In-Home Senior Care vs. Nursing Home Care: Which Is Better?

Interim HealthCare Blogs
Posted: 11/12/2021 2:39 PM by Interim HealthCare
As your loved ones grow older, it’s normal to worry about their declining physical and cognitive capabilities and how they will complete day-to-day tasks. Depending on their health, they may become more frail, forgetful, and more prone to accidents. It may become clear that they require senior care to lead safe lives at some point.

However, the kind of senior care they need may be up for debate – both nursing homes and in-home senior care are viable options, but there’s no denying that this isn’t an easy choice. There are many factors to consider, including finances, level of independence, health issues, personal preferences, and more. Determining the best course of action for your loved one can be a complex and overwhelming decision.

In order to get the best outcome for your elderly loved ones, it’s important to consider both types of senior care. To help facilitate that process, we’ve broken down what senior in-home care and nursing home care are, what they consist of, and the pros and cons associated with them.

In-Home Senior Care vs. Nursing Home Care

Traditionally, senior care consisted of either nursing homes or assisted living. However, today, these aren’t the only options available. More and more families are opting for in-home senior care or “aging in place.” In-home care consists of care being provided to you in the familiarity and comfort of your own home. Depending on the level of care required, you can have part-time or full-time nurses or caregivers administer both medical and non-medical care.

Benefits of In-Home Senior Care

There are many reasons to opt for in-home senior care, whether it’s because of fear of nursing homes, preferable for customizable care, or simply your elderly loved one’s wishes.

Seniors Prefer It

According to a study by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), 3 in 4 individuals aged 50 and older (77%) prefer to age in place and remain in their homes. In fact, these individuals stated that they would even consider home-sharing and care services if it enabled them to grow old in their homes.

Familiarity and Comfort

Allowing seniors to age in place also allows them to be comfortable and stay in a familiar environment. Since they’re among their community and friends, they’re likely to feel more connected and secure. Aging in place can be especially important for those suffering from memory issues and illnesses like Alzheimer’s and dementia. The familiarity and comfort of the same environment can also boost physical health.

Customizable Care

In-home care is popular amongst the elderly because of how customizable it is. From specialist Alzheimer’s and dementia care options to programs that focus on reducing loneliness, there’s something available for everyone. Depending on the senior’s needs, they can be provided help with medical illnesses, household chores or have full-time caregivers put into place.

Independence and Freedom

Allowing your loved ones to live at home gives them a sense of freedom and independence. Because they’re at home and still have control over part of their lives, they can still live on their own schedule and make decisions. Since they’re not living at a facility, they don’t have to follow specific rules or change their lifestyle.

Personalized Care

Unlike nursing home care, where various staff members help your loved one, in-home care allows for more personalized care. This one-to-one care helps them develop a personal relationship with caregivers and allows caregivers to anticipate your loved one’s needs, identify problems, and provide timely solutions. Because they’ll get to know your loved one’s likes and dislikes, they can tailor care to suit their needs perfectly.

Disadvantages of In-Home Care

In-home care for seniors is extremely beneficial, but it does have its limitations.

High Cost

In-home care is an excellent option if you can afford it. However, many cannot. Depending on the level of care required, this can become expensive quickly. It may be relatively affordable for those with fewer needs but can become costly if your loved one has severe medical issues that need to be taken care of.

Benefits of Nursing Homes

Nursing homes are a popular option for senior care, and for a good reason. There are several advantages associated with nursing home care, including the presence of medical staff and round-the-clock care for your loved ones.

Medical Professionals Available

Unlike in-home care, those living in nursing homes have access to various medical professionals, including doctors, nurses, and other specialists. If your loved one has serious health issues, opting for a nursing home is one way to ensure that qualified professionals are meeting all their healthcare needs.

Round-the-Clock Care

Because of financial difficulties, in-home care is sometimes limited to a single shift. With nursing homes, your elderly loved one is always surrounded by professionals and will receive 24/7 care. This can ease your stress and make you feel better knowing that your loved one is safe and constantly being looked after.

Disadvantages of Nursing Homes

Despite the many advantages, there are also several disadvantages associated with nursing home care.

Fear and Discomfort

Many older adults fear nursing homes and sometimes don’t ask for help because they’re afraid they’ll be moved to nursing homes if they do. Some fear nursing homes more than death itself because of the loss of freedom and institutional feeling that accompanies moving to one.

Unfamiliar Setting

Moving your loved one to a nursing home requires taking them away from a place where they’re comfortable and putting them in an unfamiliar setting. This can be mentally taxing and requires a transition period before they feel comfortable and “at home” again.

Lack of Privacy

Nursing home residents share common spaces, including recreational facilities, outdoor spaces, and dining facilities with other residents. Additionally, because of the nature of the facility, there are many different staff members assigned to your loved one, and they can frequently change because of turnover issues. This can feel like an invasion of privacy for elderly individuals who need a set routine and familiarity.

Schedule and Visitation Rules

In addition to your loved one following a schedule that they may not be comfortable with, nursing homes also have rules in place regarding visitation. If you or your friends and family want to visit your loved one, you will have to do so in accordance with the nursing home’s rules and regulations.

Final Words

The type of elderly care you opt for depends on your unique circumstances, your loved one’s health, and financial capabilities. Senior care isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” solution, so it’s essential to understand the differences between the various options available and then make a decision keeping your loved one’s specific situation in mind.
If you do end up picking in-home care, Interim Healthcare can help ensure that your loved one is looked after by qualified and experienced professionals. We offer senior personal care, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, respite care, and a HomeLife Enrichment® Program to fill your loved one’s life with self-worth and meaning. Call us at (636) 717-9292 or fill out a contact form, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.