Differences Between Hospice and Home Health Care

As an older person sees a decline in their health, they may need to look at another level of care. When looking at what is the difference between hospice and home health care, a person needs to look at the level of care that is required and the diagnosis that their loved one needs and their medical diagnosis.

Hospice Care

When a person has to go into hospice care, they have a terminal diagnosis. To receive hospice care, a person has around six months or less to live. They have a fatal medical condition, and the disease is running its course. A doctor needs to state that the person has a terminal illness, and they are not going to recover. Hospice care can be provided in a hospital, nursing home, and in some cases, a person can remain in their own home.  The hospice nurse will come to the patient and make sure they are comfortable and try to relieve as much pain as possible. They will also be there to support family members as they are dealing with losing their loved ones and their medical care.

Home Health Care

Home health services will allow a person to remain in their own home. The patient needs assistance from a nurse to help them with daily tasks and medical needs. There is medical assistance that the nurse will provide, and there are some services that are provided based on the prescription of a doctor. A person may receive physical therapy, speech and language services, and occupational therapy. The patient’s progress tracked and documented.  When it comes to looking at the difference between hospice and home health, there is a big difference. Those that are receiving hospice care are facing and terminal illness, and within a short time, they are going to die. Patients that are receiving home health services have a chance to recover and become rehabilitated. They are not facing a terminal condition, and these services may help them regain some of their standard functioning.

Care Providers for Hospice

When a person is receiving hospice care, they are often working with a mixed team, including doctors, nurses, aides, social workers, volunteers, chaplains, and grief counselors. They will provide individualized services to the patient and their family to make their passing a little more manageable and will help ease the tension that the loved ones may be feeling.

Care Providers for Home Health

Home health agencies will work with registered nurses, certified nursing assistants, physical and occupational therapists, and even language pathologists based on the need of the patient—home services provided in their own home.

Length of Care for Hospice

To receive hospice care, a doctor needs to state that a patient has six months or less to live. A patient can get unlimited visits during this time. If a patient manages to live longer than six months, they can still receive hospice care as long as a doctor has stated they have a short life expectancy.

Length of Care for Home Health

The amount of time a person will receive home health care depends on their treatment goals and what physical actions they should regain. The treatment team determines the amount of time and the frequency of the visits. The term based on how long it will take a person to make a recovery and physical needs.

Hours of Care

If a person requires hospice services, they can have services 24 hours a day. A skilled nurse or an aide may be able to stay with the patient based on their medical condition and the amount of medical care that they need. Some people may need to be given treatment several times a day at specific hours, and a nurse is required to help manage these symptoms. They will be able to come to the home of the patient and support the family.

Home Health

While home health workers and nurses can provide flexible hours, they often do not offer 24-hour service. The patient will work with the medical professional or the therapist for a specific amount of time, and they will then not see them again until the next visit. These visits can be daily or several times a week based on the needs of the patients.


When a loved one needs to care, the family can turn to hospice or home health. Hospice services will make a person more comfortable at the end of their life. Home health services will allow a person the chance to gain more independence and get some of their functioning back through rehabilitation.

elderly authority

Pin It:

differences between hospice and home health care


Get free articles straight in your inbox.
We respect your privacy.