Nursing Home vs In-Home Care, Which One Should I Choose?

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Nursing Home vs In-Home Care, Which One Should I Choose?

Written by Malman Law, reviewed by Steve J. Malman.

In-Home Care vs nursing home

Things to Consider When Choosing Nursing Home Care vs In-Home Care


The first thing you need to consider is the safety concerns of the person needing the care. If you or your loved one requires 24-hour care, then in-home care services may not be sufficient. For example, if a person is considered a high risk for falling or is experiencing some form of dementia, in-home care may not provide enough services to keep them safe throughout the day. The best option is to talk with the doctor to determine what you or your loved one’s specific limitations are, and what type of care he recommends.


Before making a final decision about you or your loved ones care, it is important to understand the different costs involved with each type of service. These costs vary greatly between in-home care and nursing homes.

In-home care costs generally charge by the hour and vary based on the type of in-home care services needed. A non-medical home health aide usually charges anywhere from $15 to $20 per hour. They provide basic in-home services, such as meal preparation, cleaning and shopping, however, they do not provide any medical or physical assistance. A medically certified nursing aide’s fees are slightly higher, and typically range between $25 to $45 an hour. They can provide physical assistance, such as transferring to the bed, shower or wheelchair, as well as medication management services. Specialty nurses, home therapists and specialized equipment are generally covered under private insurance.

Nursing homes, on the other hand, typically charge by the day. Although insurance policies and regulations vary by state, the standard insurance coverage for a nursing home stay is 20 days. After this point, most insurance carriers will cover an additional 80% of the costs for the next 100 days. After 100 days, the costs for room and board typically becomes the responsibility of the resident. To better understand the costs in your particular area, it is best to meet with the financial consultant of the nursing home you are considering. You should also keep in mind the signs of nursing home financial exploitation.

Psychosocial Needs

You must consider you or your loved one’s emotional and social needs when making this type of decision. This basically depends on the person’s personality, and which place they would feel more comfortable. Some people want to stay in their own home if at all possible, while others would rather go to a nursing home rather than let someone they do not know into their home. It is important to consider which option would meet you or your loved one’s emotional and social needs.

Nursing Home Care


Someone who needs daily access to skilled practitioners will want to consider nursing home care. Your loved one will have consistent access to medical professionals, such as nursing aides. These medical professionals are able to assist with feeding tubes, wound care, IV insertions, and other physical needs.

The care provided at a nursing home also alleviates the stress on a caregiver, since a care facility can offer a variety of services. Nursing homes also offer advanced memory care services to help those in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s Disease.

Another benefit of living in a nursing home is socialization. If you or your loved one enjoy interacting with people, then a nursing home may be an ideal choice.


The main downside of nursing home care is the expense. Annual private pay costs range from $82,128 to $92,376. The cost may increase if more specialized services are rendered.

Although there are programs to help finance living in a residential care facility, they also come at a high price. One viable option may be using long-term care (LTC) insurance. Premiums must be paid until the beneficiary is in need of the benefits provided by the policy. When the beneficiary begins to use the benefits, the premium is normally waived. In order to make claims through the policy, the senior must be unable to perform a certain number of activities of daily living (ADL).

If long-term care insurance was never purchased, then the senior should consider seeking Medicaid benefits. If the senior does not qualify for Medicaid, then the only alternative may be for a family to pay out-of-pocket for a loved one’s care.

In-Home Care


Hiring a home caregiver is a good idea if you or a loved one are becoming unable to perform basic tasks but still want to remain at home. A non-medical home caregiver can offer a senior much-needed companionship. If an elderly person begins to show signs of forgetfulness, such as leaving the stove on, not bathing, or failing to take medications, it may be time to consider in-home care.

Assuming that the patient does not require around-the-clock, 24/7 care, in-home care is normally more affordable. However, Illinois has The Community Care Program under Medicaid (a government-sponsored health insurance program), which allows seniors who would otherwise need nursing home care to remain in their homes. A person qualifies if they have $17,500 or less in assets. This program makes in-home care a more affordable option for seniors.


Similar to nursing home care, being able to finance in-home care can be a struggle. The cost will depend on whether the support staff included non-medical paraprofessionals (home health care aides) or skilled medical care professionals.

For a person using home health care aides, the annual private pay cost is approximately $59,040, while the cost associated with using skilled medical care professionals is significantly higher, approximately $79,200 annually. These calculations are based on 40-44 hours of care per week.

Unfortunately, Medicare offers limited short-term benefits, only covering medical-related costs. The financial impact that a family faces in providing care for a loved one cannot be understated.

It can be extremely stressful when you are faced with the decision between placing yourself or a loved one in a nursing home or using in-home care services. Both types of care come with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, making it difficult to determine which option would be the best. It is important to find the best care for your elders and seek the services of attorneys if you suspect abuse. There are several factors that you should take into consideration when making this very important decision, such as safety concerns and costs, as well as a person’s social and emotional needs.

The most important thing is to gather all the facts and take all the above factors into consideration before making a final decision. Set up a meeting with you or your loved one’s doctors or a social worker at the hospital or nursing home to help answer any of your additional questions. No matter what type of service you choose, take the time to thoroughly research the company, and ensure that they can provide all the services you or your loved one requires. And if you know a loved one who has suffered abuse at a nursing home, contact an attorney to learn your rights and obtain your just compensation.

DISCLAIMER: All information on this website is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as legal advice. The Law Offices of Malman Law shall not be liable for any errors or inaccuracies contained herein, or any actions taken in reliance thereon. For more information read our full disclaimer.

Steve Malman

Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.

Years of experience: +30 years
Justia Profile: Steve Malman
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2024

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by President and Founder, Steven J. Malman who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney.

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