What Is Home Health Care? How Is It Different From Hospice?

While hospice provides care in the home—or any place the patient calls home—it is very different from home health care. Knowing the difference will help determine which services you need. This knowledge will assist you in understanding what to expect when your loved one needs home health care or enters hospice.

We’ll take a look at what is home health care, how it differs from hospice, and how 3HC can help you with both of these services.

What Is Home Health Care?

Home health care provides help to those who are confined to their homes and need short-term, acute care. By providing these home health services, these patients can be treated at home instead of in a hospital. Patients’ progress must be fully documented.

Most home health patients are disabled or elderly. They may also be recovering from an injury or battling a chronic illness. Others may need home health after being discharged from a hospital due to an injury.

Home health services may include:

  • Helping manage serious illnesses
  • Providing wound care services
  • Educating patients and caregivers
  • Providing intravenous therapy
  • Monitoring health status
  • Providing occupational therapy
  • Providing speech therapy
  • Supplying physical therapy when needed
  • Providing medical social work services

Advancements in medicine mean that home health care patients now have access to services that were once only available in a hospital setting. At 3HC, we’re proud to be on the cusp of this advancement. It enables us to help patients remain in their homes and communities, surrounded by the ones they love.

We customize our services to align with the treatment plans outlined and prescribed by physicians. We work together with the entire health care team. Therefore, we are able to ensure that the patient is living as normally as possible while still receiving the necessary medical services.

Home Health Care Nursing With 3HC

What is home health care? It’s a chance for you or your loved one to get the treatment you need in your home. This is made possible by our home health nurses. Our nurses establish a relationship with the patient and their families. This enables us to see what they need and carefully monitor their medical condition.

We always keep the patient’s physician fully aware of the patient’s progress, so they can make any adjustments or treatment changes that are needed.

Nursing assistants are also vital members of our home health care team. They provide help with daily activities such as cooking, exercising, bathing and dressing.

How Is Home Health Care Different From Hospice?

The goal of home health care is to treat an illness or injury in the place the patient calls home.

Hospice care begins when curable treatments are no longer effective or preferred by the patient. Hospice concentrates on comfort care and managing symptoms instead of trying to treat the underlying disease.

When Is It Time to Move From Home Health Care to Hospice?

We are asked this question a lot. Essentially, if a home health patient’s illness progresses, they may become eligible for hospice—as long as they are no longer seeking to cure the disease.

The following signs could indicate that you or your loved one should talk to your doctor about hospice eligibility:

  • Unintentional weight loss—specifically if this is more than 10 percent of their body weight
  • Inability to do any physical activity
  • Spending most of the time in a chair or bed
  • Experiencing increased drowsiness or confusion
  • Intensive reliance on others for tasks of daily living
  • Extensive decline in memory, thinking and alertness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • A prognosis of six months or less to live if the disease runs its natural progression

What Is Hospice Care?

As we mentioned earlier, hospice care is not focused on treating the illness. Instead, it focuses on symptom relief and providing the highest quality of life for patients. Patients must have a prognosis of six months or less to live to qualify for hospice care.

Hospice also occurs in whatever place the patient calls home. This could be an assisted living community, a private home or a nursing home. Hospice involves an interdisciplinary healthcare team, including:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Nursing aides
  • Social workers
  • Volunteers
  • Chaplains
  • Bereavement counselors

Hospice Services at 3HC

At 3HC, we center our services around meeting the emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual needs of our patients. But our compassion doesn’t stop there. We also provide support for patients’ families, including bereavement support.

We believe the final stages of life should be lived as fully as possible. That’s why we strive to provide comfort and dignity at every interaction.

Do You Know the Difference Between Hospice and Home Health Care? We’re Here to Answer Your Questions

We know there are some similarities between home health care and hospice. Both serve patients where they call home, and both provide comfort and care. However, the main difference is that hospice occurs when curative treatments have stopped. Hospice begins when patients have six months or less to live.

Whether you or a loved one needs home health services, or you have questions about hospice care,  we’re always available to help. Contact us for more information on how home health care can provide the assistance you or your loved one needs.