Is In-Home Care Similar To Residential Care For The Elderly?

So, you’ve decided that your ageing parents need some help, which is absolutely the right decision. The next step is choosing what type of care they need. This decision can be hard to make because there are so many factors to consider and you always want to do what’s best for your parents. 

Two options are in-home care and residential aged care, but before you choose one aged care package over the other,, it’s critical to understand the differences between them. In this article, we will cover these differences so that you can make the choice that’s right for your family.

What is in-home aged care?

In-home aged care is a service that provides support to older people in their own homes. The service aims to help you/your parents live independently and ensure your well-being.

There are several different ways that an agency can provide this assistance, depending on your individual circumstances and needs. These include help with personal care tasks such as bathing or dressing, housework tasks such as vacuuming floors or cleaning windows and sometimes meal preparation for those who have difficulty cooking for themselves. 

What is residential care for the elderly?

Residential care is a service for the elderly, usually provided by a local authority (a council). The idea is that people who need more help than can be provided at home can live in residential homes for an agreed period of time. 

If you’re looking after someone with complex needs or special care needs, it may be better to consider residential care as an alternative to staying at home.

Which is a better option: in-home or residential care?

In-home care is more convenient. If you choose in-home care, your loved one will receive assistance in the comfort of their own home. This can be especially beneficial if they are used to being independent and want to keep things that way. Until a person has a critical illness, it is preferred that in-home care should be provided to the elderly. 

In-home care is more flexible. Many older people prefer receiving assistance with certain tasks at specific times throughout the day or week but not others, which makes it easier for them to maintain their independence when they need it and have time alone when they don’t want or need help with daily activities

In-home care is more affordable than residential facilities because you pay for just what you need: a few hours a week or month, as opposed to and full-time 24/7 coverage offered by many residential facilities​

What is the actual cost of in-home care for the elderly in Australia?

The actual cost of in-home care for the elderly is much lower than residential care. The average rate for an hour of home nursing help is $30, compared to $200 for one hour of private hospital bed care. In Australia, two types of payments can be made if you receive in-home care from a nurse:

  • A fee per visit (for example, $50) or
  • An hourly rate (for example, $30).


In the end, the choice between in-home and residential care is a personal one. In-home care can be preferred by those who wish to stay close to family and friends. A residential aged care package allows you to live in a comfortable community of like-minded seniors. If you are seeking aged care services for yourself or a loved one, it is important to think about what kind of support you would like to receive and other factors such as cost, location, and convenience.

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