Home Health or Nursing Home: Making the Right Choice

July 29, 2016

 

The phases of life seem to pass so quickly.  Not long ago, you were the child, being cared for by young, fit parents.  Now you’re the one with children depending on you, and suddenly, the parents who once seemed so invincible appear frail.  Balancing the demands of day-to-day life is challenging enough, but when you are also caring for an aging parent or loved one, they can feel insurmountable.  The options begin to run through your mind.  You need help. But how can you ensure quality care for your loved one while also maintaining some semblance of normalcy and independence for them?  Can they be truly happy and well-cared for? 

After all of your thought and research, chances are that you’ve landed on one of two conclusions – home health or nursing home.  Both are viable options, and both are capable of providing loving and professional health care to ensure your loved one’s wellbeing.  But which is the right choice for you?  As providers of both of these services, Lane Regional Medical Center has detailed two of the main points that you should consider when weighing such an important decision.

Level of Care

For seniors who have been able to maintain a level of self-care and independence but require intermittent care, home health is an excellent option.  They can go about their day comfortably with the knowledge that healthcare needs will still be met by a professional without a continuous back-and-forth to physician offices.  Our home health professionals include registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, social workers, dietitians, and home health aides. 

On the other hand, patients who are unable to move independently or present a potential danger to themselves through conditions such as fall risks or confusion due to dementia, may require more consistent care and monitoring.  In these cases, home health is unlikely to provide the level of patient oversight necessary to guarantee your loved one’s safety, and a nursing home setting may be more practical.

Comfort and Surroundings

“The comforts of home” is a commonly used adage for very good reason.  There just isn’t any place in the world that will ever feel as comfortable, safe, and familiar as your own home.  Every item marks a memory, and being surrounded by these things can be good for both the body and mind.  Your aging loved ones may understandably want to continue to live in the place that they’ve called “home” for so long and would rather see healthcare professionals in their own space.  Additionally, you may find extra support from neighbors or friends and family that live nearby, giving you a community of care.  In these situations, home health is ideal.

However, there are some cases where the surroundings of a nursing home are preferable.  If there is no help nearby, and your loved one lives in an isolated area, the level of safety afforded by a nursing home may equal greater peace of mind.  Additionally, while home is comfortable, for those who are aging and live alone, it may also be overwhelming to maintain.  Some seniors enjoy downsizing to a space that is their own but requires little to no upkeep on their part, as well as the constant companionship that comes from other residents. 

In addition to these factors, others such as cost will weigh in your final decision.  However, the choice you make should be one that leaves both you and your loved one with a sense of peace and security. 

Let us help ensure that you’re making the right choice for the people who mean the most to you.  For more information on Lane Home Heath, please call 225-658-4150 or visit www.LaneRMC.org/HomeHealth.   For more information on Lane Nursing Home, please call 225-658-6662.