If you have an elderly relative who is getting frail, forgetful, or declining in their ability to care for themselves, you can choose between moving your loved one to a residential nursing home and providing at-home care for your loved one, which may include care from family members and/or hiring Maryland home care services. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of these two options.

Government-certified care centers offer a high standard of care, as long as they are licensed and professionally maintained. Most of these facilities are set up more like hospitals than apartments, however, so residents may feel uncomfortable or depressed after moving into a care center. If you are moving your loved one to a care center, make sure that it is located close to extended family. Residents with a high level of support and interaction with friends and family are the most happy and well-adjusted. One significant downside of residential nursing home care is the cost: living in a center costs between $50,000 per year and $200,000 per year, on average. In some cases, Medicaid picks up the cost of part of this if residents are low income.

Prior to the 1930s, the idea of sending an elderly relative to a nursing home was unheard of in the United States. If your parent, grandparent, or other relative was in need of care, they would be taken into your home, sent to public almshouses (which offered notoriously unsanitary living conditions), or (if they were wealthy enough) they would hire companions and additional servants to care for them in their own home. During most of the twentieth century, care ceners rose to become the preferred method of elderly care, becoming more and more like hospitals in the way they were set up and residents were cared for. Up until the 1970s, Medicaid and other insurance plans covered the expense for nursing home care, making it affordable to all who wished it.

However, legislation in the past few decades has made it less likely that social security or even Medicaid will pick up the cost of nursing homes, making it an expensive option.
Home care is becoming an increasing desirable option because it is less expensive than residential care, it is more comfortable (and comforting!) for the elderly to live in their home or a family member’s home, and the services are so customizable. Your relative can move in with you or stay living in their own home with the assistance of family support and home caregivers.

Your elderly parent may need only 7 hours of care one week, but can increase at any time he or she needs more care. Home care includes a wide range of care, from personal care and grooming, to meal preparation and medication reminders, to medical care and nursing care. Maryland home care companies provide flexible services, from a few hours a week up to 24 hour care, depending on your relative’s needs and their overall health. If cost is an issue, family members can provide some of the care and fill in as needed by hiring home caregivers. These services cost a small fraction of what residential centers cost.

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