Home Care or Nursing Home? Here’s How to Decide

More often than not, most people find themselves contemplating whether to send their elderly loved ones to a nursing home or enlist home care services. Ultimately, the choice you make affects your loved one in many ways as both options come with their conveniences and shortcomings.

So, are you deciding whether to offer your loved one home care or nursing home? Here’s how to decide.

How is a nursing home different from home care?

A nursing home is an institution designed for the elderly. To this end, all the facilities are customized to offer as little challenges to the seniors as possible. Furthermore, these homes are staffed with nurses, nutritional experts and other professionals who all work together to make the seniors feel at home.

On the other hand, home care brings all the necessary amenities and facilities right to your home. This mostly involves hiring a nurse or any other caregiver to take care of your loved one while you are away. Depending on the limitation brought by the age, it may be necessary to take other measures. These may include, but not limited to, rearranging the furniture to avoid hindering your loved one’s movement, improving lighting for enhanced visibility and installing grab bars onto the stairs and bathtub for support.
When is a nursing home convenient?

Research shows that most people prefer home care services rather than nursing homes, mainly because of the inconvenience associated with the latter.

For instance, nursing homes are considered quite expensive, as you have to pay not only for the staff’s services, but also for accommodation and other amenities such as entertainment, exercising and specialized nutrition. Furthermore, there is a growing concern that most staff members in nursing homes may be neglecting duties like cleaning and feeding the seniors, consequently compromising their comfort, peace of mind and even health.

However, there are certain circumstances that make nursing homes necessary. For starters, seniors who may require constant medical care may fare well in a nursing home, as there are nurses and doctors always present. These institutions are also ideal for seniors whose relatives are not always available owing to reasons like work or traveling.

Why is home care a preferred option?

Home care is primarily popular with seniors because the services are offered at their homes, in a familiar environment and around familiar people. The main advantage for you on the other hand may be its cost effectiveness as most of the expenses such as accommodation and amenities are eliminated.

As compared to a nursing home, home care offers the ideal environment for the seniors as they are familiar with the house and all objects within. This helps them retain their memories, consequently helping them uphold their identity and peace of mind. Furthermore, their freedom is not curtailed since they can do whatever they wish, whenever they wish, so long as their condition does not prevent it. This goes a long way in fighting off depression that mainly arises with the realization of dependence on other people.

Even more important is the fact that home care gives the elderly the opportunity to continue with their family, and established social relations as family members and seniors can stop by any time they wish.  Furthermore, the caretaker tasked with looking after your loved one is able to develop a meaningful relationship with them as duties are not shared, as is the case in nursing homes. This helps nurture a sense of responsibility in the caretaker, and gives you a better chance of evaluating the quality of services offered to your loved ones.


At the end of the day, the most pressing need should be your loved one’s welfare during his/her golden moments in life. As such, consider these factors and their impact on your loved one and you as well when choosing between a nursing home and home care services.