Home Care vs. Nursing Home Care - What Is the Best Option for You?

Home care vs. nursing home care - Which form of aged care services should you choose? This article explores the benefits of both, helping you make an informed decision.

Haisey Home Care
August 2, 2023
x min read

When a person reaches a certain age, they have a few options for receiving care: in-home aged care and residential aged care.

In-home care is provided through Home Care Packages, government-funded aged care programs for older Australians. Residential care is for those who want to or need to move to nursing homes, where they will receive the care they require.

In this "Home care vs. nursing home care" article, we'll talk about the benefits of both types of aged care, helping you decide which option is better suited for your needs.

What Is Residential Aged Care?

Residential aged care refers to providing accommodation, support, and personal care services for elderly individuals who require assistance with daily living activities. This form of aged care is commonly provided in specialised facilities, also known as nursing homes or aged care homes.

If you decide to move to a residential aged care facility, you can receive the following care services:

  • Basic assistance with daily tasks
  • Personal care
  • Medical care
  • Meal preparation
  • Recreational and social activities
  • Support services

Most importantly, nursing homes provide permanent accommodation for those who need it. Residents of an assisted living facility are provided with private or shared spaces, communal areas, and facilities to meet their daily living needs.

What Is In-Home Care?

In-home care, or just home care, is for those who want to receive care services in the comfort of their own home without having to move to a nursing home.

In-home care is provided through a Home Care Package - a government-funded program provided on a one-to-one care basis. Home care services are for those who want to remain living at home without having to sacrifice their independence.

A Home Care Package usually includes the following services:

  • Personal care
  • Meal preparation
  • Medication reminders
  • Home modifications
  • Light housekeeping
  • Respite care
  • Private nursing care
  • Wound care and management
  • Allied health services
  • 24-hour care

Each package is tailored to meet the specific care needs and goals of the recipient, offering a range of services such as personal care, domestic assistance, nursing support, transport, and social activities.

The aim is to support independent living, enhance well-being, and maintain a sense of community and connection while enabling seniors to access the care and assistance they require to remain in a familiar and comfortable environment for as long as possible.

Benefits of Home Care vs. Nursing Home Care

Many seniors aren't sure which option is better for their personal needs - home care vs. nursing home care. Both home care and residential care come with many benefits for the care recipient and their family. However, some seniors might prefer one over the other due to various circumstances and health requirements.

Benefits of In-Home Services

Here are the most important benefits of receiving home care services:

  1. Familiar surroundings: Elderly individuals can continue living in the comfort and familiarity of their own homes without having to move to a nursing home. This can promote a sense of security and independence, which can positively impact their overall well-being.
  2. Personalised care: Home care services are tailored to the personal preferences of the individual. Care plans are designed to address their unique requirements, allowing for more personalised attention and support.
  3. Flexibility: Home care is often more flexible in terms of scheduling. Caregivers can visit at specific times or around the clock, depending on the level of care needed.
  4. Companionship: In addition to providing assistance with daily tasks, Home Care Packages often include companionship. Caregivers can engage in conversation, activities, and outings, allowing seniors to remain connected to their local community.
  5. Family involvement: Home care enables family members to be more involved in the care of their loved ones.
  6. Cost-effectiveness: In some cases, in-home care services may be more cost-effective than residential aged care, especially if the level of care required is not intensive.

Benefits of Residential Care Services

While many families might opt for Home Care Packages, others prefer moving their loved ones to a nursing home. Here are some of the reasons why this might be a better option for you or your loved one:

  1. 24/7 senior care: Nursing homes offer around-the-clock care, providing continuous support and supervision for elderly individuals who may require constant assistance or have complex medical needs.
  2. Specialised care: These facilities often have trained medical professionals, including nurses and doctors, who can address specific health conditions and provide specialised care.
  3. Social interaction: Nursing homes offer opportunities for socialisation and engagement with other residents. This can help combat feelings of loneliness and provide a sense of community.
  4. Reduced burden on the family: For families who may struggle to provide full-time care at home due to work or other commitments, residential aged care can relieve the burden and ensure their loved ones receive the necessary care.
  5. Safety and security: Aged care facilities are designed with safety in mind, reducing the risk of accidents or falls and providing emergency response systems.

How to Make a Decision?

The choice between in-home care and residential aged care services should be based on the individual's specific needs, current lifestyle, and the level of support required.

Many seniors prefer to stay in their homes for as long as possible, and with the right home care services, this can be a viable option. On the other hand, some individuals may benefit from the comprehensive care and social environment provided by nursing homes.

That being said, here are a few questions you can ask yourself before deciding what type of care offers a better solution for you or your loved one:

  • What are my current personal care needs?
  • Can my needs be adequately met at home?
  • What is my social support system?
  • What are my personal preferences and values?
  • What are the financial considerations?
  • How is my health likely to change in the future?
  • How important is family involvement in my care?
  • How do I feel about the potential change in living arrangements?

By asking these questions and carefully considering the answers, you can gain a better understanding of your needs and preferences. 

Additionally, involving family members and consulting with healthcare professionals or aged care experts can provide valuable insights and support in making the best decision for your aged care options.

Choosing Home Care - What's Next?

If you've decided that you want to receive care through a Home Care Package, this is what you should do next:

  1. Test your eligibility.
  2. Get tested by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT).
  3. Undergo a formal income assessment.
  4. Wait until someone contacts you from My Aged Care.

Once you're done with this process, you'll be assigned to a Home Care Package level, which depends on how much care you need on a daily basis and various other factors.

You're free to choose your own home care provider but make sure to select a provider that can meet all of your needs and also offers services in your area.

Applying for in-home care might seem like a lengthy process, but it will pay off in the end when you start receiving the care you need.

Choose Haisey Home Care

Haisey Home Care is an approved provider offering comprehensive in-home care services for elderly Australians in Melbourne and Sydney. If you or your loved one want to receive care in the comfort of your own home without having to move to a nursing home, we can help you.

If you want to know more about our in-home care services, feel free to contact us or book a free in-home consultation.