Long Term Care Options: Nursing Home Vs. Home Care

Making the decision on what type of long term care to choose for yourself or loved one can be very challenging. Although there are many options, the big decision is whether one should enter an institution or to stay at home. Factors such as environment, access to care and the ever present cost usually determine what patients and families decide to do.

About Home Care

Home care can be a very practical option for care of the elderly and terminally ill. Patients get to spend their days at home with family and friends in a familiar environment. This can be very beneficial for the patient’s emotional health. Relatively speaking, home healthcare is significantly lower in cost than care at nursing homes and other like institutions.

This is the case because of the way home care is delivered. Home care is usually administered on a per visit basis. That is, a hospice aide, nurse, social worker or doctor visiting the patient for a couple of hours daily or weekly. For this reason, the charge for home care is hourly. According to the “Cost of Care Survey,” an annual report by Genworth, the national average cost of home care per hour is between $10 and $36. Although that range may seem costly, since most persons only require home care a few hours per day or week, the total cost over time is low.

About Nursing Home Care

On the other hand, a stay in a nursing home can cost between $209 and $229 for one day. This can equate to tens of thousands in a year.

However, we must understand that nursing homes and other like institutions offer a wider variety of services. Some of these may include physical rehabilitation and social and recreational activities. Also, access to care in an institution is considered to be 24/7 which contrasts a few hours here and there with Home Care. These differences translate into the differences in cost of the services. Vaguely speaking more hours of service, usually, equals a higher total cost of care. This is the trend we observe within this industry.

Picking the type of care that suits you or your loved one, will be determined by the level of care the patient needs and obviously the cost. We encourage those tasked with making the decision to look at all options carefully. The most important thing is to get the ideal amount of care the patient needs. Although costs can restrict patients from receiving the ideal amount of care that they need, care does not have to be forgone entirely.

About Hospice Care

Hospice is a philosophy of care for individuals who can no longer benefit from curative medical treatment. Rather, the goal is to control pain and other symptoms to make the patient’s life as comfortable as possible.

The benefit of hospice services is that it can be received anywhere a person calls home. In addition, hospice services can complement the services provided by home care or nursing homes.  Individuals can receive services in facilities such as assisted living communities, nursing homes, or hospice facilities. Another important area is that Medicaid and Medicare offer a hospice benefit which may allow individuals to receive services at little or no out-of-pocket costs.

Hospice services can be provided right along side these services whether at a residence or a nursing home.  Call us at 678-432-2300 to learn more.


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