Home Health Vs. Hospice: Tips For Choosing The Right Service For Your Senior Loved One

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Finding the right care for your senior loved one does not have to be difficult. The first step is to decide if your loved one needs home health care or hospice care. Here are the basics about each to help you determine which service is needed. 

What is Home Health?

Home health care is a medical service for patients who are homebound. A home health agency will schedule daily or weekly appointments at a patient's home. The main goal of a home health agency, such as Alliance Home Care Services, is to cure a patient's condition. Therefore, a patient may undergo many different medical treatments such as radiation, medication therapy, and surgery. If this is an incurable disease, the home health agency transfers the patient over to hospice care. Below are a few services that home health care covers: 

  • A visiting nurse is available for patients who have a capable caregiver at home. 
  • After hour visits depend on the home health agency. 
  • Dietitian services are covered if the patient qualifies. 
  • Speech, physical and occupational therapy have limited coverage. 

Home health care covers a portion of medical equipment if you qualify for Medicaid Part B. 

What is Hospice?

Hospice care focuses on the quality of life of patients. Not only do they deal with the physical illnesses that plague patients, the hospice health care workers help patients with their emotional, spiritual, and social needs. 

Hospice care focuses on the family as well. The hospice workers focus on making the grief process as easy as possible for both the patient and their family. A hospice care worker ensures patients and their family have a comfortable end-of-life experience. 

If your loved one does not have many family and friends, hospice workers can be their companion as well as their nurse. Hospice care covers the following: 

  • Patient's medication 
  • Scheduled doctor's appointments 
  • Provide needed medical equipment such as shower seats, wheelchairs, and hospital beds 

Many services such as a visiting nurse, psychosocial services, physician services, physical therapy, and after hours support are all covered by hospice care with no copays. 

Tips on How to Choose the Right Service

  1. If your loved one does not have a daily caregiver, hospice is the best option. 
  2. If your loved one does not have money for expensive copays and medical services, hospice care is the right choice. 
  3. If your loved one is in the early stages of an illness and curing it is an option, home health care is better at nursing your loved one back to health. Hospice care is used to make people more comfortable without curing their illness. 
  4. Get to know the staff. You are entrusting them with your loved ones care. 

Picking the right service for your loved one means coming to terms with where they are in their prognosis. If they are terminally ill, hospice care is the best option. Otherwise, choose the best home health agency in your area.