Home Nursing vs In-Facility Care: What’s The Difference?

Updated on June 22, 2021
Nurse giving glass of water to elderly woman in wheelchair at retirement home. Assisting senior people

Taking care of one’s health and well-being should always be an individual’s top priority. Balanced nutrition, physical involvement, and professional medical intervention all work together to maintain various aspects of your health. No matter how many health tips and guidelines you can find on books and the internet, following them consistently is still a struggle. Especially so for seniors.

Maintaining and Improving Health: Challenges for Seniors and the Physically Ill

While it’s challenging for you to take care of yourself, imagine how difficult it is for your beloved elderly. Due to aging, seniors lose their usual vigor and wellness. Although aging-related health conditions are inevitable, your elderly can lessen its impacts by having a healthy aging routine.  

Also, people of different ages can suffer from health issues with sudden or gradual onsets. During their treatment and recovery, they’ll need a health companion. The caregiver will oversee proper nutrition and sleep and ensure that every medication and recovery advice from the physician will be followed.  

What Can I Do for Them? 

Your parents, grandparents, and other older relatives might be facing the consequences of aging by now. Aging has numerous internal and external manifestations, but most people are only aware of physical changes such as gray hair and skin wrinkling. Further than that, an older adult’s heart health, teeth, reproduction, and mental health can be at stake. 

Since your elderly can’t take better care of themselves anymore, you can have a significant role in providing care and support for them as a caregiver. Giving TLC to your seniors doesn’t only help them deal with day-to-day life, but also has positive emotional impacts.  

In the same manner, ill individuals facing disease treatment and recovery require specific care depending on their illness. Family caregivers can only provide basic care along with the doctor’s reminders. Alternatively, professional caregiving services from sites like https://homenursingwithheart.com/ provide more specialized and personalized healthcare attention.

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Friendly doctor examining health of patient sitting in wheelchair. Happy smiling nurse consulting disabled patient about treatment. Nurse caring about elder handicap man at home.

Family Caregiving: A Public Health Issue 

Along with juggling with your work and personal life, you’ll have another on your plate, which is tending to your elderly or ill relative’s healthcare needs. Because of the increasing population of older adults, people with disabilities, and people with illnesses, the need for caregiving is skyrocketing as well.  

The first option that families can think of is to sacrifice one family member to administer consistent care because of the following advantages: 

  • It’s relatively cheaper than hiring a professional caregiver. 
  • The caregiver and care recipient can bond and develop a deeper connection together. 
  • There’s greater familiarity in the home’s environment and living conditions. 

However, many people don’t realize the struggles of being a family caregiver, which can put the caregiver’s life through inconvenience and distress. Not all people see these circumstances as their opportunity to bond with their seniors and ill relatives, as it can put a greater toll on their emotional health in the long run.  

Before choosing either home nursing or in-facility care, make sure to weigh their differences: 

One-On-One Attention and Supervision 

What are your reasons and objectives in needing care? First of all, you should look into and assess your caregiving needs, specifically the amount of care required. Home nursing and in-facility care options both provide caregiving services, but they vary according to what the client needs and the level of amenities preferred. 

Essentially, home nursing offers professional, supportive care for the recipient in managing daily activities at home. Caregivers encompass a spectrum of professions— therapists, aides, and nurses. Home nursing is ideal for care recipients that need around-the-clock, intensive care that caters to unique, individual health needs.  

On the other hand, in-care facilities or convalescent homes hold many individuals inside their establishment. To attend to everyone’s needs, care providers will have to divide their attention to each recipient’s needs. In terms of the specialty of care, in-care facilities are a better option as it handles more than basic care demonstrated in a normal residential setting.  

Thus, think about the level of amenities and one-on-one care you’ll need. Does your elderly struggle in moving and accomplishing their daily routine? If yes, look into care houses. If not, they’ll be fine at home.  

Costs and Expenses 

Caregiving typically runs for a long time, so it’s essential to factor in your healthcare costs and expenses when availing these caregiving services. You shouldn’t look for which services are cheaper, but which gives more bang for the buck.  

For in-home nursing care, your money will be invested primarily in paying for professional services. Home nursing costs will rely upon what caregiver qualifications you prefer and what type of services you need. Approximately, home nursing care that involves activities of daily living (ADLs), companionship, and housekeeping costs around USD$20 per hour with 40 to 44 hours of service weekly.   

If you need more skilled medical services that will offer wound care, catheter care, physical therapy, intravenous administration, and medication services, expect that you’ll have to pay more since these are additional requirements. They cost USD$220 daily amounting to $79,200 annually. If a skilled professional comes from an agency, the costs can increase from 10% to 15%.  

Conversely, your expenses in a nursing home encompass a plethora of factors: length of stay, transportation costs, fixed provider costs, and if you want to add any special attention. Also, take note that some establishments might charge additionally for extra services such as memory and therapy care and the like.  

On a national average in the United States, checking in private or semi-private rooms only differ by USD$30, where private rooms cost USD$245 and the latter with USD$275.  

If these figures are too overwhelming to afford, you can ask for financial assistance from different medical and healthcare programs. Everyone deserves healthcare attention, so Medicaid and Medicare programs ensure that low-income earners aren’t left out.  

Independence and Comfort 

Aside from these technical factors, the care recipient must always feel free and comfortable. Elderly and individuals with disabilities or illness should be able to receive comfort and convenience despite their incapability. Independence and freedom will depend on how much the care recipient would love to embrace them. 

These two factors can differentiate home nursing and nursing homes significantly. Inside your home, the care recipient can declare more independence as they only receive basic support for their daily activities. They can move around the house and execute their hobbies even if it involves gardening and light cleaning. However, they can still feel restricted if they have mobility issues.  

Furthermore, receiving care at home makes an individual more comfortable as it’s their home’s surroundings. As long as the house can accommodate their needs, it won’t be a headache for them. If your elderly or ill relative has mobility issues, then you have to implement changes in the house like installing stair lifts.  

Contrarily, in-facility care establishments have separate rooms for every recipient or a group of recipients. Whenever they move around to reach the bathroom or get up to have a breath of fresh air, they’re typically accompanied by their caregivers, which feels less autonomous.  

Emotional and Mental Impacts  

The home tends to be a person’s comfort zone. Recovering at home can offer faster healing advantages that staying at medical facilities with a confined atmosphere. If your care recipient chooses home care for their own comfort, make sure that you’ll visit from time to time.  

But, being at home doesn’t prove that individuals can always heal faster. Home confinement can also affect one’s emotional and mental health, particularly if: 

  • They’re confined inside their rooms due to mobility concerns  
  • The house lacks recreational features, like a garden or patio 
  • No connection with family and friends 
  • In unfortunate cases, they have abusive caregivers 

If you have relatives receiving home nursing services, it’s invaluable to make them feel loved despite their disabilities. Spending time with them at least once a week can affect their mental and emotional state positively. Inviting them to family events and vacations are also helpful. 

In healthcare facilities, care recipients should typically stay inside their rooms except for meal gatherings, social activities, and recreation. Because of these occasions, care recipients can socialize with other patients. Having a support system that relates to your living conditions and experiences can boost your emotional and mental health.  

Sadly, this isn’t always the case in in-facility care institutions, especially nursing homes. Elderly experience anxiety, depression, and decreased qualify of life because of social isolation, realizations of their age, poorly maintained social contact with families, and more.  

Facilities and Equipment 

When it comes to healthcare facilities and equipment, in-facility care undoubtedly takes the spot. Their main purpose is to provide specialized care for the elderly, people with disabilities, and individuals suffering from health conditions. Thus, they’ll have a wider spectrum of medical machinery, tools, and equipment that can attend to both health emergencies and treatment.  

In home nursing, your caregiver can bring only necessary tools that are paramount to the recipient’s recovery or treatment. For instance, post-hospitalization patients need continuous hydration or antibiotics without returning to the hospital, so the caregiver will bring equipment or leave it at your home. 

Before taking in care recipients into your home, homeowners must perform changes to the house to cater to the recipient’s needs. Therefore, you’ll need to spend a few bucks to renovate or improve your home. Safety hazards and lack of special, assistive features inside your home can be a burden towards recovery and daily life. 


When deciding between home nursing and in-facility care, there’s no absolute answer. Your decision will depend on a variety of factors which are different from another individual. Being aware of and understanding the differences between the two will be your guide towards better care experience that will help your loved ones enjoy their life.  

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.