What Is the Difference Between Personal Home Care and Home Health?

Personal Home Care vs Home Health

Even though “Personal Home Care” and “Home Health” sound similar, there are distinct differences between the support you can receive. Whether you are planning care for yourself or a loved one, it’s important to learn about the unique differences so you can choose the ideal care plan for the patient and family.

Depending on who you are talking to, Personal Home Care and Home Health care might be used interchangeably. Make sure to know the differences so you can manage your budget and match available care to your needs.

At Avatar Healthcare, we’re here to offer the personalized support every person deserves. Our team believes that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach that works for every patient.

Instead, we take the time to listen to your needs. Then, our experienced team can custom-design the services based on your goals and preferences.

Definition: Personal Home Care

Personal Home Care services support a person so they can maintain independence and safety at home. Home Care doesn’t offer medical services. Instead, the focus is on tasks that might be required around the house. For medical services at home, see Home Health below. 

Often, home care is ideal for people with disabilities, patients with chronic illnesses, older adults, or patients recovering after surgery. Unfortunately, these health conditions make it hard for a person to navigate the responsibilities and logistics of life.

This Personal Home Care is designed to offer non-medical support on a daily, weekly, or periodic basis. Other terms used for these services include companion care, custodial care, personal care, or homemaker services.

Since home care is available from non-medical caregivers, there are minimum eligibility requirements to receive these services. A caregiver might visit for a few hours or up to 24/7 depending on the needs of the patient.

Overview of Personal Home Care Services

If you or a loved one needs home care services, what should you expect? Here is an overview of the most common services available through a Personal Home Care plan:

  • Medication reminders
  • Meal preparation
  • Bathing, grooming, and dressing
  • Toileting
  • Transportation
  • House cleaning and chores
  • Companionship

The top priority is to maintain the person’s safety and well-being. This support allows someone to stay in their home instead of the need to move into a care facility.

Definition: Home Health Care

Services through Home Health care are focused on medical treatments and support. Patients often need Home Health care for the treatment of a chronic illness or when recovering from surgery, an injury, or an illness.

In some cases, people begin our Home Health services because they have been recently diagnosed with a serious medical condition. Or, a person might be experiencing a decline in health until they reach the point that additional support is required.

It’s common for someone to transition into a Home Health care plan after leaving a hospital, skilled nursing facility, or a rehab center. The purpose of these services is to prioritize the patient’s needs while also helping a person maintain as much independence as possible.

Overview of Home Health Services

Specific medical services depend on the patient’s diagnosis, as well as their symptoms and personalized needs. These services are available either periodically or intermittently.

A person’s Home Health care plan might include:

  • Nursing
  • Wound care
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Patient and caregiver education
  • Speech therapy
  • Medical social work
  • Daily hygiene and medical support

How Much Will You Pay for Home Health or Home Care Services?

The good news is that Home Health services are often available to the family with minimal out-of-pocket costs. For example, if a doctor orders Home Health care services, private insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare plans are usually available to pay for these services.

As a result, patients and families can access these necessary services without worrying about the bills piling up. Loved ones can focus on the needs of the patients instead of dealing with the stress of expensive medical costs.

Keep in mind that some families need to pay for Personal Home Care services out-of-pocket. But specific long-term insurance plans or Medicaid coverage will help with the expense of home care services.

Differences Between Home Health and Personal Home Care Services

As you can see from the descriptions above, Home Health care services focus on the medical and health needs of the patient. On the other hand, home care services focus on other, non-medical life details.

These are some of the key differences that distinguish Personal Home Care vs. Home Health:

  • Eligibility: For a patient to receive Home Health support, they must have a doctor’s order. Eligibility requirements must be met, such as a limited ability to leave home. On the other hand, families usually pay for Personal Home Care services out-of-pocket, so there are no eligibility requirements to meet.
  • Payment: Home Health care costs are usually covered through private insurance plans, Medicaid, or Medicare. Families typically need to pay the bill for home care services.
  • Length of Care: As long as the doctor certifies the need, a patient will continue receiving Home Health care services. Personal Home Care can also persist as long as a patient’s needs and the family’s budget allow.
  • Providers: Home Health care involves skilled or clinical providers, such as therapists and licensed nurses. Personal Home Care includes services from non-skilled providers, such as professional caregivers and housekeepers.
  • Services: Home Health care focuses primarily on the patient’s medical needs. Personal Home Care focuses mainly on everyday needs around the house, not including medical care.
  • Location: Home Health services go to the patient’s current location, such as the home, assisted living facilities, group homes, or skilled nursing facilities. In comparison, Personal Home Care is usually only available in the home.

Care Services: What Both Have in Common

Depending on the health and circumstances of each patient, there are times when a person receives both Personal Home Care services and Home Health services.

Here is an overview of what both Home Health and Personal Home Care services have in common:

  • Customized care based on the unique needs of each patient
  • Medication reminders to ensure the patient is following the right schedule and dosages
  • Help with grooming, bathing, and dressing
  • The goal of avoiding unnecessary hospitalization
  • Keeping a patient in their home instead of a nursing home or care facility
  • Giving families the option to choose the environment for care

Deciding on the Best Care Services for Your Loved One

How do you choose the best care services for someone you love? As you compare Personal Home Care vs. Home Health, it’s helpful to learn about the specific support you’ll receive through each option.

The ultimate goal is to help your loved ones receive the ideal care for their unique needs. Both types of care can be helpful when someone is recovering from a severe medical condition or injury.

For more information about Home Health or Personal Home Care services, contact our team at Avatar Healthcare. We offer full-service support, including hospice services as needed. Contact us at (844) 422-5528.


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