The terms “home care nursing” and “nursing home care” are so similar-sounding that it wouldn’t be impossible to mistake one for the other. That said, they’re two very distinct but related concepts, and in this article, we’re going to go into what defines each one.

First things first: you probably found this article because you or a loved one needs a nurse or a carer. However, you’re not sure which one between nursing home care or home care nursing is the best match for your requirements. Here’s some info that can help you decide.

What is Nursing Home Care?

Nursing homes, also called senior homes or convalescent homes, are residential institutions that are primary for the elderly (although there are, on occasion, some residents who are younger), and for people living with disability.

In nursing homes, patients receive round-the-clock assistance, ranging from personal grooming, meals, cleaning, to moving around, from onsite nurses and carers. Residents may also require therapy and medical care, which can be given by physicians and therapists who may also live within the premises.

Nursing homes have both private and semi-private rooms, and many institutions have added amenities like rec rooms and shared spaces, as well as scheduled activities to keep the residents entertained and engaged.

What are the benefits of Nursing Home Care?

  • 24/7 access to carers and nurses; therapists and doctors may also visit regularly
  • Routines are more appropriate for the patients’ comfort and needs (versus living with family which means the patient may need to adjust to the other members’ shceudles)
  • Socialisation is easier because nursing homes are shared with other people.
  • Environment and living spaces are maintained by staff
  • Meals are prepared by staff, usually under a nutritionist’s supervision
  • Nursing homes have many safety and security features that to ensure the elderly’s safety (grab bars, nursing staff, visiting hours, ramps).
  • Access to recreational activities

What is Home Care Nursing?

Home care nursing is basically when patients live in their own houses but have a nurse or carer assist them with day-to-day necessities like cooking and eating, taking a bath, wound care, transportation, and more, for a certain number of hours per week.

It is not unheard of for someone to request 24/7 care in their own home, but that can get quite expensive, and it’s more common for home care nursing patients to receive about 44 hours of care (or less) weekly.

What are the benefits of Home Care Nursing?

  • Patients get to live more independently and comfortably, in their own homes. The familiar surroundings can be very helpful, especially to those with memory-related conditions like dementia.
  • Brings health, nutritional, and personal care to the home
  • There is one-to-one care, as opposed to care in nursing homes where nurses or caregivers have a number of patients to attend to.
  • Price varies, but is generally more affordable to senior facilities
  • Most institutions are for the elderly, but home care nursing makes care available to people of all ages
  • Care is more personalised. Since there’s (most likely) going to be just one patient in a home, care protocols can be created to address their specific needs, and can be adapted according to the routine the patient is more used to as much as possible.
  • Because the patient is in their own home, they can maintain their own independence and privacy. This is as opposed to the schedules set in nursing home.
  • Patients can avail of as much or as little nursing or care services as they want or need, giving them more control over their budget. 
  • Recovery speed is much faster; sometimes shared spaces like in hospitals can cause conditions like hospital-acquired pneumonia
  • Patients can still be part of the community they’re used to.
  • They can live with family and have pets.

The bottomline

Nursing home care and home care nursing each serve a purpose, so it really depends on the patient’s needs and wants in terms of getting care and support. The good news is, regardless of your choice, the Australian government offers some sort of subsidy for it.

A very good resource on the funding available to the elderly is My Aged Care as it tells you all about the types of care senior citizens need, how to get assessed, and how and where to find service providers. The website also acts as a platform to manage the services you’ve enrolled in.

You can also find out more about our country’s aged care programs here.

To break it down, however, if you prefer to be closer to round-the-clock healthcare and support, especially advanced medical care, then your best bet is to stay in a nursing home.

But if you (or your loved one) want to continue living at home but you need a companion or a nurse to help you accomplish daily tasks, or need reminders about taking medication or the like, then you should look into home care nursing. It’s definitely the solution if you want to remain more independent, stay in comfortable, familiar surroundings, and yes, have a pet – many nursing homes don’t allow them!

And in case you’re looking for a private duty nurse, certified nurse assistant, or a companion to provide in-home support for yourself or a family member, your friends at Kalinga Health are ready to help out!
Create a free account online or download our app on your mobile phone, and gain access to a database of skilled, experienced and, of course, caring home care nurses and carers you can hire immediately!