Home Health vs. Skilled Nursing: Is One More Beneficial Than the Other
According to an AARP study, 95% of seniors wish to stay at home for as long as possible, even if doing so means hiring outside help for day-to-day activities. Unfortunately, life circumstances such as injury and illness often necessitate 24-hour skilled nursing care. When this is the case, it is typically hospital policy to discharge patients to a skilled nursing facility. More hospitals in Texas and Oklahoma, however, are choosing to discharge patients to home health rather than a nursing home. If you or your elderly parent’s doctor recommends home health, carefully weigh the pros and cons of care at home versus skilled nursing before making any determinations.
Access to Care
The greatest difference between home health and a skilled nursing facility is access to care. Though various types of care, such as therapy, medication management and help with activities of daily living, are available at home, you must anticipate what types of care your aging loved one will need and hire on an as-needed basis.
Nursing homes are much more convenient for those who require extensive care. Skilled nursing facilities, such as Noble Health Care Center in Noble, Oklahoma, provide help with ADLs, various types of therapy (physical, speech, occupational, etc.), medication management, ambulation, meals and medical care, among other required services. Families who choose nursing homes over in-home care can have peace of mind that their loved ones are safe and that their needs are being met 24/7. They also do not have to stress about hiring, scheduling or managing a team of caregivers.
If a senior requires little assistance following an injury or illness, in-home care may be more cost-effective. However, if 24/7 care and supervision are necessary, the costs of home care can quickly add up. There are also the home modifications families must take into consideration, such as wheelchair access and safety precautions.
Nursing homes, on the other hand, are all-inclusive. Though they can come with a higher up-front price tag, skilled nursing facilities often end up being the more affordable option for those with substantial needs.
Medicare covers both in-home care and care at a skilled nursing facility. However, coverage is more limited for in-home care. For instance, while it will pay for prescription drugs for in-patients, it will not cover medications for individuals who receive care at home. Likewise, Medicare will not pay for meals to be delivered to the home, but it does cover meals at nursing home facilities.
While both types of care are beneficial, families should not let the prospect of keeping a loved one at home sway their decision. If you or an elderly parent requires ongoing medical care or rehabilitation, carefully weigh the pros and cons of in-home care versus a skilled nursing home before making a final decision. Explore more of the benefits of nursing home care today.
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