What is the difference between home health care and non-medical home care? 

At first glance these terms look similar. According to Medicare, home health care is recommended to treat an illness or injury. Typically people choose to use home health care after they have been hospitalized. A doctor’s orders are needed to initiate care.  Services are provided by a nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist or other skilled professional. The services often include wound care, physical therapy, occupational therapy and monitoring vital signs.

Non-medical home care is often provided by home care aides who assist with meal preparation, companionship, dressing, bathing, light housekeeping, transportation and medication reminders.  Many people private pay for this service, however long term care insurance and Veterans Benefits will assist with payments.

Both are very important services to help an older adult maintain their independence in their own home. Home health care and non-medical home care can both be short-term, however non-medical home care can also be a longer term service for seniors. Many seniors choose to hire a non-medical home care agency when they can no longer live on their own but do not wish to move to an assisted living facility.

Roslyn Paine, MSW, LSW
DignityFirst Health at Home Care Manager