Aging and illness force people to make a choice between at-home care or a nursing home. Everyone wants the best for their loved ones, so the decision takes time and research. Often, the family must choose based on the availability of family caregivers, income, and the needs of the patient.
Home Health Care
Seniors often hope to stay in their homes for life. The comforts of home and being among their own belongings appeals to most people. The benefits of at-home care and the availability of at-home caregiver services makes it a popular choice. About 4.5 million people use at-home care services in the United States each year.
The benefits usually include money savings. The most savings happen when family members provide the care and only need to supplement with outside help. Privacy and staying in familiar surroundings also increase comfort.
Some drawbacks include family caregiver burnout, the lack of round-the-clock care, and the difficulty of getting adequate medical equipment in the home. Small homes may not have room for hospital beds or mobility equipment. Loneliness can also affect people without live-in help and family caregivers that spend only a few hours with them each day.
Nursing Home Care
Assisted living facilities number about 30,000 in the United States, and offer a variety of care levels based on the needs of the resident. Memory care assisted living, and independent living facilities all exist.
Nursing homes ensure 24-hour supervision from medical professionals. The services most benefit the residents without family or friends available to care for them. Many facilities now offer social programs and activities to keep the residents entertained and thriving.
The disadvantages of nursing home care include the cost, the distance of the facility to family, and the risk of inadequate care. Most facilities do all they can to give the residents a fulfilling, happy, and healthy life, but staff shortages and poor management can cause concerns.
The right choice between nursing homes or at-home care depends on the individual. Someone with a spacious home, dedicated family, and supplemental care from a conscientious caregiver service may find that at-home care offers the best choice. A delicate medical condition, lack of family help, and the desire to have many social activities readily available could make a nursing home a more reliable choice.