Both nursing homes and home hospice have negative connotations, but a lot of it is due to situations we’ve seen in movies or sensationalist news stories that don’t represent the majority of people’s experiences. If you have an elderly loved one who is no longer able to care for themself due to age-related issues, the choice is difficult. You may be wondering what type of care could be provided that would benefit your loved one the most. Here at Omni Care Hospice, we know that you have a duty to your loved one to see that they receive the best home hospice care possible, and that’s why we lay out the differences between a nursing home vs home hospice so you can make the best choice.
If you have questions, call us.
NURSING HOME VS HOME HOSPICE CARE DILEMMA
Nursing homes and home hospice are two care options that are available but can benefit an elderly loved one in different ways.
Home Hospice Care
Home hospice care is a type of palliative care that is provided to people who may have no more than six months to live. Instead of providing curatives services to patients, it focuses on providing the patient with services that can enhance his or her control, dignity, comfort and quality of life from the comfort of his or her own home.
A nursing home is a licensed facility for individuals who do not require a hospital but are unable to be cared for at home. It is for elderly individuals or individuals who are unable to take care of themselves and require 24-hour care.
What are the Key Differences Between Nursing Homes and Hospices?
There are key areas of distinction between home hospice care and a nursing home:
- Goals. The primary goal of home hospice care is to make the patient as comfortable during the last stages of a terminal illness. Nursing homes are intended to provide long-term care to those who have medical issues that prevent them from taking care of themselves.
- Payment. Certain hospice care services will be reimbursed by Medicare and Medicaid. Medically necessary nursing home services will be reimbursed by Medicare, while Medicaid will provide reimbursement for long-term care services for eligible patients.
- Services. A hospice team will provide medical services to make a patient more comfortable as well as bereavement counseling, respite care and personal care services. The nursing home services include room and board, personal care and social and recreational activities.
- Personnel. Hospice care involves an interdisciplinary team of medical professionals. Nursing homes are staffed with skilled nursing care professionals.
- Location. Hospice care can be provided in hospitals, assisted living facilities, a patient’s home and more. Nursing home patients are generally restricted to the facility.
SO WHICH IS BEST FOR MY LOVED ONE?
Determining whether home hospice care or a nursing home is appropriate for your loved one will depend directly on what his or her care needs and preferences. Some questions you can ask to decide which choice is correct may include:
- Is curative treatment no longer effective?
- Have there been multiple recent visits to the hospital?
- Has there been a decline in your loved one’s ability to function?
Related: When Is the Right Time to Start Hospice Care?
The decision may also be influenced by the financial burden of the care. For example, Medicare will provide coverage for home hospice care but not for room and board expenses for a nursing home.
Home hospice care and a nursing home can provide the right type of care your elderly relative may need. It is important that all aspects of his or her medical condition are considered before a decision is made.