The difference between Hospice and Home Health Care

Hospice and Home Health are different in the type of care they provide as well as where the patient is in their health care journey. One is not better than the other, as far as medical expertise. Patient goals and the focus of care needed determine which is most appropriate. The goals of both are to provide the best comprehensive care focused on each patient’s unique needs.

Home Health serves those who are recovering from an injury or are living with a chronic illness. It is focused on healing the patient through restorative treatment and rehabilitation. Services include physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy and infusion therapy. Patients receiving home care must be homebound.

Hospice focuses on improving the quality of life for those facing a life limiting illness. Hospice is often the choice when the patient’s focus becomes quality of life and fighting for a cure no longer makes sense.

The breadth of hospice services is multi faceted – caring for the mind and the body. The hospice caregiving team includes the patient’s personal physician, the hospice medical director, nurses expertly trained in symptom management, personal care aids who help with grooming, bathing, and other needs, chaplains for spiritual support, volunteers who spend time with the patient and social workers.