Home Health vs. Home Care: What’s the Difference?

By Michelle Cemental

Hospital stays are becoming shorter. Surgical procedures have a pre-determined length of stay attached to them that insurance companies look at closely. Unfortunately, this can sometimes result in a patient feeling as though they've been discharged too early. Though they appear on paper to have met the criteria for discharge from the hospital's level of care, they may feel unprepared for a return to the home setting and run the risk of readmission. Life after discharge can be stressful for seniors and their family. To make things easier, can home health and home care work together?

How Home Health Can Help

After discharge there are many duties, such as caring for their wounds, managing medications, safely traversing the home to use the restroom and return to bed can be overwhelming, and this is in addition to managing a diet to facilitate healing, trips to the store, dealing with pain, drowsiness, and potential side effects from new medications. 

This is where home health and private duty can team up and step in. With effective interception prior to discharge from the hospital, home health and private-duty care can be coordinated to bridge the gap.

Home health agencies can provide the medical care that seniors need after being discharged from the hospital. They can administer medications, take blood pressure, and perform other medical duties as needed to monitor a senior's health. However, home health aides can't be in the home 24/7. 

How Private-Duty Caregivers Can Help

Private-duty caregivers can visit on days opposite of home health aides and help with such duties as bathing, transportation and errands, and other non-medical services. Private-duty care agencies can approach home care agencies with the intention to team up and synergistically deliver care in a way that benefits everyone.

By joining efforts, home health care agencies and private duty can intervene prior to discharge with patient-centered goals to ease patients seamlessly into care at home. This communication and merging of skill sets and services can dramatically change the transition from hospital to home, empowering patients and reducing hospital readmissions. 

Bridging the Gap

At Caring Senior Service, we promote coordinating care efforts with home health agencies. Thanks to our proprietary software, Tendio, seniors, their family members, and all members of their care team can stay up-to-date on current conditions and progress. This system helps everyone stay in the loop to provide the best care for seniors. 

Together, home health and private-duty care can help seniors remain healthy and at home. If you find yourself in need of a home care provider, refer to our 7 questions to ask when considering home care to find the best fit. Find your local office to access our FREE downloadable resources.

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Tags: Home Care