Here are the industry-recognized definitions:
HOME HEALTHCARE agencies provide in-home medical services from a licensed professional medical staff, usually registered nurses who can administer medication, provide wound therapy and other medical procedures. Though some healthcare agencies only provide medical services, others can provide personal care services as well, but usually at higher rates than a “homecare” agency.
HOMECARE agencies specialize in in-home, NON-medical personal services, such as companionship, assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) like cooking, housekeeping, bathing, dressing, grooming and transportation. They can also provide safety monitoring and hygiene maintenance services. Many homecare agencies have experience with Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, stroke and hospice care and can provide the ideal solution for relieving a family caregiver (respite care). Some homecare agencies take an active role in the daily care plan, making sure caregivers are thoroughly trained and following the procedures necessary to assure the best health, safety and emotional well-being of the clients.
When both medical and non-medical services are called for, it can make the most economic sense to acquire services from both types of agencies.
When interviewing either kind of agency, make sure to check the qualifications of all workers and that they are licensed, bonded and insured. Also double-check references and advertised affiliations, such as the Better Business Bureau, to verify they are a company in good standing with the community.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Home care . . . is health care or supportive care provided in the patient’s home by healthcare professionals (often referred to as home health care or formal care; in the United States, it is known as skilled care) or by family and friends (also known as caregivers, primary caregiver, or voluntary caregivers who give informal care). Often, the term home care is used to distinguish non-medical care or custodial care, which is care that is provided by persons who are not nurses, doctors, or other licensed medical personnel, whereas the term home health care, refers to care that is provided by licensed personnel.