Cost of Home Care vs. Nursing Homes & How to Pay


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Key Takeaways

  1. The median cost of home care is $30 per hour. Home care provides flexible nonmedical care and can often be a more affordable option compared to nursing homes.
  2. The median monthly cost of nursing homes ranges from $7,908 to $9,034. Nursing homes provide a high level of care by medical professionals and is typically more expensive than home care.
  3. Families typically use private funds to pay for home care. Pension income, savings, and long-term care insurance are examples of funds used to pay for home care.
  4. The cost of nursing homes is sometimes covered by public pay options. Many families use Medicare, Medicaid, and VA benefits to pay for nursing home costs.

Exploring the varying costs of home care and nursing homes

It can be hard to provide an exact picture of senior care costs without considering a person’s unique needs. For example, if your parent requires medical support, they need home health care, which is more expensive than general home care. This is because home health care requires care from a licensed nurse or therapist. It’s important to point out how home care differs from home health care.

The following sections offer overviews of nonmedical home care and nursing home costs. They provide cost examples of part-time, full-time and 24/7 home care. Additionally, the nursing home cost chart includes the median cost of a semi-private room compared to that of a private room.


Home care costs

Home care expenses can vary based on how much support an aging loved one needs. The following table provides an estimate of monthly costs based on home care’s median hourly cost of $30 per hour:[01]

Weekly home care amount Monthly cost
20 hours (part-time care) $2,600
44 hours (full-time care) $5,720
168 hours (24/7 care) $21,840

A part-time caregiver may work well for families who can provide weekend and overnight care but need someone to care for their loved one during workdays.

Continuous care may be needed if your loved one prefers to live at home but requires round-the-clock assistance and supervision. If this level of support is required, a residential community like assisted living or a nursing home may be something to consider.

Keep in mind that in-home care may be tax deductible in some circumstances.


Nursing home costs

Nursing home costs can be seen as “all-inclusive” prices because the monthly rate covers room and board, meals, assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), and medical care. Nursing home prices are determined by location and what kind of room a senior selects.

Here’s a breakdown of the national median monthly costs for nursing homes:[02]

  • Private room in a nursing home: $9,733 per month
  • Semi-private room in a nursing home: $8,669 per month

How do home care and nursing home care services differ?

Nursing homes are typically more expensive than home care because they offer room and board along with a high level of around-the-clock medical care. Nursing homes are also staffed with a team of medical professionals including doctors, nurses, and occupational and physical therapists.

Home care services are primarily nonmedical care services provided by a caregiver. They could include help with activities of daily living (ADLs), companionship, light housekeeping, transportation, errand services, and other supportive tasks. Home health care services on the other hand include medical care from a nursing professional. This makes home health care significantly more expensive than home care.

Paying for home care and nursing home costs

Paying for these two care types can differ significantly. Families typically pay for home care services out of pocket which often includes a combination of private funds such as retirement savings, pension income, or long-term care insurance.

Home health care as well as nursing home care can often be covered by public insurance such as Medicaid and Medicare. VA benefits are another option which can help veterans and their surviving spouses to pay for home care and nursing home care.

Assistance exploring senior care options

Understanding the cost differences between home care and nursing homes may help you make a decision about which type of long-term is best for your loved one.

While we don’t refer to nursing homes, our Senior Living Advisors can help your family explore other senior care options in your area. Many of the assisted living communities we partner with enable residents access to nursing care services on-site when they require them. Our advisors can also provide information about local home care providers based on your loved one’s unique needs and budget, all at no cost to you.

Article optimized by Kevin Ryan

This article originally appeared on APlaceForMom and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

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