Your mom’s doctor keeps mentioning home health care. You’ve also heard home care pop up in discussions with your mom’s nurses. How are you supposed to know which is best in your mom’s situation?
What Can Home Care Offer?
The term “health” is a key indicator of the differences between home health care and home care. Home care covers items your mom needs at home that are not necessarily related to her health. Home care includes services such as:
- Meal preparation and feeding
- Personal care, hygiene, and grooming
- Groceries and errands
When you arrange home care for your mom, you could have caregivers stopping by each week or every other week to take her to the grocery store, change and launder her sheets and towels, and wash her clothes. Caregivers can read to her, join her on walks around the neighborhood, and vacuum.
Home care agencies can arrange to have a caregiver stop by your mom’s house once a week and make her meals and snacks. Once cooked, they can be stored in the refrigerator with instructions on how she should reheat them. The caregiver washes and dries dishes before putting them away.
Your mom doesn’t have to be ailing or recuperating to get home care services. While these services can help someone who is recovering from the flu or a surgical procedure, your mom can simply need someone to stop by for socialization. She may have arthritis in her hands, which makes it hard for her to run a vacuum or hold a knife.
How Does Home Health Care Differ?
Home health care is different. It provides services that cater more to someone with a health issue. Home health care services are handy after a surgical procedure as the nurse can help with IV medications and catheters. A nurse could change her surgical bandages and keep them clean to prevent infection.
Home health includes specialty services like working with a dietitian after your mom is diagnosed with diabetes. She can work with a specialist to learn how to test her blood sugar levels and care for her feet properly. She’ll have specialists coming to her house to help her adjust to the changes she faces when she’s diagnosed with a chronic health condition.
What if She Needs Both Services?
What if your mom needs help with both levels of at-home care services? Talk to her doctor. Ask what care needs she’ll have. It’s possible to have both home care and home health care services at the same time. Your mom will have different caregivers arriving each day to ensure her needs are met.