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What’s the Difference Between Home Health Care and a Nursing Home?

When it’s time to help your loved one make senior living choices, you have many options, depending on the level of care your loved one needs. Many older adults want to stay at home as they age — and home health care is one option that may make that possible. Understanding the differences between home health care and a nursing home is vital.

Take a look at this comparison of home health care vs. a nursing home to see what the right choice might be for you or your aging parent.

What Home Health Care Offers

As the name suggests, home health care is a type of senior care that lets you or your loved one age in place at home. With this type of care, an individual caregiver comes to your home regularly to assist with the activities of daily living as well as some light housekeeping. In addition, in many cases, some medical care can be provided, including medication management, monitoring of vital signs, wound care, and diabetes management.

Many seniors prefer this option because it’s less disruptive, letting them stay in comfortable surroundings. They can remain as independent as possible because their home and routines are familiar, and many seniors opting for home health care end up developing deeply satisfying, one-on-one relationships with their at-home caregivers. They also received care that’s personalized to their unique needs. Care at home is also typically much less expensive than care in a skilled nursing facility or assisted living facility.

What a Nursing Home Offers

Sometimes seniors need a greater level of care than can be provided at home. That’s when it may be time to consider a nursing home, which is a long-term care facility that provides 24/7 care that includes skilled nursing. A nursing home may be a wise choice for a senior who doesn’t require hospital care but who needs more regular care than an assisted living facility or home health aide can provide. Residents in a nursing home also receive housing, meals, personal care, and opportunities for socialization with other older adults.

Nursing homes provide peace of mind for loved ones who can feel secure that immediate help is available in the event of a medical emergency. These facilities also offer physical security, including guards against the wandering behaviors that often occur when seniors have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. In addition, they may host social activities that let residents build friendships and socialize, something that may not be as readily available when a senior lives at home. Nursing homes, however, are significantly more expensive than home health care.

Making the Choice of Home Health Care vs. Nursing Home Care

Weighing the pros and cons of home health care vs. nursing home care is key to making the right decision for yourself or your loved one. Understanding the differences between home health care and nursing homes, along with the care options and services offered at each one, can help you determine whether your loved one needs full-time care and what types of medical care are required. Keep in mind that home care and nursing homes are drastically different in terms of price — something that can be a deciding factor for many families.

For more information about home health aides in Philadelphia, PA, or home care vs. assisted living, contact us today.