, a patient recovering from an illness or surgery may need home care to ensure that the patient’s quality of life isn’t affected as they recover from some illness or surgery. In such instances, home care is covered by Medicaid and Medicare. To find out what your health care insurance covers, call 1-800-350-8941.

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