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Nursing Home Vs Home Care: What Are The Key Differences?

Nursing Home vs Home Care: What are the Key Differences?

When you have reached a point that professional assistance is needed to help care for your loved one, there are some options to consider. Bringing caregiver services into the home to help your family member age in place, or moving them into a skilled nursing facility are two of the most common solutions.  Here are some key differences between the two to help decide what’s best for your family.

Familiarity vs. Change

According to AARP, 9 out of 10 seniors want to stay living at home as long as possible, and can you blame them? Home is a place of comfort and familiarity that can’t be replicated, especially when replaced with facility life. Research shows that meeting a senior’s desire to age in place allows for faster healing time after surgery, increased feelings of dignity and independence, and an overall higher quality of life.

Change is hard for anyone, but it can be particularly hard for older adults who have had more time to become set in their ways, and especially for those suffering from cognitive disorders. Moving away from home into a skilled nursing facility can be confusing and worrisome for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. If a nursing home is the best option for your family, try visiting the facility before moving day and have familiar people help with the move to help ease the transition.

Access to Medical Care

In-home caregivers provide services that are non-medical in nature. However, to remain at home, many seniors simply need assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, preparing meals, light housekeeping, and transportation. Also, because an in-home caregiver is usually tending to a single client, their needs are met much faster than in a residential facility.

For seniors whose medical needs can no longer be met in a home environment, a nursing home might be the best option. Typically, a licensed physician oversees each resident’s care and a skilled nursing care is available on site. This allows for the immediate delivery of medical procedures that are usually not possible in a home setting.

Cost of Care

Ultimately, the more care that your loved one requires, the more it will cost. Because home care rates are generally charged by the hour, there is more flexibility when it comes to out-of-pocket expense. Home care costs in the San Francisco Bay Area average $24 – $35 per hour, and there is usually a discounted rate for 24-hour live-in care. Additionally, for individuals that need assistance on a part-time basis, the cost of in-home care can be significantly lower than a residential nursing facility.

Nursing home facilities in San Francisco cost anywhere from $375 – $550 per day for a private room depending on the level of care and the amenities. It is important to perform due diligence when researching potential facilities as services they offer can vary greatly.

Whether at home or in a nursing facility, what matters most is that your loved one is receiving best possible care. Deciding on the best solution can be stressful, but the peace of mind that comes with knowing your loved one is comfortable and well cared for is worth the time, effort, and money.

Carol Pardue-Spears

Carol has worked in the healthcare field for more than forty years. As a Certified Nursing Assistant, she worked for El Camino Hospital in the cardiac unit, Los Gatos Community Hospital, The Women’s Cancer Center in Los Gatos and several home health and hospice agencies. Carol founded Family Matters in 2002 to fill a deficit she witnessed in high-quality, in-home services and care.

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