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Home Care vs. Home Health Care

Posted on: November 02 2022

People often think home health and home care are the same thing. Many agencies use the terms interchangeably, depending on the state you’re in. The terms sound similar and both types of care are delivered in the home. But there are important differences between home care and home health care. Knowing the differences can help you decide which type of care is right for your needs and budget.

When comparing home health vs. home care, it’s useful to know the definitions of each as a starting point.

Home Care Definition

The definition of home care is help with daily activities to allow people to stay safe at home. It is often used by older adults with chronic illness, those with disabilities and people recovering from surgery. Home care is also sometimes called personal care, companion care, custodial care or homemaker services.

Here are some important facts about the home care definition:

Home care services may include:

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

Many pay for home care out of pocket. In some cases, Veterans Benefits or Long-Term Insurance will cover the costs of home care.

Home Health Care Definition

The home health care definition is medical services provided at home to treat a chronic health condition or help you recover from illness, injury or surgery. Some people start home health care after a health decline or getting diagnosed with a serious medical condition. Many people transition to home health care after a stay in a hospital, rehab center or skilled nursing facility. The primary goals are to help people recover and stay as independent as possible.

Here are some important facts about the home health definition:

Home health care services address intermittent, or periodic, needs and may include:

  • Nursing
  • Physical Therapy
  • Speech Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Medical Social Work
  • Wound Care
  • Patient and Caregiver Education
  • Help with daily tasks like bathing and dressing from a home health aide

When ordered by a doctor, Medicare, Medicaid and some private insurance plans cover the cost of home health services for eligible patients.

Similarities Between Home Care and Home Health Care

To understand the difference between home care and home health care, it helps to know the similarities. Both offer:

  • Care in the comfort and safety of your home
  • Help for older adults to feel better and stay as independent as possible
  • Assistance with daily tasks like bathing, dressing and grooming
  • Less expensive care than hospital or facility care

Some of the key differences between home care vs. home health are:


  • Home health care provides “clinical” or “skilled” care by licensed nurses and therapists.
  • Home care provides “non-clinical” or “non-skilled” care by professional caregivers.


  • Home health care services are more medical in nature. Home health aides are available to help with things like bathing, grooming and dressing until you are safely able to do them again or have a caregiver who can safely assist you. But the focus of care is skilled nursing and therapy.
  • Home care helps with everyday tasks like bathing, dressing, grooming, cooking, cleaning, and transportation. It does not include medical care like nursing or therapy.


  • Home health care continues as long as your doctor certifies, and you continue to meet eligibility requirements.
  • Home care continues as long as you want, based on your budget and needs.


  • Home health care visits are typically a few hours per week, depending on the patient’s needs and doctor’s orders.
  • Home care can help clients 24/7, depending on the client’s budget and needs.

When you’re comparing home care vs home health care you should know that you can receive both at the same time. Home health provides clinical care to help the patient recover, and home care helps with day-to-day caregiving and tasks. Although there are many differences between home care and home health care, both types of care can help older adults stay safe and independent in their homes. If you’re struggling with daily tasks or recovering from an illness, injury or surgery, ask your health care provider if home care is for you.

To learn more, call Around the Clock Home Care at an office near you.

Posted in News


Absolutely amazing company that genuinely cares about their patients and patients families. If I had a loved one in need of care or companionship, I would have it be from Around the Clock Home Care. They have a lot they can do to assist someone in need.

Jamie Landrith-Clift

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