Understanding the Difference Between Home Care and Nursing Homes

Dennis Relojo-Howell

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Dennis Relojo-Howell, (2020, August 6). Understanding the Difference Between Home Care and Nursing Homes. Psychreg on Developmental Psychology. https://www.psychreg.org/difference-between-home-care-and-nursing-homes/
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Most families find it difficult to differentiate between home care and nursing home facilities. They also go through emotional stress when placing a loved one in a care facility since they don’t know what services the facilities will provide. Most of the terminology used in both facilities can be confusing, so let’s clarify the common misinterpretations. 

Service providers

In a nursing home, your loved one will receive 24-hour services, and they will be provided by trained nurses and trained care assistants. Both the care assistants and nurses are trained in offering wound care and administering intravenous medication. Aged care specialists at Arcare would suggest that you research current vacancies, available home care services, and financial details when looking for a nursing home facility for a loved one. In in-home care facilities, your loved one will receive 24-hour services provided by a care assistant. Most residents in care facilities tend to have degenerative health conditions such as reduced mobility; thus, care assistants help them handle routine chores. 

Location of facilities

Home care services can be delivered at your convenient location. You can receive home care services at an assisted facility, at school, or home. Nursing homes are strategically located, and your loved one will receive services at the facility. Aside from that, nursing home facility employees are not allowed to visit clients in their homes. Home care facilities offer care to any person, while nursing homes only focus on looking after older people. 

Physical appearance

When you visit a home care and a nursing home facility, you will realise the difference in the general appearance of the facilities. Nursing care facilities have an institutional appearance since they offer medical care, unlike home care facilities. On the other hand, home care centres have an upscale apartment community resemblance. Besides, clients in-home facilities often live in their suite or apartment, while those in nursing homes tend to share rooms with senior friends. 

The cost incurred

Due to the quality of services offered, nursing homes tend to cost more than home care facilities. In nursing homes, you will find additional staff members and resources to support complex health conditions, unlike home care centres. 

If your loved one is eligible for Funded Nursing Care, they can be admitted to a nursing home. Home care facilities do not recognise Funded Nursing Care; therefore, the cost incurred in a nursing home can be relatively cheaper than what you would pay in a home care facility. A doctor, nurse, or social employee can enlighten you on whether your loved one needs to be admitted to a home care or nursing home facility. Funded Nursing Care services are contributions made by the National Health service towards covering personal care needs, and the funds are remitted to facilities that have registered nurses. 

Provision of personalised care

Home care facilities tend to be inclined towards offering personal care compared to nursing homes. In-home care facilities, care assistants will provide more individualised care planning. They will act as a liaison if family members reside far away, and they often help fill the paperwork. Besides, care assistants often provide services such as doing light housekeeping chores, exercises, meal preparation, and skincare. Nursing homes also provide such personalised care services, although they don’t prioritise services such as filing paperwork and housekeeping chores. Besides, nursing homes also have care assistants who can provide the services, but the facility mainly prioritises clients’ healthcare and not personalised treatment. 

Older people with mental health issues 

If your loved one has dementia or mental health disorders, a nursing home would be ideal since they have special EMI units that will help regulate the health conditions. Some home care facilities have EMI units, but they may lack qualified personnel to handle the equipment. 

Advanced Service Provision

Nursing home facilities tend to offer advanced care services such as nutrition, ambulance transport, and they ensure that the elderly socialize. Home care facilities also provide some of the services. Still, in case of a medical emergency, a nursing facility provides first aid treatment, and in some, some resident doctors will handle the situation. Besides, nurses are trained to prioritize the elderly’s nutritional requirements; the facilities have kitchenettes where anyone can cook, and most nursing homes have overnight security. As earlier stated, home care facilities can be mobile; hence, the safety of your loved ones is not considered in the client’s homestead.

Takeaway

Some of the terminologies used in nursing homes and home care facilities are similar, but you can distinguish the two care facilities with the description above. The facilities are suited for different clients, and it all boils down to the services you would want to be offered to your loved one. 

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Image credit: Freepik


Dennis Relojo-Howell is the founder of Psychreg. He interviews people within psychology, mental health, and well-being on his YouTube channel, The DRH Show.

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