A Few Key Differences Between Caregivers And Home Health Aides
Role of Home Care Providers
Home care providers, often referred to simply as caregivers, are professionals who offer assistance around the house. They offer seniors who want to age in their own homes assistance with daily personal care tasks such as bathing and dressing and household chores like shopping, running errands, and meal preparation. While no formal certification is required to become a caregiver, caregivers hired through home care agencies receive a good deal of training and are carefully vetted to ensure they are able to provide a safe, nurturing environment for their clients.
Role of Home Health Aides
Home health aides receive formal medical training and must pass competency tests prior to beginning their work. They often have medical certifications such as CNAs or LPNs and are able to offer medical care including wound care, injection help, patient education, and health monitoring. Doctors will often recommend that their patients hire a home health aide if they are suffering from chronic illnesses or have recently been discharged from a hospital after an acute injury, illness, or surgery.
Who to Hire
Many clients who wish to maximize their independence in the face of disability or age-related illnesses choose to hire both home health care aides and personal caregivers, as this gives them access to both medical help and help around the home. It's important to realize that while both of these types of professional offer in-home care, the services they provide are not interchangeable. That means personal caregivers are not able to offer medical attention, while home health aides are similarly unable to offer dedicated companionship and help around the home.
Intermittent skilled nursing care is typically covered by Medicare plans, though long-term care is not covered under basic Medicare parts A and B. Personal care services are not covered by Medicare either, although many long-term care insurance policies do cover at least a portion of the cost of hiring professional in-home caregivers. While Medicare does not cover home care services, Medicaid typically does.