Home Care or Nursing Home? Explore Your Options.

September 4, 2020

  |  
Ninkatec

Home care and nursing home both offer exceptional medical services for elderly patients. Find out which one is most suitable for meeting the personalised health needs of your elderly loved ones. 

Choosing between home care or a nursing facility for an elderly person is often a difficult decision for families. As individuals grow older, their health needs naturally change and it’s important to recognise how this impacts their daily lives.

In this guide, we discuss the benefits and downsides of both home care and nursing home to help you carefully weigh your options. Keep reading to learn more about how you can make the best decision in providing optimal care and comfort for your ageing relatives.


What Is Home Care?

Home care or in-home care refers to a caregiver medically and physically assisting an elderly patient in the comfort of their home. Typically, a professional caregiver will come over for a set amount of hours to complete daily chores and help the elderly adult with cooking, grooming, and other basic needs.  


What Is A Nursing Facility?

A nursing facility, commonly referred to as a nursing home, is an establishment that serves as a home for the elderly to live in long-term. With licensed nurses and doctors as their primary caretakers, elderly adults receive complete medical supervision around the clock. Generally, seniors in nursing facilities are diagnosed with more severe medical conditions like dementia or epilepsy which makes 24/7 medical support necessary.


Home Care and Nursing Facility: Types Of Services & Accommodations

Home care and nursing facilities share numerous similarities in the assistance and care services they provide for the elderly. Among these are:

  • Medication management (for scheduled injections or oral medication)
  • Grooming such as bathing and dressing
  • Meal preparation & feeding
  • Basic housekeeping maintenance
  • Mobility assistance (for moving around spaces safely)
  • Medical supervision such as monitoring vital signs

While in-home care offers the convenience and comfort of staying within one’s home, it limits the breadth of services that can be provided to the patient. This gives nursing facilities an upper hand in administering more extensive care due to the expertise of their medical staff and access to medical-grade equipment. However, with the advent of remote medical monitoring, home care would be able to replicate the medical equipment available at nursing home in the near future to provide the same level of monitoring and better right at home.


How Home Care Costs Differ From Nursing Facilities Expenses

On average, in-home care agencies charge an hourly rate ranging from S$22-28 depending on the level of medical expertise required to care for the elderly patient. On the other hand, nursing facilities have a monthly cost of S$1,200-6,500 which covers only in-boarding expenses and basic medical care. Additional payments will need to be made for emergency services, special needs, and therapy appointments.

However, it’s important to remember that the individualised medical needs of the elderly patient primarily contributes to the discrepancies in overall expenses regardless of where they stay.


Factors To Consider When Choosing Between Home Care Or A Nursing Home

Deciding whether to have an elderly loved one receive in-home care or move to a nursing facility is challenging for relatives of ageing adults. With this in mind, considering these specific factors may help guide you in making the best decision for your family.

  • Current home location & accessibility – In most cases, family members are often concerned with elderly relatives living alone because of potential emergencies that may arise. It’s important to ensure that they live close to someone who can be entrusted to check up on them in case they need help urgently.
  • The severity of the elderly loved one’s health – Assessing the existing medical conditions of an elderly relative or friend is crucial in determining whether they need the extensive medical support that a nursing facility provides. Some elderly individuals need very minimal assistance which makes it unnecessary to have them move out of the comfort of their own homes.
  • Elderly loved one’s concern – Ageing is naturally accompanied by requiring more assistance which can be quite difficult to process. Including your elderly loved one in this discussion is a compassionate way to address their concerns and relieve them of the distress they may be feeling. 


Home Care: Pros & Cons

In-home care is often praised for allowing elderly adults to maintain a sense of freedom and independence. Despite this, the potential downsides are essential to look into before deciding what’s best for your elderly family members or friends.

Pros

  • Greater comfort and familiarity with their environment.
  • Freedom to follow their usual routine.
  • Services tend to cost less.
  • Ability to establish a more personal relationship with the caregiver.
  • Positive psychological effects correlated to increased longevity, lessened reports of sickness, and overall healthier well-being.

Cons

  • Not recommended for elderly individuals who are further into the debilitating stages of a mental or physical medical illness.
  • Caregivers typically visit for only 44 hours a week which results in a lack of medical supervision. 


Nursing Facility: Pros & Cons

Nursing facilities are staffed with experienced medical professionals who provide optimal care for ageing individuals. However, it’s common for them to feel uncertain about moving into an unfamiliar space. Here’s a comprehensive list of the pros and cons of placing elderly individuals in a nursing facility:

Pros

  • 24/7 professional medical supervision.
  • Access to medical-grade equipment.
  • Amenities encourage elderly individuals to stay active.
  • Living with others gives them the chance to socialise.

Cons

  • More costly since it caters to individuals who require more serious medical care.
  • The transition period is usually difficult for most elderly adults which impacts their physical and mental health negatively.
  • A routine schedule is set by the facility which may increase feelings of losing independence.
  • Not ideal for those with pet companions since most facilities don’t permit pets on their premises.


Why Nursing Facilities Aren’t Usually The First Option

The majority of elderly individuals in nursing facilities feel distressed from being surrounded by strangers in an unfamiliar environment. According to studies, nursing facility residents are more likely to experience depression and decreased immunity. This emphasises how emotionally taxing it can be for seniors which is why we encourage families to look into more viable and comfortable options for their loved ones before considering a nursing facility. 


How Ninkatec Can Help

Ninkatec is one of Singapore’s leading caregiving agencies dedicated to meeting the individual health needs of the elderly. Through their patient-centric approach, Ninkatec assesses the most appropriate course of action in ensuring the comfort, medical safety, and psychological well-being of their clients.

By combining advanced monitoring technology and a competent team of medical specialists, families and friends can feel at ease knowing that their loved ones are in good hands. Ninkatec offers the following quality home care plans that cater to the different types of special needs or assistance that an elderly person may require:

  • Right At Home – vital signs monitoring and on-call medical support, for elderlies with long term medical conditions who need constant medical supervision.
  • Close Connect – best suited for elderly patients recovering from surgery.
  • Virtual Care – includes remote medical supervision of patients with chronic conditions and palliative care.


Age In Place, Right At Home

Choosing between home care and a nursing home for an elderly loved one is a serious responsibility. It’s essential to understand that ageing individuals have varying health needs and require different levels of assistance. At the end of the day, safeguarding their health and well-being is the number one priority.

While a nursing facility can accommodate medical treatments conveniently, lots of elderly folks maintain a strong preference to age in the place they call home. To provide your loved ones with the services that fit their needs best, schedule an appointment with Ninkatec so you can make the most well-informed decision for your family.

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