Differences between Home Health Care and Private Duty Care

With so many people living longer, healthier lives, it is no surprise that more senior adults want to remain as independent as possible in their own homes as they advance in age, recover from surgery or manage a challenging health issue.

Identifying the Home Care Help You Need

When reviewing both your long and short-term care needs in the home, it is important to understand your options. Home health care and private duty care are not the same, they involve different levels of patient support.

Home Health Care vs. Private Duty Care

The difference between home health care and private duty care often leaves people confused. The following list should clarify things and help you identify the type of home care you need.

Home Health Care

For intermittent or short-term help, a skilled home health care provider can address many medical issues, several times per week for an hour or two. Home health care professionals are licensed, bonded and insured.

Services provided include physical, occupational or speech therapy, nursing care, medical social worker, home health aide, dietary specialist.

In-home patients must first meet set criteria such as impaired skills, being homebound and physician’s prescribed orders.

Patient services are covered by government and most private insurances.

Private Duty Care

Private duty care is not a medical service. In-home patients get help with meal preparation, medication reminders, transportation to appointments, grooming and bathing, light housekeeping and assistance with household errands, and safety supervision.

There is no need for a physician’s order and no limit on the duration of service.

Family and other caregivers use private duty care as a source of respite to allow a break away from the home.

Private duty care is often paid for out of the pocket with long-term care coverage, or Veterans insurance.

Private duty takes over when home health care is no longer required, but both service providers can work together to meet a patient’s daily needs.

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