Nursing Home or Home Care with Caregivers – which is better?
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Nursing Home or Home Care with Caregivers – which is better?

Choosing between a nursing home or a home care solution can potentially be a difficult decision. Here are a couple of things to consider before making a selection on which solution is best for you or your loved one.

Such services could be required in cases where you have an elderly person at home who requires more supervision while you are away at work, or for an ageing parent who has just gotten out of a surgery, or one diagnosed with an illness that needs special care, e.g. Dementia, Alzheimer’s, palliative care. There are also cases of care needed for post-hospitalization, which is usually on a temporary basis.

Here we present options of two types of care, each with its pros and cons which will help you come to a better decision on whether to bring a caregiver to the home or to send a loved one to a nursing home.

Environment of Care

A nursing home has a friendly environment, whereby the residences are able to socialise and interact with each other. Proper run nursing homes are designed and equipped with the necessary facilities to ensure that all residents are in a safe environment

Home care on the other hand provides the care recipient with the necessary care in the comforts of their own home. Home care usually involves engaging a caregiver or a nurse to assist with the care. Care recipients are generally more comfortable receiving care and treatment at home, as it is a familiar atmosphere.

Access to Care

Nursing homes provide round-the-clock care needed for the care recipient, supervised by the staffing team. The staff-to-patient ratio varies across facilities, depending on the specific requirements of the care recipient’s needs, facility size, and the extent of which services are outsourced for a particular nursing home.

Home care on the other hand allows the care recipient to receive undivided attention from a single caregiver, which allows the care recipient to build a trusting relationship with the particular caregiver. Live-in caregivers are able to provide the care recipient with immediate access to care and attention all-day-round.

Benefits of Nursing Homes

1. Family members’ focus on the care recipient

Having your loved one in a nursing home means you and your family members are not stressed out trying to figure out how to provide the best care for the care recipient, nor being involved in the care. You and your family members can focus on spending quality time building an intimate relationship with the care recipient.

2. Community of people

Being in a well-run nursing home puts the care recipient in a warm and friendly environment which allows them to interact and socialise with others. This stimulates the mind of the care recipient, as well as prevents social isolation.

3. Care is provided around the clock

Nursing home provides 24/7 care for their residences. Family members do not need to make bookings or manage the schedule of care provided.

4. Comprehensive meal plans

Based on the recommendations from nutritionist and doctors, nursing homes generally provide well-balanced and nutritious meals throughout the day, ensuring that the care recipient gets the right balance of nutrients.

Drawbacks of Nursing Homes

1. Relationship between care recipient and staff

Staffs in a nursing home typically works on a shift basis. The frequent change in staff may reduce one-to-one care compatibility. Care recipients may end up frustrated since a different staff may not know or remember their preferences.

2. Living in a group environment

The care recipient may not enjoy living in a group environment. Being in a foreign environment (out of the comforts of their own home), may cause some care recipients to feel uneasy.

3. Rules and regulations

The care recipient may find it hard to abide to the rules and regulations of the nursing home. With fixed visiting hours, sleeping hours, and dining hours, care recipients may find it difficult to adapt.

Benefits of Home Care

1. Familiar environment

The home care solution allows the care recipient to remain in the comforts of their own home. Being in a comfortable and familiar environment, care recipients are generally at ease and feel secure and happy. Family members and close friends are also able to spend time in the luxury of your own private space without needing to travel back and forth, if based in a nursing home or hospital.

2. One-to-one care

Home care usually allows the care recipient to receive the undivided attention and care of a caregiver. This allows the care recipient to build a trusting relationship with the caregiver, as well as adjusting habits to ensure that the care recipient is happy and can receive the care needed.

3. Flexibility of Care

Engaging with a home care service or a caregiver provides the flexibility to schedule the required amount of care provided. Caregiver services are usually on a hourly or live-in basis. This can be adjusted accordingly based on price, familiarity and requirements of the care recipient.

4. Menu to taste

Being in the comfort of their own home, care recipients generally have more say in terms of the options of food. Not being bound by a fixed menu, the care recipient (or immediate family member) is able to plan out their preferred meal and also balance between flavours and nutritional values.

Drawbacks of Home Care

1. Potential for social isolation

Being homebound without the company of others may sometimes be a struggle for care recipients who are generally outgoing and sociable. Moreover, social isolation can lead to a slowdown in cognitive functions if not managed properly.

2. Safety facilities

The care recipient’s home may not have the general safety facilities installed, eg. wheelchair ramp, hand-railings etc. This may increase the risk of the care recipient getting injured.

The task of deciding between a nursing home or home care can be a stressful one, since it has to do with providing the best care for your loved one. If your loved one is capable of making decisions on their own, it would be advisable to discuss the various options with them and come to an agreement on which is preferable, depending on their needs and what the family can provide for the care. Your loved one will be better able to adapt and receive the care needed when they feel they have a say.

This article was brought to you by CARE Concierge. CARE Concierge provides health professionals for eldercare and home recovery. Our CARE Pros (caregivers) are certified and trained to provide the best care for your loved ones by assisting with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL) or to provide specialized care for cancer, stroke recovery, Dementia, Alzheimer’s as well as post-hospitalization. The CARE Pros work closely with our CARE Managers who are backed by a team of doctors and nurses.

Visit our CARE Concierge website or contact us at 1300 22 8822 to find out more about how our CARE Pros (caregivers) can help with your needs.