Health Care

How Is Home Health Care Different From Hospice Care

Home health care vs. hospice care

We think of home health and hospice care whenever we have an ailing senior parent at home. These services can be provided at home; however, they are distinct. Advancing age brings along several ailments and challenges for our elderly loved ones. Helping them navigate the journey with ease, dignity and comfort become our prime responsibility as caregivers.

Understanding the differences between home health care and hospice care


Home health care


Home health care services are for elderly patients suffering from an illness or injuries. It provides rehabilitative services to elderly patients suffering from chronic diseases. Treatment is the basic approach. And provide various services through skilled care. This includes a variety of services. The elderly patients who receive home health care services are usually homebound.

Patients receive the following various types of skilled home care services:


  • Wound care following injuries and accidents
  • Speech therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Imparting education to the patient as well as their caregivers
  • Nutrition therapy
  • Dietary assistance
  • Injections
  • Monitoring of the vital signs. Such as blood pressure, respiration rate, heart rate, and body temperature
  • Pain management
  • Providing education and practical tips about self-care
  • Monitoring prescription medications
  • Providing tips on how to move around safely at home
  • Providing information about communication and self-coordination strategies
Elderly patients that need the above-mentioned skilled services can receive home health care services. These services help you get better at maintaining your independence and becoming self-sufficient.

Hospice care


Terminal illness is never uncomplicated. Hospice care gives supportive care to your loved ones final phase of life. Furthermore, it focuses on comfort care. The goal is to keep your loved one free from pain so they can live as completely as possible each day.
Hospice care is for those elderly patients who wish to improve the quality of their life. And when curing the illness no longer remains the goal. This is ideal for those patients who are fighting a life-limiting infection. Where curing the disease is almost a non–achievable task. For providing hospice care, a team consisting of:
  • Personal physician
  • Nurses
  • Hospice medical director
  • Personal care aide
  • Management personnel
  • Religious personnel

What type of support does Hospice care provide?


Hospice care aims to provide:
  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Psychological support
This is for patients suffering from a terminal illness. More than 1.5 million cases require hospice care each year, according to the Hospice and Palliative Care Association of New York State. In most cases, hospice care happens in the patient’s home. However, in some cases, it is also provided in the:
  • Nursing homes
  • Hospitals
  • And various other long-term care facility centers.

Financial Responsibilities


Most insurance plans and HMOs fully cover the financial expenses incurred in hospice care. The trend is that many patients consider opting for hospice care only during their last few days. But, ideally, one should use hospice care in the previous few months. To reduce the suffering associated with the agony of symptoms and other disabilities.
The hospice care team coaches the caregivers about the type of care required for the patient. Furthermore, the team also includes respite care. When the caregiver needs a break between care, respite care will range from a few hours to several weeks.

Duration of services – Home health care Vs. hospice care


Home health care services are for as long as the patient does not become independent enough to carry on with their activities. Then, the duration is decided based on the goals of care.
Regarding hospice care, the services are for six months, including mitered visits to the care team. The duration can be extended, depending on the condition of the patient. A member of the hospice care team regularly visits the patient. And 24×7 support is available to them, their family members, and their caregivers. Any form of emergency is attended to provide medical, spiritual, or emotional support.



Home Health and Hospice offer comprehensive care in the convenience of home, but they differ in the objective of the care. Home health care helps with rehabilitation and medication management to improve the patient’s medical condition. On the other hand, hospice focuses on the quality of life for the terminally ill patient and the patient’s family. You can start by talking to your local case manager at the hospital to find out about both services. Hopefully, the above information is a good starting point if you need more information. Please feel free to contact me for further answers. Also, check out this post on how to pay for caregiving.
Health Care

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