Comparing In-Home Elderly Care Vs Residential Aged Care
If you have decided it is time to seek professional care and support for your loved one, you are no doubt comparing the options of in-home care versus residential care. Your final choice will often come down to your loved one’s health care needs and personal circumstances. Here, we have compared these two avenues for elderly care on a number of factors, to assist you in the decision making process.
What is In-Home Elderly Care?
In-home elderly care refers to the care and support services provided by qualified care givers within your/your loved one’s home. Such services include personal care, meal preparation, transport, shopping, cleaning and social companionship, all with the purpose of helping your loved one remain confident and independent within their home, for longer.
There are two types of government subsidies you or your loved one can receive for in-home care:
The Commonwealth Home Support Programme, covering entry level support, or
Home Care Packages, for more complex care and support
When comparing in-home support to residential aged care, we will refer to in-home care as that belonging to the Home Care Packages program.
What is Residential Aged Care?
Residential aged care refers to nursing homes or residential facilities for older people who can no longer live independently at home and require ongoing assistance with everyday tasks or health care.
In-Home Care vs Residential Care
Level of Support/Care
The level of care your loved one requires will be one of the core factors in your decision when choosing between in-home or residential care. The main benefit of in-home care is the personalised and tailored approach taken to the type and level of support provided.
For example, at Just For U Care, our staff will work closely with you and your loved one to develop a customised care plan, which could cover everything from personal care and meal preparation to transport, mobility assistance and social companionship. We also take the time to understand your loved one’s lifestyle, cultural background and preferred language, with the aim of matching one of our qualified carers to their preferences and needs. Our in-home carers can offer support for just a few hours a day or 24/7 as required.
If your loved one requires a very high level of support, that perhaps would be better provided by a team of professionals with different specialisations, then a residential aged care facility might be a more appropriate option. While your loved one will receive professional, around the clock care, it is important to keep in mind that the delivery of care will not necessarily be tailored to their needs and they will often be looked after by different carers each day. From a health or medical perspective, residential care may be necessary, but social and lifestyle preferences will not be catered to the way they are with personalised, in-home care.
Lifestyle, Socialisation and Community
One of the main benefits of in-home care is it enables your loved one to continue with their daily routine and remain comfortable in their home whilst receiving professional support. This provides your loved one with a sense of independence and confidence and relief for you, knowing they are being well looked after.
In-home carers can also chaperone or take your loved one to their social outings, assisting them to get out and immerse themselves within the community. Social interactions, whether with close friends and family or the wider community, are crucial at this stage, supporting your loved one’s cognitive and mental health and providing an overall sense of happiness and belonging.
Moving your elderly loved one to a residential care facility is a huge change that should not be taken lightly. It will significantly alter their lifestyle, day-to-day routine and ability to connect with the outside world, not to mention require an adjustment into a new, unfamiliar environment. And although residential care homes do provide a wide range of activities and opportunities for socialisation, they are mostly confined within the facility itself. While your loved one may require the higher level of support offered through residential care, it’s important to follow up on their mental wellbeing, and look out for signs of isolation and withdrawal which can occur in such settings.
The costs associated with either in-home care or residential care will vary according to your chosen provider, your loved one’s financial situation and the level of support required. In any case, your loved one will be assessed through the government’s My Aged Care initiative to determine if they are eligible for subsidised care (and how much). It should be noted that both avenues can also be paid for privately, without using a government subsidy.
In-home care fees under the Home Care Packages Program include:
A basic daily fee. The fee amount is decided by your care provider. NOTE: Just For U Care waves this fee for all in-home care clients.
An income-tested care fee. Some people may also have to pay an income-tested care fee, as determined through a formal income assessment by Services Australia.
Additional fees. Depending on your level of approved care and provider, there may be additional fees for extra care and services not covered by your Home Care Package.
To find out more, you can read our guide to the Home Care Packages program.
Residential care fees include:
A basic daily fee. This amount covers the residential services received at the facility.
Accommodation costs. A varying cost for your room based on a means assessment.
Means tested care fee. A varying cost for the care services you receive based on a means assessment.
You can also use My Aged Care’s fee estimator tool to calculate expected costs associated with both in-home elderly care and residential aged care.
How To Choose Between In-Home Care and Residential Care?
When deciding between in-home or residential care for your loved one, you will need to weigh up the pros and cons of each option, but more importantly, take the time to consider your loved one’s health and wellbeing needs and lifestyle preferences.
As mentioned, one of the main benefits of in-home care is that your loved one will receive comprehensive, professional support and assistance, with minimal disruption to their daily life and routine. The care they receive will be tailored exactly to their needs so you can rest assured they will be well looked after. However, there are circumstances where the level of care offered in a residential facility may be more appropriate.
If you are unsure which type of care would be best for your loved one, contact us to discuss our home care packages, in-home care services and your loved one’s needs. Our warm and knowledgable staff will gladly assist with your questions.
We welcome you to contact the team at Just For U Care to discuss our in-home care options, starting with a free consultation.