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Home Health vs. Hospice: What’s the Difference?

Two senior women sit at the kitchen table and talk

With all the care offerings available, it’s natural to find yourself confused about exactly what you — or a loved one — should be looking for. One clarification we’re asked to make fairly often is the difference between home health and hospice care. While they’re both important offerings, they provide different services to the patient. Here’s a quick outline to explain the differences.

What is home health?

Many people prefer not to travel to a different location to receive skilled treatment and find it more convenient to pay professionals to come to their residence. In its simplest form, home health care is specialized medical attention that patients receive in their home — whether that’s a house, apartment or senior living residence.Home health procedures are skilled measures that need to be performed or supervised by a trained professional. An individual needs a doctor’s referral to a home health agency, who will work with the doctor and keep them apprised of the patient’s progress.

Examples of Home Health Care Services:

  • Oversee medication management
  • Monitor vitals:
    • Blood pressure
    • Temperature
    • Heart rate
    • Oxygen levels
  • Track pain levels
  • Supervise diet
  • Provide skilled therapy:
    • Occupational therapy
    • Speech therapy
    • Physical therapy

The ultimate goal of home health is to help the patient maintain or regain function or to slow a worsening condition. Medicare may cover costs for intermittent home health services if the patient is considered homebound.

South Port Square can coordinate home health, and we also offer on-site skilled nursing care. If a doctor determines a resident requires specialized care, our team of friendly and certified professionals can offer assistance right here on our beautiful campus. Residents benefit from the support of:

  • Attending Physicians/Nurse Practitioners
  • Registered Nurse
  • Licensed Therapists
  • Licensed Practical Nurse
  • Certified Nursing Assistants
  • Licensed Social Worker
  • Registered Dietician/Nutritionist
  • Healthcare Administrator
  • Medical Director
  • Admissions Director
  • Healthcare Liaison

We offer our residents top-quality professional care in a friendly, familiar setting.

What is hospice care?

Hospice care offers patients with life-limiting illnesses the highest quality of life in the final months of their condition, when curative treatment has been ceased. Caregivers will treat the symptoms of the illness without trying to hurry or stall the end of life. The patient’s dignity and comfort are the top priorities, allowing them the opportunity to make important decisions and spend precious time with loved ones.

Hospice services can begin when the individual’s doctor determines that their life expectancy is roughly six months. Starting as early as possible ensures that, during those six months, the patient will be as comfortable as possible. Once enrolled in hospice care, the patient will be supported by a team of professionals to help them with pain control, spiritual care, bereavement services and symptom management. This team could include any of the following:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Certified Nurses Aide
  • Social Workers
  • Spiritual Advisors
  • Trained Volunteers

Everyone on the care team will work with the patient’s loved ones to ensure the patient’s needs are met, their views are respected, and their days are as serene and meaningful as they can be. At South Port Square, we work with preferred providers so that residents can receive high-quality care from the comfort of our senior living community.

If you’re interested in knowing more about the care offered at South Port Square, let us know. Our team would be happy to answer any questions you have.