The Difference Between Home Care and Home Health Care by Amber Kevlin, RN. Published by Rabun Neighbors Magazine

The phrases “home care services” and “home health care” are frequently used interchangeably in conversation, but there are very important distinctions to be aware of when searching for assistance for your loved ones. Home care generally refers to non-medical care provided by caregivers. These caregivers may not have a state certification but have received agency training and have years of experience with caring for seniors. Home care assistance is considered supplemental care for an aging adult or elderly person who requires extra help in their home, whether the need is post- rehab or long-term care. Home care services range from personal assistance with bathing, grooming, and incontinence care to running errands, grocery shopping, meal preparation, and companionship. Depending on the needs of the senior, a schedule of caregivers can be created whether they work overnight or just a few hours each day. Elderly care services do not need a physician referral, and is often private pay, or sometimes included in a long-term care insurance policy.

Home health care is a Medicare reimbursed home medical and personal care program. First, a physician order is required and an intake nurse or medical professional will perform an initial assessment to determine what exactly the needs of thedifference between home care and health care senior are. After the initial intake meeting in the home, a plan of care may include a caregiver to come weekly to help with bathing, or a home health nurse will be scheduled to visit in the home to dispense medications, draw blood for labs, track vitals, and help with medical issues relating to oxygenation, colostomy bags, and catheters among many other things. These visits are scheduled shifts and depending on the task, they are allotted a specific amount of time. Home Health is meant to be a short-term use program in hopes that the senior rehabilitates and will no longer need the services.

Understanding exactly what your family requires is one of the first steps. After identifying these areas with your senior, you may see the need to search for senior care services. My Choice Home Care strives to help families with an in-depth assessment and qualified caregivers following a specific care plan developed by the senior/family and a registered nurse. Home Care is meant to make living at home as easy as possible, and provide respite for family members. My Choice Home Care is a senior care service that serves clients in Macon County, Jackson County, and Haywood County in North Carolina. Counties served in Georgia are Rabun County, Towns County, and Habersham County. The counties served in Upstate South Carolina are Oconee County, Pickens County, and Anderson County. Call (828) 200-9000 to speak to someone today or contact us through our website here if you or a loved one would like to enjoy the benefits of living independently in your own home.


Talking To Your Loved Ones About Home Care by Amber Kevlin, RN. Published by Rabun Neighbors Magazine

Talking to your loved ones about needing extra help around the house can be a difficult conversation for families. Aging adults may recognize signs of cognitive or physical decline, but don’t want to be a burden for family members. In turn, children of aging adults may notice a need for more assistance, but are unsure of how to bring up the topic of home care. Here, I have provided some helpful hints that may make the talk a little bit easier.

Understand their point of view. An aging loved one may feel that they are losing their independence, but it’s important to point out that home care is also preventative care. A home care agency would assess your home and routines for safety concerns, helping to keep your loved one from falling, making medication errors, or memory related neglect.

Be confident in your approach. You will need to be assertive, but not aggressive. Practice starting the conversation with a friend. Anticipate questions, and try to have a ready response that is reassuring, not demeaning or “pushy.”

Think about how you word your intentions. Therapists recommend using “I” language instead of “you” language in difficulthow to talk to parents about home care conversations. For instance, “I feel that an extra set of hands/eyes could benefit us around the house,” rather than “You look like you could use some extra help.” Using this technique makes your loved one less defensive, and more receptive to your ideas.

It’s always helpful to have a medical professional to speak to your loved one. A medical professional can speak plainly but also answer any questions they may have, with reassurances that family may not be able to give. It’s understandable that a family experiencing this for the first time can be uneasy or unsure of how to approach talking to a loved one about extended care, but rest assured primary care physicians have dealt with this exact same situation many, many times over.

My Choice Home Care is a local, family-owned agency that can help. We offer services that include assistance with bathing, grooming, dressing, and incontinence care, as well as meal preparation, errand running/grocery shopping, pet care, and escorts to appointments. We service Macon, Jackson, and Haywood counties in North Carolina, Rabun and Towns counties in Georgia, and provide care in Oconee and Pickens counties in South Carolina. Please give us a call at (828) 200-9000 or contact us through our website here. You can also check out our blog post on Preventing Falls at Home. We would love to treat your family as our family.


Our article is published in RABUN Neighbors magazine