Differences Between Home Health Care and Non-Medical In-Home Care

It has been observed that most people are not aware of different types of in-home care services that are available to seniors and fail to distinguish one service from another. These services not only differ with respect to activities involved but also in cost and the set of people who provide these home care services have different expertise. Before you even start looking for hiring a home care agency, there is a need to understand the various features associated with them so that you can make an informed decision about the well-being of your loved ones.

Home health care refers to medical care services that are given to those adults, seniors, and pediatric patients that are recuperating at home after a hospital or facility stay. This type of service is provided by those healthcare professionals who are licensed and trained. They include all or some of the services such as nursing, rehabilitation, therapeutic treatment, and assistive care.

This type of care is given by certified professionals such as physical therapists, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, occupational therapists, home health aides, medical social workers etc. It is generally covered under Medicaid, Medicare or long term insurance. Some common services that are given under this type of care are medication administration, occupational therapy, wound dressing and care, mobility training, pain management and IV therapy/injections.

Non-medical in-home care services are required to help seniors & other patients with activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living so as to make sure that they are safe and taken care of at home. The staff of non-medical in-home care typically does not need to have a medical license. Though in the state of New Jersey, personal care require certified home health aides and therefore they fall under CHHA (Certified Home Health Agencies).

In most cases this type of service is not covered by insurance or public funds (CHHA though could bill Medicare) and the person has to pay for these services from his/her own funds until and unless it is given as a part of the home health care. Some home care agencies providing non-medical in-home care services could also give medical services if required.

This type of care provides two different kinds of services known as personal care services and companionship services. Personal care services include help with common daily activities such as bathing, grooming, and hygiene as well as with mobility assistance, transferring & positioning, toilet assistance, incontinence care, feeding, and giving prescribed diets. In the Montclair, New Jersey area, many in-home senior care services agencies treat personal care and companionship services as two separate services whereas some provide them as a single service.