At Best Care, we often field questions from area residents who are wondering what differences exist between home care and home healthcare in South Florida because many people often use the words interchangeably. While it is true that people outside of the field tend to swap one for the other, there are significant variations families should be mindful of when selecting long or short-term care options. So, our Best Care team thought it was time to break those major dissimilarities down one by one:
Home Healthcare (Skilled Nursing)
One of the key differences between the two fields is the type of care offered by an agency’s caregivers. In home healthcare situations, the caregivers provide what’s known as skilled nursing services. In other words, they perform medically necessary tasks like administer psychotropic meds, complete mechanical wound debridement, assist with manual ventilation and pass on dialysis patients’ lab results.
Home Care (Non-Skilled)
Non-skilled caregivers working in the home care industry, on the other hand, do not provide complex medical services. Instead, they provide assistance that supports skilled nursing efforts. Examples include cleaning up patients after wound care has been completed or issuing medication reminders to those who need prompting. They may also accompany patients to social functions or attend to routine errands (e.g. pick up the mail).
Meeting in the Middle
Although both home care and home healthcare caregivers perform separate functions, they often meet in the proverbial middle. Let’s take a patient that is receiving at-home physical therapy from a licensed PT as an example. The PT is considered a home healthcare provider and as such would create a care plan detailing specific exercises the patient must complete on a daily basis. The PT would then explain the care plan to the patient and home care providers.
Afterward, the home care provider would remind the patient to complete the PT ordered exercises as directed. If the patient was unable or unwilling to perform the exercises, the home care caregiver may report the situation to the PT, who can then provide additional skilled care accordingly. However, it would not be in the home care providers’ job description or authority to alter the patient’s exercise routine unless the PT ordered changes to be made.
At Best Care, we work with registered nurses and other skilled professionals to provide home health care. To learn more about the depth of services we offer residents living in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties, please contact us online or by phone. We look forward to helping families further understand the differences between the various types of care so they may make the best decisions for their loved ones.