Many people in their later years, or the children of elderly parents, at some point have to make the decision of whether nursing home care or in-home care is right for them or their parents. There are many things that must be considered before making this decision. These decisions include the cost of nursing home care versus the cost of in-home care, the amount of care that is needed, and how comfortable the patient would be in a nursing home as compared to their comfort level of staying at home. Home health care is a much better option for those who have the resources and help to be able to stay in their home.

Nursing home care is very expensive. In Maine the average nursing home bill is between $4000 and $6000 per month. Compared to staying in a nursing home, receiving care at home is relatively inexpensive and costs only about $990 per month. When these fees are paid privately, this is a huge savings of money to the patient or family. The amount of care that is needed for the patient must be considered. If a patient needs an extreme amount of care and is hooked to life-saving machines that require the expertise of trained individuals, they may be safer and happier being in the presence of additional qualified personnel.

If a person only needs minimal help such as bathing, meal preparation, errands, and housework, the joy of staying at home as compared to being on the nursing home's schedule is enormous. A person's comfort level in being able to tolerate a nursing home needs careful consideration before placement. If the person is very uncomfortable and apprehensive, the days and weeks for this patient will become very long. They often tend to fail in health and often refuse to eat or drink. For elderly people staying in their own home these problems tend not to happen as frequently. Often patients who return home from a facility and receive in-home services thrive and return to better health from being in their own environment.

As you have seen, there is a lot of thought that must go into the decision of whether to place yourself or a loved one in a nursing home or have the person remain in the home with professional services. Though you need to consider the costs of care, the amount of care needed, and how comfortable the person would be in a nursing home, the choice is usually very clear. If at all possible it is best to remain in the home. Studies have shown that most senior citizens would prefer staying at home as long as possible.

As you have seen in this paper, home is where the heart is.