Residential Care vs. Home Care - The Right Choice for Your Needs

Residential care vs. home care - What is the right option for your aged care needs? Read this article to fully understand your options before making a decision.

Haisey Home Care
September 11, 2023
x min read

With the increase in Australia's ageing population, the Australian Government strives to provide its elderly citizens with comprehensive care solutions. That's why elderly individuals have several options when it comes to aged care, the two most popular ones being residential care and home care.

The first option is for those who want to move to a residential aged care facility, while the second option is for seniors who want to remain living in the comfort of their own homes.

This "Residential care vs. home care" article will cover the major differences between these two types of aged care support services, allowing you to make an informed decision about your care needs.

What Is Residential Aged Care and Who Is It for?

Residential aged care involves moving into a specialised facility that provides round-the-clock clinical support. It's provided in residential aged care facilities, also known as nursing homes.

A residential aged care facility serves as a dedicated space where individuals can receive comprehensive medical attention and assistance. 

These facilities are equipped with trained professionals who provide 24-hour clinical support, ensuring residents' health needs are met promptly.

Residential aged care is designed to cater to the needs of seniors who have:

  • Significant health problems
  • Mobility issues
  • Chronic illnesses
  • Cognitive impairments

Residential care is intended for older individuals who require a higher level of support and care that cannot be adequately provided in one's own home.

Residential care is suitable for seniors who need assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, toileting, medication management, and mobility support.

It's also appropriate for those who require ongoing medical monitoring and supervision due to complex health conditions or advanced age-related frailty. Residential care can provide specialised services such as dementia care units for individuals with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia.

In addition to providing essential healthcare services, a nursing home can offer a range of social programs and activities to promote engagement and well-being among residents.

What Is Home Care and Who Is It for?

Home care or in-home care is designed to help seniors live independently in their own homes for as long as possible, providing a range of aged care services, including:

  • Personal care
  • Meal preparation
  • Home modifications
  • Companionship care
  • Wound management
  • Medication reminders
  • Social programs
  • Respite care
  • Occupational therapy
  • 24-hour care
  • Transportation

In-home care services are provided through Home Care Packages, government-funded aged care programs suited for elderly Australians who need help with everyday activities.

This type of aged care is particularly beneficial for individuals who value their independence and wish to maintain their familiar surroundings.

Home care allows seniors to receive completely tailored support based on their specific needs and personal preference, ensuring they can continue living safely and comfortably in their homes.

Home care is suitable for older individuals who require varying degrees of assistance with daily activities but do not need round-the-clock care and medical supervision. 

It provides a level of flexibility that allows seniors to receive the specific services they need while still retaining control over their daily routines and decisions.

Additionally, home care promotes social engagement by enabling seniors to maintain connections with their local community and participate in outings or activities organised by the program.

Residential Care vs. Home Care - How to Choose?

When a senior reaches a certain age that requires additional support, they can choose between going to a nursing home to receive the care they need or in-home care, where they can be provided with all the support they need at home.

These are the three most important factors you have to consider before making a choice between receiving care at your own home or a nursing home:

  1. The type of care that you need
  2. Your preferred living arrangements
  3. Your financial situation

One important factor to consider is the type of support needed. Home care services are designed to provide a range of support services, including healthcare, personal care, transport, housework, social support, and home modifications.

On the other hand, residential care homes offer a higher level of care for individuals who have more complex needs that cannot be adequately met at home. 

These facilities provide 24-hour clinical care and specialised accommodation for those who require constant supervision and medical attention.

Another factor to consider when choosing between residential care and home care is the priority of living at home. Many seniors value the familiarity and comfort of their own homes and prefer to stay in familiar surroundings as they age.

In contrast, some individuals may prioritise access to round-the-clock professional caregiving or may have specific health requirements that necessitate moving into a residential facility.

Financial Considerations

Your financial situation is also an important consideration when comparing these two options.

The cost of residential aged care includes a basic daily fee, accommodation costs, and a means-tested care fee. The government subsidises some of these costs based on individual financial circumstances. Home Care Packages can also cover the cost of residential aged care for eligible individuals.

If you want to apply for a Home Care Package, these are the fees you have to pay:

  1. The basic daily fee
  2. The income-tested care fee
  3. Additional fees

The Australian Government funds Home Care Packages, allocating those funds to your chosen home care provider, which are then divided into monthly payments that cover your care services.

Generally, in-home care tends to be more cost-effective than residential aged care, but this can depend on several factors, such as the level of care needed, your location, the duration of care, and necessary additional services.

Benefits of Residential Aged Care

Here are the most important benefits of residential aged care:

  • A community-like environment that promotes social engagement
  • No need for household tasks
  • Non-stop access to specialised care
  • A supportive and safe environment
  • Regular support and monitoring

These facilities provide a community-like environment where seniors can interact with their peers and engage in scheduled activities designed for their age group. The structured programs offered in residential care homes promote social engagement, allowing seniors to form new connections.

This is particularly important for those who may have lost long-term connections due to various reasons. By being part of a residential aged care community, seniors have the opportunity to build new relationships and enjoy companionship on a daily basis.

Residing in a residential care facility eliminates the need for seniors to worry about household tasks such as cooking, cleaning, or home maintenance. This allows them to focus on enjoying their daily lives while receiving the necessary support from trained staff members whenever required.

Residential care provides a supportive environment where seniors can maintain an active social life, receive personalised care when needed, and have peace of mind knowing that their well-being is prioritised by dedicated professionals within the facility.

In addition to promoting social interactions, residential care facilities also offer on-call care for residents who may not need assistance with acute conditions but still require regular support and monitoring.

This ensures that the health needs of seniors are met in a timely manner without compromising their independence.

Benefits of Home Care

If you're interested in home care, here are some of the most important benefits of receiving support through Home Care Packages:

  1. Being able to stay in a familiar environment
  2. Maintaining one's independence and control
  3. Family support and involvement
  4. Personalised support services
  5. Flexibility
  6. Potential cost-effective services

One of the key advantages of receiving care services in the comfort of one's own home is the preservation of independence and familiarity with surroundings. Home care allows seniors to maintain control over their daily lives, making decisions about their routines, schedule, and personal preferences.

They can continue living in a familiar environment surrounded by their belongings, which can provide a sense of security and emotional well-being. This level of independence contributes to an overall higher quality of life for seniors.

Another advantage of home care services is the opportunity to receive personalised and tailored care. Care plans are designed to meet the specific needs and preferences of each individual, ensuring that they receive the appropriate level of support while maintaining their autonomy.

Services such as healthcare, personal care, transportation, housework, meal preparation, social support, and home modifications can be provided based on the unique requirements of each person. This personalised approach promotes a sense of dignity and respect for seniors as they age.

Preserving independence, familiarity with surroundings, and personalised care contribute to a higher quality of life.

Understanding Your Options

As an elderly individual, you may be eligible for a Home Care Package, which allows you to receive support at your family home. This is a major life change, and Haisey Home Care can help you make the transition easier.

Haisey Home Care is a dedicated aged care provider with a mission to make life as comfortable as possible for elderly people. We offer specialised care solutions designed to meet our clients' needs and preferences, helping them maintain independence.

If you want to know more about our services or if you would like to book a free in-home consultation, don’t hesitate to reach out to us