What are the Key Differences between Home Health Care, Assisted Living, and Nursing Homes?

Nov 21, 2018 · 8 minutes to read

Home health care: medicines

A study conducted by the Administration of Living revealed that 20% of men and 34% of women who are over 65 live alone. This represents over 10 million senior citizens who are yet to embrace health care and assisted living. As troubling as these statistics may be, the sentiment behind them is understandable. Does it seem like there’s no replacement for living within your comfort zone at home, surrounded by memories? That’s not true. There exist a range of senior care options such as health care, assisted living, and nursing homes, each of which has experiences worth considering.

Before you invest in an option, it’s important to understand the differences between health care, assisted living, and nursing homes.

Comparing Assisted Living, Home Care, and Nursing Homes

The purpose of assisted living, home care, and nursing homes are to ensure that seniors are happy, safe, and healthy. They enable seniors to make the most of their day through what is referred to as Activities of Daily Living (ADL). Here are some key similarities between all three services:

  • A safe environment: Assisted living, home care, and nursing homes all ensure that their environments are altered to promote safety. This is done by setting-up emergency call systems, safeguarded handrails and ramps for easy wheelchair access.
  • Special nutrition: Paying attention to nutrition pays off, especially as we begin to grow older. Elders who require special diets due to certain health concerns can benefit from subscribing to any of the above services.
  • Life enrichment: Assisted living, home care, and nursing homes all offer an opportunity for social interaction, which is proven to improve the mental and physical state of any human being.
  • Management of daily medication: People of all ages are prone to making mistakes with medication. Elders with memory problems and diseases such as Alzheimer’s are more likely to be affected by mismanagement of medication.  
  • General support: Assisted living, home care, and nursing homes all assist elders with general shopping, transport, and other such activities.

This is where the similarities between home health care, assisted living and nursing homes end. Let’s explore the different elderly care options so that you can make the right choice.

It’s not uncommon for elders to want to live at home, where they are most comfortable. Why uproot your entire life and move to an assisted facility? A person’s home is where their memories are and where everything is just as they like it. Regardless of the situation, it’s tough for someone to decide to leave that space.

That’s why you may want to begin by considering home health care.

Home health aid for the elderly in their own homes

According to research, most senior citizens would prefer to continue living in their own homes, independently. Your elderly mother or uncle may require special healthcare. But that doesn’t mean that they should be forced to leave their homes and move into assisted living or nursing facilities. You could opt for home health aid for the elderly in their own homes. This option is particularly beneficial to those senior citizens who require assistance with daily activities. Live-in-home elderly care ensures support in familiar surroundings.

Benefits of home health aid for the elderly in their own homes

  • Other elderly care options or facilities sometimes have different caregivers assigned to a certain elderly candidate. But in the case of home care, the same caregiver stays with you 24/7.
  • In some scenarios, home care may involve two caregivers who work in shifts. This could be necessary for elders who are suffering from Alzheimer’s and other such disorders. However, this usually means that the same two caregivers rotate shifts.
  • Staying at home means that the elder in question can continue to maintain the same lifestyle and relationships with close friends and family.

How home health aid for the elderly works

Based on a senior’s extent of disability, his or her requirements may vary. That’s why it’s important to understand what caregivers are meant to do before engaging one. Home Health Aides generally have specialized training in identifying undesirable symptoms in their patients so that they can get help quickly.

You can engage a home health care worker by searching for them on local elderly care websites.

How much does it cost?

The cost of home healthcare for elders is usually a mix of the elder’s local cost of living, the level of care required, and the senior’s financial assets and military status. However, on a daily, the cost of home healthcare could fall anywhere between $120 and $240.

What is an assisted living facility?

If you are exploring long-term care options for an older family member or friend, you may want to check out assisted living facilities. These facilities are dedicated to caring for elders and their basic needs such as meals, medication management, bathing, dressing, and transportation. Assisted living facilities are very different from retirement homes and nursing homes, which most people confuse for assisted living facilities. The major difference between a nursing home and an assisted living facility is that the latter is designed to overall improve the living standards of its community members.

Benefits of assisted living facilities

Assisted living facilities are much like regular residential communities, but for the extra medical care and social activities that are arranged for elders.

The purpose of an assisted living facility is to enable elders to live independently while assuring support when needed. Most facilities offer supervision through the day, and health-based assistance when needed.

  • Some communities ensure that couples and relatives are placed together. This could be a great option for an elderly couple that wants to continue living independently without risking health emergencies.
  • There are assisted living facilities for patients with serious ailments such as dementia as well. They are similar in structure and function to other such communities, with the added benefits of extra supervision.
  • Each assisted living community is unique, as are its activities and benefits. When searching for the right option for your elderly family member, you may want to compare the costs and benefits of a few possible choices.
  • Some assisted living facilities do allow elders to keep their pets. This can be great for a person’s mental state and values.

How much does assisted living cost?

The cost of assisted living varies based on location. Research multiple locations and ask for negotiability or flexible payment options so you can get the best possible deal. The cost of assisted living ranges from $2,500 to as much as $6,000 per month.

What is a nursing home elderly facility?

The nursing home elderly facility option is for those elders who have disabilities that require around the clock monitoring. Senior citizens with severe respiratory problems, speech disabilities, and Alzheimer’s do well in this type of facility. Such patients need more complex care which only fully medically equipped setups can provide. Nursing centers appear more institutional. They are like hospitals but those that are specially equipped to serve senior citizens.

Benefits of nursing home elderly facility

Nursing homes are typically for elders with declining health or those who require constant care to recover. People usually seek out nursing homes after their elder family member or friend has had a medical emergency and needs round-the-clock observation and care to improve.

  • Elders who are admitted to nursing homes are given intensive care around the clock. Nursing homes are also better equipped to manage aged citizens with serious health inflictions.
  • Medical procedures and treatments administered in nursing home facilities are prescribed by doctors.
  • Elders who live in nursing homes are cared for by skilled nurses.
  • All treatment administered by nurses at nursing homes is supervised by qualified doctors.
  • It’s possible to locate nursing homes that are focused on rehabilitating elders with one specific disease.

How much do nursing homes cost?

On average, nursing homes cost around $225 a day or $6,844 per month.

Difference between Assisted Living, Home Health Aides, and Nursing Homes

Before investing in a solution for elder care, it’s important to understand the difference between your potential options. The three possible options are assisted living, home health aides, and nursing homes. Here’s a chart that draws comparisons between the three options.

Home Health CareAssisted LivingNursing Homes
Supervision24/7 or as negotiatedAs and when needed24/7
Medical training and abilityMedium to highLow to mediumHigh
Benefitsl  A Home Health Care Aide assigned to a patient remains the same every day. This way the patient care is personal.

l  By subscribing to home healthcare, the elder gets to retain his or her independence and home.

l  Assisted living facilities offer patients supervision and healthcare assistance without taking away their independence.

l  Assisted living facilities also plan social activities to keep senior citizens engaged.

l  Nursing homes have health aides who are highly trained in medical assistance. They are capable of handling rehabilitation for serious health disabilities.

l  All treatment administered by nursing homes are supervised by qualified doctors.

Cost per month$3600$2,500$6844

When you are looking for home health aides, assisted living or nursing homes, it is important to check if they have necessary certification and home health care liability insurance. As adequate certification and insurance are a good way to show if a caregiver is qualified enough.

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