Homemaker Companion vs. Home Health Aide Services: What's The Difference?
Updated: Dec 4, 2020
Homemaker companion care and home health aide care are two great ways for elderly family members to maintain their normal activities of daily living, as well as health, so that they can enjoy a quality lifestyle throughout retirement. Both Homemaker Companion and Home Health Aide services are offered in a home-based setting, but they are not same.
While most people use both terms interchangeably, they differ with respect to what each offers. The most basic difference between the two is that a homemaker companion offers companionship and is responsible for casual supportive tasks and providing company, whereas a home health aide can also offer hands-on personal care, including activities of daily living, where physically touching the client is required.
While understanding the difference is important for the family or individual searching for care, it’s actually the home health agency that does a patient assessment and advises the family on which type of caregiver is appropriate. This in turn helps seniors receive the best-matched care depending on their unique requirements.
Let’s highlight various aspects of these two types of in-home care services to better understand the differences.
Services Provided Under Each Type of In-Home Care:
Primarily, a homemaker companion private caregiver offers basic assistance to seniors that doesn’t require touching them personally. While it totally depends on individual needs, a homemaker companion usually helps with laundry, meal preparation, grocery shopping, running errands, light housework, eating, and transportation. They may also perform causal supportive tasks, including cosmetic assistance like brushing the client’s hair, makeup-related assistance, filing and polishing nails, and so on. And, as the name suggests, they also offer an emotional uplift through companionship. Not only does this alleviate loneliness, but cuts down the risk of social isolation and depression for an aging family member.
A homemaker may also perform the task of minor cleaning around the client’s immediate area to ensure a hygienic, healthy, and safe interior and exterior environment. This may include light cleaning and straightening of the bathroom, straightening the sleeping and living areas, washing the client's dishes, and other similar tasks to ensure complete safety and cleanliness.
A home health aide can do all the above-mentioned tasks but also has the proper licensing to assist the client with personal care services that require more touch, such as assisting the client with showering/personal hygiene, ambulation, eating, dressing, shaving, and physical transfer. Home Health aide services can be completely voluntary and elected by a family or patient, but can also be recommended by a physician after a hospital stay to assist in recovery. The tasks of a home health aide may include but not limited to assisting with self-administered medications (only after requisite training), prescribed motion exercises, use of devices for aid to daily living like a walker and wheelchair; measuring vitals like blood pressure, body temperature, pulse and respiration; recording of fluid intake and output; simple urine tests for albumin, acetone, and sugar.
Specific Requirements of Individuals Seeking Care:
Seniors, who don’t require more hands-on personal care may benefit from an elderly companion caregiver, particularly if they need basic support for transportation, carrying out daily chores, cooking, and grooming; or when they simply require companionship to avoid loneliness.
Combined Services to Give You the Best of Both Worlds
In conclusion, homemaker companionship and home health aide services are not mutually exclusive. There isn’t a need to hire both as a home health aide can provide all the services of an in-home companion caregiver in addition to the tasks they perform when needed. It’s just important to understand the differences and when it’s okay to just have an elderly companion caregiver as it may come at a slightly lower cost compared to home health aide caregiver rates.
As a leading provider of private caregiver services in Palm Beach County, Unified Pledge clearly understand the unique needs of individuals and their families. An in-home assessment as well as the care plan estimate is always free without any obligation. We are always here to answer all of your questions even if you don’t require care today. So, please feel free to contact us.