Home Care Vs Residential Aged Care: What is Right for You?
Aged Care, Home Care |
As we age, it’s imperative we access the care and support we need to ensure our future health and wellbeing. So if you or a loved one has come to the point where a change is necessary, and you’ve recognised extra help is requred, the next step is to look into the type of care available to best suit your situation and lifestyle.
Here, we discuss the fundamentals of both home care and residential care — the differences, the opportunities, and the important factors you need to consider when making a decision for the future health needs of you and your family.
What is Home Care?
Home care, or in-home care, is designed to give individuals access to the tailored support they need — all in the comfort of their own home.
Many Australians access home care through the Home Care Package Programme, a government-subsidised program which allows seniors access to the help they need to continue living independently at home. So if you are 65 years old and eligible for this funding, you can connect with a range of personal care services to keep you connected with the community, remain independent, and live life your way.
Remember that with the right support and care solutions, you or a family member may actually be able to live independently at home for even longer. To read more about how to get started with home care, click here.
What is Residential Aged Care?
If you (or a loved one) is finding it challenging to take care of yourself at home without ongoing support, and you don’t have someone regularly on-hand to assist with daily living, it’s probably time to consider the prospect of residential aged care and the benefits it can bring to your quality of life.
Sometimes referred to as a nursing home or residential aged care facility, an aged care home is a place for older people who can no longer live at home and need ongoing help with daily tasks or healthcare support.
Aged care homes provide this continuous supported care through a staff made up of health professionals and support workers.
The decision to move yourself or a loved one into aged care is often a complex and personal one and, for many, it will require a lot of consideration and deliberation. For more on preparing for the aged care discussion with your family, read this article.
What’s Right for You?
Australia’s ageing population is well-known. Thanks in part to improved healthcare services and a better understanding of health and disease science, there is little doubt we are living longer. With that in mind, more and more Australians are facing tough decisions around their future care as they grow older.
When it comes to the question of whether home care or residential care is the best option for you or a loved one — there are several key considerations you should take into account.
1) Key differences
Understanding the key differences is important, especially in terms of service. Essentially, home care provides individuals with different degrees of care, tailored to their needs and personal preference. This could be in the form of cleaning, meal preparation, assistance with personal care like bathing, and necessary therapies, like rehab or physiotherapy at home.
In contrast, the residential care model provides on-call, around-the-clock care for residents. This level of support suits those who may be unable to care effectively for themselves at home.
2) Quality of life
The support services that you or a family member need will help you determine when the time is right to favour residential care over home care options. Put simply — if an individual is either at-risk living at home, or they are not receiving the care services they require, then it is time to consider the prospect of aged care.
That’s why so often a preceding event, like a fall, loss of spouse, or failing health and cognitive decline, will spur one’s move into a residential aged care facility.
At the end of the day, the decision will often come down to the question: in which environment will you or your loved one be safe and have the best quality of life?
3) Social connection
Home care is growing in popularity amongst senior Australians because it allows them to receive the necessary care while remaining in their home surroundings, including amongst family and friends and their local community.
Additionally, some home care services will also include a degree of social connectivity — whether it comes via the personal connections built with regular carers or even through potential support activities, like assistance shopping or other social engagement activities.
Residential aged care settings also focus on fostering resident’s social connection and community involvement. Naturally, for many older Australians, entering the nursing home environment can be quite stressful, with some feeling they may feel isolated and separated from their friends and family. However, most nursing homes provide a host of social programs for residents, ranging from on-site activities to excursions, to help build this sense of belonging and community engagement. For many residents, connecting with a residential facility can also be a source of new connections.
Both home care and residential care involve different costs, however for both there is an opportunity for government-subsidised support.
People receiving home care pay a basic daily fee and an income-tested care fee for services. In aged care, the amount that you will have to contribute toward the cost of your care is determined by factors such as room size, financial situation and personal needs.
Here at Respect, we have residential accommodation options that cater to everybody, from people who are on a full pension to those who have the means to contribute more. For more information on costs, including if you’re eligible for government support, contact us today.
Making a Decision
When it comes to deciding on the best course of action for you or a loved one, there are several steps you can take to help you make the most informed decision.
Do the research
Whether it’s connecting with home care or residential aged care, both represent a major life change. So if you or a family member is contemplating next steps, the best way to start is doing research into what is available and how it may fit your needs.
A good place to start is by visiting the My Aged Care website or calling them on 1800 200 422. You may also prefer to talk with an aged care expert about local aged care services and options as well as home care opportunities.
Remember: an elderly person who is concerned about losing their ability to live independently may be more open to residential facilities in their home suburbs, so that they can remain part of their local community. So before you start the conversation with them about aged care, find the services available around the suburbs and community your parent resides in.
Seek input from others
Whether your making a decision, or supporting a loved one to decide on their future healthcare journey, it can be important to involve others in the discussion, including friends and family.
Similarly, the thoughts and advice of others, especially those you trust, can help you put your care needs in perspective. What support do they think is required? Do they consider you at risk? Ask these questions and don’t be afraid to talk openly with those trying to help.
You could also draw on the experiences of others who may be supported by an aged care provider. Additionally, a trusted healthcare professional — like your family doctor — can also provide support, particularly around helping you determine the most appropriate clinical needs and factors to keep in mind.
Particularly if an older person is harbouring feelings of stress and anxiety, they could feel more comfortable talking with their GP. Often, advice from trusted allied health professionals is all that is needed by older people to open their mind to the prospect of a change.
Contact Providers directly
Drawing on your research into the available home care and residential care options, you should also consider touching base directly with care providers for a better understanding of their support services and how they would fit with you or your family’s specific needs.
To find home care providers near you, use the My Aged Care search tool. Then, consider contacting each provider of interest to find out more about their care delivery and quality standards, so you can better understand if they are the right provider for your situation.
Residential aged care
Similarly, the best way for you and your family to get an insight into what residential care offers is to contact a home and ask to go on a tour of the facilities. This will give you a first-hand glimpse of the environment as well as allow you to ask questions about the available services.
For those who may be a bit hesitant about their transition into aged care, it’s amazing the world of difference a tour can make — the opportunity to get acquainted with staff and see like-minded people, in a similar time in their lives, receiving the care and help they need.
Take the Next Step
At Respect, we’re passionate about supporting older Australians to ensure the next phase of their lives are filled with purpose and possibilities.
So whether it’s through our aged care network or home care support options, we are here for you and your family whenever you need us. Your future should shine with meaning, comfort and conveniences — and with our support, you’re backed by over a century of care and consideration for the way you want to live.
We’re here to help! To find out more about Respect’s Aged Care homes, click here. For more information about how to access a Home Care Package and get started with home care support, including the available opportunities and our range of services, download our digital brochure. Got questions or like to receive more support? We’re here to help. Please reach us via our contact page or call us on 1300 144 144.
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