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The Difference Between Home Care and Home Health Care

Aging is a natural part of life and as the years go by, everybody grows older. Even so, it can be quite overwhelming to take over the care of older adults or family members who can no longer completely take care of themselves. When this occurs, you might be wondering about your options and whether you need to move your loved ones to a care facility or nursing home or if they can remain in their own homes longer. You may even start searching for information on in-home care.

During your research, you will find that the difference between home care and home health care is not always clear. It can be confusing to decide which option is suitable for you or your aging loved one. But it’s important to understand what you’re getting into when making these decisions. After all, home care and home health care professionals have very different goals, training, and expertise. Continue reading this article from DreamProviders to learn more.

Significant Differences Between Home Care and Home Health Care

When it comes to care for aging seniors, there are numerous phrases to describe the various services available. There are assisted living facilities and nursing homes for those that need to relocate for comprehensive senior care. Home care and home health care are two terms referring to in-home care, where the senior can remain in their own home or with a family member. But what is the distinction between these two types of in-home care?

Comparing the two, you will note that home care provides non-medical support and assistance with day-to-day activities. In contrast, home health care involves medical services and focuses on providing skilled nursing care and rehabilitative care at home safely.

With that in mind, what service is more beneficial for you or your loved one? That depends on several factors, including the person’s needs, health status, and preference.

If you’re still not sure which option is best, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What type of care does the person need?
  • What is the person’s health status?
  • What is the person’s preference?
  • What is the budget?
  • Can other family members handle caregiving services instead?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you should better understand which home care option is best for you or your loved one.

Let us look closely into what each entails:

Home Care

As we mentioned, home care is designed to provide non-medical support, companion care, and other human services. A professional home care agent may assist with home care services or you can choose to hire a private caregiver. Home care services are typically less expensive than home health care services, and they can be flexible in terms of scheduling.

Some of the most common professional caregivers services include:

  • Personal grooming
  • Light housekeeping and homemaker services
  • Laundry
  • Grocery shopping
  • Running errands
  • Transportation
  • Meal preparation
  • Medication reminders
  • Companionship


  • Services can be less expensive than home health care services.
  • Services are flexible in terms of scheduling.
  • Home care services can be tailored to the specific needs of the individual.
  • Senior gets exceptional care and companionship in own home.


  • Home care services generally do not include skilled nursing or rehabilitative services.
  • There may be a limited number of home care agencies or private caregivers to choose from in your area.

Home Health Care

This specialized care is primarily a medical service that focuses on skilled nursing and rehabilitative treatments. A professional care agency can provide the services, or you can employ a private caregiver. Home health care services are usually more costly than home care services, but they offer medical care.

Some exceptional health care services include:

  • Wound care
  • IV nutrition treatments
  • Injections
  • Physical therapy
  • Monitoring of vital signs


  • Services can be flexible in terms of scheduling.
  • Home health services can be tailored to the specific needs of the individual.
  • Seniors get in-home care for medical issues and don’t have to visit hospital or clinic.


  • Home health care services are generally more expensive than home care.
  • There may be a limited number of home health care agencies or private caregivers to choose from in your area.
  • Services usually don’t include activities of daily living.
  • Less personalized care.

Medical Services That May Be Provided in the Comfort of Your Own Home

Home health care is a service that is delivered in the privacy of your own home. These services are usually requested by a doctor and are provided by highly competent healthcare professionals. The following are just a few examples of home health care services:

  • Short-term nursing services – Usually only available for a limited time (no more than 14 days). Wound treatment, IV therapy, and post-surgical care are examples of typical short-term nursing services.
  • Physical therapy – A sort of rehabilitation that aids patients in regaining their strength and mobility. Services offered to assist with daily activities include walking, stair climbing, and getting in and out of bed. Also usually a short period of time.
  • Occupational therapy – Helps patients with various activities of daily living that have become difficult to perform due to an illness or injury. Services provided help with cooking, cleaning, and dressing.
  • Speech therapy – A type of rehabilitation that helps patients with communication and swallowing disorders. Services include assisting with expressive and receptive language and oral motor skills.
  • Health aides – Provide assistance and personal care services to their patients. These services may include bathing, dressing, grooming, and toileting.
  • Medical social workers – Offer counseling and support to patients and their families. Services are provided to help with financial and legal issues and offer emotional support.

People Suited for In-Home Care Services:

  • Older adults that may need help with their day-to-day activities, but don’t require skilled nursing care or rehabilitative services.
  • People of any age who need short-term assistance after a hospital stay, injury, or surgery.

As you can see, there are some critical differences between the two, and it’s essential to understand the kind of care your loved one requires in order to make the best decision for both you and your loved one.

Why Is Personal Care Critical?

There are many reasons why choosing home care is essential. Home care can help people maintain their independence and it can also help reduce the risk of hospitalization or re-hospitalization. Additionally, home care can help improve the quality of life for people dealing with chronic illnesses or disabilities. On top of that, home care can provide support and companionship to people feeling lonely or forgotten.

Home care is an integral part of the health care system, and it provides a wide range of benefits for anyone needing a bit of help. If you or anyone you love and care for needs home care services, carefully research your options to make the best decision for you and your family.

What Happens When There Is a Medical Emergency?

When you require home services for a loved one, it’s important to know what will happen in the event of a medical emergency. Any professional caregiver is highly trained and knows exactly what to do in case of an emergency. Not only will they immediately call 911, they know more than the average person about how to administer emergency care like CPR. Many times, a home-care provider can recognize the signs of something wrong before anyone else.

It’s essential to plan what will happen after the medical emergency has been resolved. You will need to have prior arrangements for transportation to and from the hospital and any necessary follow-up care. Be sure to discuss these things with your home care agency to prepare you in case of an emergency.

Which One Is Best for Your Senior?

The answer will depend on several factors, including the needs of your aging parent or loved one and the availability of services. If you are unsure which type of care is best for your older adult, you should speak with their doctor or a home care agency to get more information.

No matter the type of in-home care you choose, it’s essential to ensure that you do what’s best for your parent or loved one. They deserve to have the best possible care, and you should make sure that they are getting the help they need. The care you offer will help them heal, live independently, and maintain their quality of life.

When Should You Start Looking into Home Care?

It’s never too early to start looking into home care options for specialized services. If you have an older loved one who is beginning to need more help around the house, it’s a good idea to start researching your options and discussing their wishes. This way, you can be prepared when the time comes.

There are also a few signs that may indicate that home care is necessary. If your loved one has difficulty with their daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, or eating, they might need help from a home care agency. Additionally, home care may be the best option if they are starting to experience more frequent falls or are showing signs of memory loss.

How Much Does Home Care for the Elderly Cost?

The cost of elderly home care will vary depending on several factors, including the type of services needed and the location. You can budget to pay an average of $2,500 to $5,000 per month for home care services. It’s essential to keep in mind that the cost of care will also depend on the specific needs of your loved one. For home health care, the average monthly fee will be a bit higher.

What Are the Home Care and Home Health Care Financial Aids for the Elderly in San Antonio, Texas?

Several financial aids are available for the elderly in Texas. These services can help your loved one get help with activities such as transportation, medical care, and more. The specific benefits will vary depending on their qualifications.

How Much Does Medicaid Pay for Home Health Care Per Hour in Texas?

In Texas, Medicaid pays $21.92 per hour for home health care services for senior care. The fee may vary depending on your chosen agency’s specific services offered. Also, remember that Medicaid will only pay for home health care services if deemed medically necessary.

Can We Have Family Caregivers Instead in Texas?

Yes, the Family Caregiver Assist program in Texas provides cash assistance to low-income adults caring for a family member with a disability. To be eligible for the program, ensure you meet specific income and asset requirements, including your loved one having a disability requiring assistance with daily living activities.

Can You Get In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) in Texas?

Yes. IHSS is a program that provides in-home support services to low-income adults and seniors who cannot care for themselves. In Texas, the IHSS program is administered by the Department of Aging and Disability Services.

What Is the Home Care Tax Credit in Texas?

The home care tax credit in Texas allows you to deduct a portion of the cost of home care services from your state taxes. You must have paid for home care services for yourself or a loved one to be eligible for the credit. The amount of the credit will vary depending on your tax bracket.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Find an In-Home Care Agency in My Area?

There are a few ways to find an agency in your area. Research providers online, ask your doctor for recommendations or reach out to friends and acquaintances for referrals.

Why Do Caregivers Need Support?

Caregivers need support because caring for a loved one can be a challenging and emotional experience. Several resources are available to caregivers, including support groups, online forums, and respite care. Additionally, many home care agencies offer caregiver training and support.

How Do I Choose a Home Care Provider?

It would be best to consider a few things when choosing a home care agency. First, you’ll want to ensure the agency is licensed and insured. You’ll also want to read reviews and compare pricing. Finally, you’ll want to choose an agency that provides compassionate care and the specific services your loved one needs.

What Are Common Health Concerns for Seniors?

Some common health concerns for seniors include falls, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

DreamProviders for Home Care Services

Whether you need home care or home health care for your loved one, it is a difficult task to choose the right service provider. When selecting in-home care, there are many factors to consider, including cost, services needed, and frequency of visits.

Ultimately, the best decision is the one that meets the unique needs of your loved one. DreamProviders is proud to be serving the people of San Antonio, TX, and the surrounding area by offering excellent non-medical home care and other services. We can provide several services customized to your loved one’s specific needs, from help with the activities of daily living to 24/7 supervision and everything in between. Contact us online or by calling (210) 908-9998 today to learn more information about the services we provide, our staff, our training program, and more.