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Home Care vs Nursing Home: How to Know What Is Best for Your Loved One

    We often make jokes about getting older and needing more assistance, but eventually, there comes a time when the living situation of older relatives needs to be seriously considered.

    Moving into a nursing home isn’t something that we get too excited about, but sometimes it’s a better situation for everyone than sticking with home care. The home care vs nursing home argument is one with no right or wrong answer, and it differs for each family.

    We’ve outlined some of the main advantages and disadvantages of both home care and nursing homes to help you with your decision. Keep reading below to find out more.

    Home Care Pros and Cons

    There are both advantages and disadvantages to home care. We’ve outlined a few below to help you with your decision.


    One of the biggest home care advantages is that your loved one is likely to feel more comfortable at home. Rather than moving to a new environment, they can get their needs met at home with their friends and family around them, which can improve their mental health. If they’ve lived at their current home for years, they might be reluctant to move.

    By staying at home, they retain more independence. They aren’t bound by the schedules of nursing homes; they can eat their own food when they want and make other decisions for themselves.


    Nursing homes are consciously designed to be safe and secure – your relative’s home probably isn’t to the same extent. If they struggle with stairs, housework, or keeping the doors locked, there’s potential for a dangerous situation.

    Unless your loved one has a 24-hour carer or a family member moves in full-time, there won’t be constant care, which depending on the level of their needs, might be required.

    Nursing Home Pros and Cons

    Like home care, nursing homes also have benefits and drawbacks. Again, we’ve explained the most important below.


    If your loved one’s health is a concern, you’ll know they’re in safe hands with trained staff in a nursing home. This is one of the main nursing home benefits and something to really consider when choosing home care vs a nursing home. If they have specific needs, they’ll be looked after by people who know what they’re doing and have plenty of experience doing it.

    You might imagine your loved one shut away in their room with nothing but the TV to keep them company, but many nursing homes have all sorts of communal spaces and activities. If an older person lives alone, moving into a nursing home can be a way for them to make friends.


    Your relative might be used to living at home, perhaps near friends and family in a comfortable, familiar setting. Moving them to a nursing home can be unsettling as they get used to their new surroundings, and they might feel abandoned by those around them — particularly if they now live further away from you and their other family members.

    If your older loved one is still relatively independent, moving them into a home can take this away from them, and they might appear to ‘grow old’ faster as the increased level of care and scrutiny makes them feel older.

    Home Care vs Nursing Home – Making Your Decision

    This can be a difficult decision for everybody, but it’s best to keep yourself informed. These are the main advantages and disadvantages in the home care vs nursing home debate, but before making any decisions it’s best to discuss and look into every option closely so that your loved one gets the care they need.

    If you’re looking for more advice on how to get the best out of life, check out some of our other posts.