“Home care” can seem self-explanatory, it is care provided in the safety of your own home. Once you start to do more research though, you begin to see that there are two different types of home care, medical and non-medical. While both happen in the home setting, there are differences in the types of services they provide and who can administer them. These two types of care are also referred to as “home health care” and “in-home care”, respectively.

Below we are going to breakdown the basic differences of the two types of services each provides and how you or your loved one can receive care.

Elderly couple using the internet to learn about home care options

Types of Services

Home Care

Home care is the type of care that is provided by a medical professional, usually a nurse or physical therapist. They are able to perform more skilled services like wound care, pain management, physical/occupational therapy, and IV therapy/injections. If you or your loved one is recovering from an illness, injury, or surgery, this type of skilled nursing care may be necessary.

Non-Medical Home Care

With non-medical home care, the focus is placed on basic daily living activities. This type of care deals primarily with services like bathing, toileting, light housekeeping, meal preparation, transportation and medication reminders. These types of services do not require a medical professional like a registered nurse or physical therapist to administer care.

Physician meeting with a senior medical patient

How To Get Care

Home Care

With home care, a medical physician will need to authorize the types of skilled nursing care services listed above. The physician will then provide home care orders that will include how long care is needed and how many times a week it is required. If home care has to be extended the physician will need to provide new orders to the home care company. If you are unsure of a senior home care company that you would like providing care, your primary care physician can refer a company for you. If you have done the research and have decided who you want to provide in home services, you can ask your physician to write the referral to the specific home care company that’s been chosen.

Non-Medical Home Care

Since non-medical home care provides basic daily activities a physician’s order is not necessary. Family members or the loved one can connect with companies that offer these types of services and can start their own plan of care right away. It is important to ensure that the company you choose has experienced workers that have gone through various background checks and training.

A lot of times, a loved one just requires some additional help around the home and then slowly starts to require more skilled services. By choosing a company that provides both medical and non-medical services will help to create a trusted relationship with the company and can help provide additional services along the way. Understanding the difference between these two types of care, you will now be able to ensure that you or your loved one is always getting the best care possible, at all times.