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Hospice Care vs. Home Health Care vs. Home Care: What are the Benefits of Each?

The Benefits of Hospice Care

Hospice care nurse in blue scrubs taking the blood pressure of an elderly woman in a wheelchair

Hospice care is focused on providing comfort and support at the end of life. Care is provided by an interdisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, aides, social workers, spiritual counselors, and volunteers. Medications, medical equipment, and medical supplies are also provided to assist in comforting the patient and easing the burden on the family. A patient must qualify for hospice care based on the eligibility criteria for each disease process, but care may extend beyond the initial six-month term if the patient continues to meet eligibility requirements. Hospice care is typically covered by Medicare, but Medi-Cal and private insurance also offer hospice benefits.

The Benefits of Home Health Care

Home health care nurse in blue scrubs assisting an elderly patient

Home health care is nursing care that is provided for a short-term basis to meet a specific rehabilitative goal. Home health nurses may provide wound care, medication management for diabetes, or the home health agency may provide physical therapy or occupational therapy following a surgery or injury.

This type of care typically extends for one to two months. Medicare does provide home healthcare benefits, but home health care is also widely paid for by Medicare Advantage plans, Medi-Cal, and commercial insurance.

The Benefits of Home Care

Home care nurse in pink scrubs assisting an elderly patient in a wheelchair

Home care is typically non-skilled personal care provided in the home to help meet the needs of the patient. Homecare may include feeding, bathing, dressing, toileting, and ambulation. This type of care may also include light housekeeping, help with personal errands, and companionship. Home care is typically only covered by Long-Term Care Insurance, although Medi-Cal does offer some support for home care through In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS).

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