Cost Comparison of In-Home Care vs. Nursing Home Care

It should come as no surprise, that when making a choice about where they would like to receive care, patients overwhelmingly choose options that allow them to stay in their own home. Home is where their memories are, where they are most familiar with the surroundings and where they are part of the community.

The question arises, however, whether or not providing care in-home is ultimately as cost-effective as a nursing home. The most recent Genworth survey of 47,000 care providers across the United States shows that providing care in-home is not only more cost-effective, but the rate of increase for providing in-home services is slower than that at nursing homes.

The 2015 survey shows at the annual average cost of homemaker services (which are services that help people to manage their lives such as shopping, cleaning and cooking) is $44,616 dollars (or $3,718 per month) with a five year annual growth rate of 2%. Similarly the average annual cost of health aid services (which offer more extensive care that can’t be managed by family or friends) is $45,760 (or $3,813 per month) with a five-year annual growth rate of 1%.

In contrast, a semi private room at a nursing home runs an average annual cost of $80,300 (or $6,692 per month) and a private room at a nursing home carries an average annual cost of $91,250 (or $7,604 per month). In both cases, the five-year annual growth rate for the services is 4%.

When considering choices about where care is provided and in-home options – when possible – continue to maintain a leadership position. Figure out the total value for the money spent, while evaluating true cost-effectiveness. Most importantly, you should consider the best option for the patient, and whether they are able to function otherwise. Sometimes even if it costs a little more to keep them in a setting where they are most comfortable, and surrounded by the things and people they most love, then the option to provide in-home care may be most appealing.