Aged care vs home care: which is the best option for you?

When it comes to where you live as you get older, you have choices. The two most common are aged care and home care; and each provides a different type of care solution.

What does residential aged care involve?

Residential aged care provides a secure, home-like environment for older people to live in, with access to 24-hour care and support. Aged care facilities effectively fill the gap for people who cannot live independently or require constant medical attention. They offer a wide range of services, from personal care and nursing to recreational and social activities. All these services help residents feel supported, cared for, connected, engaged, secure and safe.

What does home care involve?

Home care, like it sounds, involves a trained carer visiting an older person in their own home and providing help and support for lower-level care needs. These services are provided by independent providers such as Finley Regional Care and are heavily subsidised by the Australian Government so that all Australians have access to affordable care.

Home care packages can be completely tailored to your unique needs, and allow people to continue living safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible.

Who should choose home care

You might be a good fit for home care if you can still live independently, but just need a bit of help with some of the following tasks.

Keeping yourself well:

  • Nursing
  • Bathing, hygiene and grooming
  • Incontinence help
  • Help with impairments
  • Meal and food preparation
  • Physiotherapy or podiatry

Keeping your home liveable:

  • Home cleaning
  • Laundry
  • Household chores
  • Home or garden maintenance
  • Home aids and equipment

Getting out and staying social:

  • Social outings and groups
  • Transport to help you get out and about
  • Arranging for visitors

Temporary help:

  • Respite care at home or in a care centre
  • Transition care after leaving hospital
  • Help to restore independence
  • Avoiding homelessness

Home Care is a great choice for the independently minded older person, who prefers the comfort and familiarity of their usual environment, and is able to still look after themselves to some extent. The signs of ageing can creep up on you subtly, and you can begin to experience difficulties long before you need the higher-level support of an aged care facility.

Home support programs allow older Australians to “age in place” while accessing lower levels of care. This can be a great relief for older people who are struggling in some respects but are not yet ready to enter a residential facility.

The home support programs will also allow older people to gradually progress towards aged care, as there are four different levels of home care package available. Each level of package will support a different level of need, which allows people to progress from an entry-level package to a higher-level package as their care needs change and increase.

Who should choose aged care

Residential aged care should be your option of choice if your care needs are too extensive to be met by even the highest level of home care. If you are starting to need round-the-clock support that cannot be provided by a carer or home care, then an aged care facility is where you can find it.

Aged care is designed to cater for older people who have:

  • Chronic illnesses needing high levels of care
  • Significant health problems
  • Cognitive impairments, such as Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Mobility or frailty issues

The type of support and care required to manage these conditions cannot be adequately provided in the home. Aged care facilities can provide 24-hour clinical support by trained professionals who can ensure that the health needs of residents are being met.

Aged care allows people to:

  • Receive appropriate levels of care for their condition
  • Receive prompt and timely care, around the clock if necessary
  • Have their specific needs catered for
  • Have peace of mind that their care needs will be met by trained professionals
  • Feel safe and secure
  • Access an inbuilt community with diverse activities and social groups
  • Alleviate loneliness and isolation

There are benefits to both home care and aged care, and it’s just a matter of deciding which option is the best fit in your current situation. Keep in mind, this may change over time.

Get in contact with Finley Regional Care if you’d like to discuss your aged care needs: