What are the Benefits or Drawbacks of Home Care over a Nursing Home?

As the baby boomer generation reaches their golden years, changes are being made in their senior care needs.  Seniors are continuing to be more active, and their growing age is creating financial challenges for their generation.  Recent years have seen the rise in the number of nursing care and assisted living facilities that are available. Today’s seniors and their families are looking for options for either in home care or outside facilities. When deciding what is best for your elderly loved ones here are some benefits and drawbacks to consider:

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  • Benefits
    • In home care allows is the most benefits for seniors to be able to stay in the comforts of their own home.  When the senior feels more comfortable and is able to maintain their usual routine in their usual environment their health could benefit alongside it. Staying in their home also allows for more independence and encourages a more active involvement in their own care.
    • Home care can be more cost effective, depending upon how much their current home costs them. Outside establishments can be costly month to month and if the senior’s home is less expensive to maintain month to month it can ease the stress of the health expenses.  Home care includes a variety of options for in-home services, whether it be weekly, monthly, daily or multiple daily visits and checkups required.  For a senior that requires  minimal help deciding on  a home care provider can be a much better investment.
    • Home care offers more personal care for seniors.  Where a nursing home or assisted living facility will have numerous staff members who provide care. In home care allows for seniors to have dedicated care professionals and to form a relationship with their care giver.  If the same caretakers will keep on a schedule it will allow seniors to become more familiar with them so that they can feel more comfortable and confident in the care.
    • Drawbacks
      • Home care may not offer as many services.  While home care is a great option for a senior that is mostly independent, if the senior isn’t very independent or at higher risks they may need to be under increased supervision. If there is a need for more frequent services an in-home care situation wouldn’t be ideal.  It is important to regularly check the senior’s circumstances and status to determine the appropriate level of care.
      • Less social activities and opportunities are provided with in-home care.  Because nursing care facilities treat a number of seniors they are better equipped to coordinate group activities and outings.  Facilities often have a regular influx of volunteers and staff that can do anything from aerobics, singing, crafts, games or being read to.
      • A senior receiving home care services will not be as monitored as one in a nursing care facility.  Because a nursing care facility has access twenty-four hours a day they are able to better observe their residents. An in-home care professional only visits the home on the assigned schedule.  This means it may take longer to determine additional needs.

When determining the best care option it is most important to consider the support system and the individual needs.  If you have a strong support system that includes family, friends and hired staff that can routinely visit seniors it could enable them to be able to stay in their own homes.  If there is less support available, or the senior is at higher risk, or has higher needs there is more benefit in having their care provided by a staffed facility. Whatever decisions are made, be sure that the senior is comfortable with their living situation.

 

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