The Difference Between Home Care and Nursing Homes

You need help caring for an elderly relative or friend. So, what are your options? Here’s a brief overview of the difference between home care and nursing homes.

What Is Home Care?

Home care allows elderly individuals to safely remain in their own homes. In addition, this professional service offers various levels of support. For example, some patients only need assistance with meal preparation and light housework. In these cases, a caregiver or Home Health Aide (HHA) could stop by for a few hours each day. However, other patients require medical supervision, and thus, full-time care with a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) would be more appropriate.

What Is a Nursing Home?

A nursing home is a facility dedicated to the care of the elderly. Individuals move out of their homes and into a nursing home. They may have a private room or share a space with a roommate. These facilities provide daily dining services, round-the-clock supervision, and ongoing medical care. Some nursing homes have more extensive amenities, such as social clubs, daily activities, and on-site barber shops and beauty salons. Therefore, be sure to explore the possibilities to find the right fit for your loved one.

What Are the Primary Differences Between Home Care and Nursing Home?

  • Location
    As the name suggests, home care takes place in one’s own home. Nursing homes are group facilities. Thus, nursing home patients must move to a new location and live with other people.
  • Amount of Supervision
    Round-the-clock home care is possible with home care, but most patients are somewhat independent. In-home caregivers usually drop by at scheduled times during the day. Nursing homes, on the other hand, have caregivers, nurses, and medical staff available 24/7.
  • Patient-Caregiver Relationships
    Home care often offers a more personalized experience. Patients generally work with the same aide or group of aides. In a nursing home, they are more likely to interact with numerous staff members.
  • Socialization
    In a nursing home, patients will constantly be around people. Many enjoy this opportunity to connect with others. In contrast, home care can be isolating. This especially is true if an individual has limited family and/or friends.
  • Cost
    Both home care and nursing home costs will add up. As a result, it’s important to determine exactly what type of care your loved one needs. For instance, a nursing home may be more economical than 24/7 home care. To compare costs more accurately, check out this Assisted Living vs. Home Care Affordability Calculator.

Which Option Is Best?

Every situation is unique. Therefore, there’s no right answer to this question. Although you should consider your loved one’s personal preferences, safety and cost are issues too. Someone with advanced dementia may insist they don’t want to go to a nursing home. Nevertheless, you know this is in their best interest. Consider multiple factors to arrive at the best possible decision.


Do You Need Help Caring for a Loved One?

If you’re looking for in-home care, Anodyne Staffing is here for you! We match experienced caregivers with families throughout Eastern Massachusetts. Learn more about our home care options today!