It is estimated that by the year 2050, people using assisted-living services will double to around 27 million people. With such a growing demand, it makes sense to know what options exist and how to best access these resources should the need arise. When it comes to in-home care, you may wonder what the distinctions are between home care and home health care, as the two are very different in nature. Depending on your situation, need, and insurance coverage, these provisions may be a viable alternative to inpatient care or assisted-living facilities.


The goal of home care is usually to support the client or consumer and help them remain at home. Some services frequently provided by home care professionals include transportation, grooming, and housekeeping. Home health care is more medical in nature and may be ordered by a physician for a patient that is recently discharged from a hospital or that are recovering from an illness or injury.

Home Care

Home care focuses on the day-to-day ADLs (activities of daily living), including bathing, dressing, and eating. This is the kind of care that allows a person with special needs or disabilities stay in their home rather than a residential facility or assisted living. You typically don’t need a doctor’s referral to obtain home care services, and the aim is to facilitate seniors living an autonomous and dignified life in the comfort of their own home.

Pros and cons of home care include:

  • Home care providers are generally paid by the hour, depending on the level of services provided.
  • Home care is not usually covered by insurance coverage.
  • Home care does not provide medical service provision, but workers may be able to prompt, prepare, and remind clients about their medications.
  • Home care provided by family, friends, and local professionals can instill a sense of comfort and security in the senior. It provides another opportunity for socialization, which many seniors living in their own homes may lack on a daily basis.
  • Home care may also offer assistance for the senior who is trying to maintain pets; since pets are therapeutic, helping seniors have pets in their home can be invaluable in improving the overall quality of life.


Home Health Care

Home health care is a term used to describe a gamut of health care services that are provided to the client in their home. This may come on the heels of an injury, hospital-stay, or illness. Home health care is a viable option for consumers that don’t have the money, insurance, or desire to stay at a long-term or skilled-nursing facility.

Some things to know about home health care include:

    • Home health care provides the setting for seniors to age-in-place and remain among their friends, family, and surroundings.
    • The independence and freedom of home health care – as opposed to skilled nursing or assisted living – is that the client may feel happier and more secure without fearing the future.
    • Home health care doesn’t address other issues that could present challenges for seniors living independently, including assistance with cleaning, driving, or meal preparation.
    • Home health care may help seniors manage their symptoms or condition better, which may result in reduced hospitalizations.

Think a caregiver is enough?

Many seniors may think that they don’t really need home care or home health care services as they have a family member or caregiver. This is a tremendous responsibility for one or even two people to take on; it is estimated that around one out of three caregivers has hired paid help during the past year, which makes it prudent for family and loved ones to consider this approach when assisting seniors. While caregivers may fulfill many of the tasks and goals of home care and home health, it makes the most sense to divide-and-conquer by hiring professionals to share the responsibilities.

Assessment is key

Not sure what your loved one needs? Take out the guess-work by having an assessment or consultation to review your options. Schedule free, in-home evaluations with professionals that can discuss specific goals, objectives, and services to help your loved one – or yourself – live a freer, more independent life. Assessments will reveal the most practical course of action while also uncovering potential prospects for amped-up care or services later on if needed. Plus, this gives you, your senior, and your loved ones the chance to discuss openly and honestly what the goals are and what the senior is willing to consent to.

Seniors living in Cook County, Lake County, and DuPage County area have many varied options when it comes to home assistance, including senior sitter services, respite, home care, and home health services. Each individual’s needs are distinct, so talk with providers and practitioners to tailor a schedule and support system that best accommodates your lifestyle and preferences, and that takes the entire burden of helping out off the primary caregiver or family members. Discuss your options with a professional today, and enjoy the comfort, convenience, and independence that living in your own home brings, and consider offerings that can help you stay in your own home longer.


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