Is Home Care The Same As Home Health Care?

February 12, 2024

Navigating senior care options can be overwhelming, with terms like “home care” and “home health care” often used interchangeably. However, there are distinct differences between the two that can significantly impact the well-being of seniors, people with disabilities, or people recovering from an illness or surgery. At Nova Home Care, we believe in providing clarity to families seeking the best care for their loved ones. To help you choose the right care plan, let’s explore the differences between home care and home health care.

Home Care vs. Home Health Care: What’s The Difference?

Home care and home health care both aim to enhance the quality of life for seniors and people disabled permanently or temporarily, but they serve different purposes.

  • Home care primarily focuses on non-medical help for seniors or people with disabilities. For example, the services provided by Nova Home Care cover assistance with daily activities such as meal preparation, companionship, light housekeeping, mobility, and assistance with personal hygiene and grooming. This type of long-term care is designed to support folks in maintaining their independence and overall well-being within the comfort of their homes. It has many benefits, especially for seniors, including physical health and enhanced life satisfaction.
  • Home health care involves more specialized medical services provided by licensed healthcare professionals. These services may include administering medications, wound care, physical therapy, and other medical interventions. Home health care is typically recommended for individuals recovering from surgery, managing chronic illnesses, or requiring skilled nursing care. It is usually temporary, lasting as long as the specialist medical attention is strictly necessary.

Home Care vs. Home Health Care: Who Provides It?

Home care and home health care employ different types of professionals and fall under different insurance plans. 

  • Home care aides, also known as caregivers, are not medical personnel but are instead trained specifically in the art of caregiving and ensuring that their clients can live safe, comfortable, and independent lives at home. Home care aides can be contracted privately or through a home care agency, and social benefits like Medicaid often cover these services. Many home care aides are paid family caregivers looking after their elderly or disabled relatives. See our guide on how to get paid as a family caregiver for more information.
  • Home health aides are qualified medical professionals such as nurses or therapists. Their services cost more than home care aides and are typically prescribed by a doctor and covered by an outpatient’s health insurance plan, e.g., Medicare.

Becoming A Home Care Aide

For those interested in making a meaningful difference in the lives of seniors and people in need of assistance, becoming a home care aide with Nova Home Care is a rewarding opportunity. Unlike home health aides, home care aides do not require formal medical qualifications. Instead, we look for compassionate individuals who genuinely desire to assist folks in their daily lives.

In particular, we support family caregivers in obtaining the financial stability and resources they need to provide the best quality care for their loved ones. Our training focuses on the non-medical aspects of care, emphasizing companionship, empathy, and practical assistance to enhance the lives of our clients. See our careers page for more about salary, benefits, and requirements.

Home Care With Home Health Support

While home care primarily offers non-medical support, Nova Home Care recognizes the importance of coordinating with medical professionals when necessary—health is always a priority, even if everyday medical attention is not required. Because our clients may have healthcare needs beyond the scope of non-medical home care, we work collaboratively with healthcare providers to ensure a holistic approach to our clients’ well-being.

When you refer someone to Nova Home Care, our compassionate care team will arrange an assessment that includes the client and family’s input to create a personalized care plan, taking into account non-medical and healthcare requirements and coordinating with medical personnel to ensure that your loved one receives a comprehensive plan that meets all their needs.
Nova Home Care is an established home care agency in Indiana, Minnesota, Arizona, Colorado, and Connecticut. If you know of anyone in these states who may require home care services, with or without healthcare support, we can help. Contact Nova Home Care today or call 317.537.2490 to explore how our services can enhance the safety, independence, and well-being of your loved ones.

You May Be Eligible!