Both in-home care and hospice care provide the best comprehensive care for the patient. The difference between the two is the focus of the care. By understanding in-home care and hospice care and how they can benefit your parent, you can make the best decisions when the time arises.

What is In-Home Care Care?

In-home care is focused on treating the patient at home while giving family caregivers a break. In-home care services range from simple companionship to skilled nursing care. Through home care, patients are able to have their daily activities of daily living provided, maximize their independence and coordinate their care.

In-home care services can be used on a scheduled or as-needed basis. The services are offered through licensed home care agencies and independent providers. We recommend choosing an agency as they are easier to work with, more reliable and provide options for recourse if any problems were to arise. There are a number of options to pay for in-home care, such as Long Term Care Insurance, but it’s generally not covered by medical insurance.

What is Hospice Care?

Hospice care helps the terminally ill and their families make the most of the last days, weeks or months of their lives. Usually, hospice care is only given to those who have been given six months or less to live. Rather than treating or healing the patient, hospice care is designed to provide security, dignity and emotional support. Patients are kept comfortable with pain relief, and families are provided with compassion and understanding as they go through the dying process with their loved one.

Hospice is a benefit of Medicare, and one of the most generous ones. While there are some limitations as to how much hospice care Medicare will cover, there are generous benefits for both those who require end-of-life care in the hospital or at home.

Which One Do I Use?

Hospice care is available to those who are terminally ill. If your loved one is expected to live for more than six months, you probably don’t need hospice. In-home care can provide your parent with the care and support they need while granting you breaks as needed.

If your parent is terminally ill and given less than six months to live, hospice comes with a small amount of built-in respite care services. However, many families with a loved one receiving hospice care also use an in-home care service to provide additional help and support. When a care provider comes to stay with and care for your loved one, you can get away for lunch with a friend or join an exercise class a few days a week. Many families appreciate the freedom from providing the hands-on care for their loved one so that they can focus on being “family” to their loved one instead of being the “caregiver.” Full-time caregivers need this time away to refresh their moods and energy levels.

We hope that this has helped you better understand the difference between in-home care and hospice care and how they can benefit your family and loved one.