what is difference between home care and home health

It is not uncommon for people to think that home care and home health care are the same. It is essential to understand the what is difference between Home Care and Home Health Care.

The main difference between Home Care and Home Health Care is a home care provider offers non-clinical assistance like meal preparation and companionship while a home health aide provides medical assistance. Both types of care are available at your loved one’s home and can allow them to age safely in place.


Home Care Definition

The definition of home care is assistance with non-medical care.  Homecare agencies assists individuals with activities of daily living which are bathing, dressing, toileting, eating, transferring and walking.

Home care can include IADL’s, Insidence of Activities of Daily Living.  These include:

  • Companionship
  • Engagement
  • Laundry assistance
  • Light housekeeping – changing bed sheets. 
  •  Includes respite care for family caregivers.  
  •  Medication reminders

Home Health Care Definition

The definition of home health care is medical care. Individual generally need home health care after hospitalization or surgery. 

Home health care is also commonly needed after being in an rehabilitation facility.  

It includes medication management, wound care, and many kinds of therapy, including physical, occupational, speech, and behavioral therapy.  Home health is covered by medical insurance if you have a doctor’s order and continue to improve.

Home health care services address intermittent, or periodic, needs and include:

Nursing care
Behavioral therapy
Medical social work
Physical therapy
Occupational therapy
Patient and caregiver education
Speech therapy
Help with daily tasks like bathing and dressing from a home health aid 
If your doctor orders the care, Medicare, as well as Medicaid and most insurance plans cover the cost.

Differences between Home Care and Home Health Care

Assistance Type:

  • Home health care involves skilled or clinical nursing and therapy services provided by licensed professionals.
  • Non-clinical and non-skilled care is provided by professional caregivers in Home Care.


  • Home health care is mostly a medical service. As you grow more able to perform these tasks yourself or have a caregiver assist you, a home health aide can help with things like bathing, grooming, and dressing.
  • Home Care assists with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, grooming, cooking, cleaning, and transportation. Therapy or Nursing is not included in it.


  • Doctor’s order is needed in home health care and patients need to meet their eligibility requirements. As an example, patients must be unable to leave their home on their own and require assistance to do so.
  • Most of the time people pay for home care out of pocket so there are no eligibility requirements to meet.


  • For Qualified Patients, Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance plans can cover Home Health Care.
  • Patient or Long Term care insurance pays for Home Care.


  • You can get home health care as long as you remain qualified and your Doctor certifies you.
  • Home care depends on your budget and needs and you can get it as long as you desire.

Care Team:

  • Home health team consists of skilled professionals like nurses and therapists.
  • Home Care is provided by family members and professional caregivers.


  • Depending on Patient’s health, home health care visits are normally few hours per week.
  • In home care, patients can get 24/7 help depending upon budget and requirements.


  • Home health care can be available to patients at their residence and it can also include group homes and assisted living facilities.
  • Patients normally get homecare at their homes.

Now you understand “what is difference between home care and home health care.”

Read about ALTCS Arizona Long Term Care System.

Similarities Between Home Care and Home Health Care:

  • Take care of your home in comfort and safety.
  • Helping senior citizens to feel better and remain independent.
  • Bathing, dressing, and grooming assistance.
  • More affordable than hospital or facility care.

Both ALTCS, Arizona Long-Term Care System and the Veterans Administration provide funding for Home Care and Home Health Care. Hire a Certified Medicaid Planner to help you go through this Process.