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The Difference Between Nursing Care and Nursing Home

Many aging seniors are resistant to the idea of leaving their homes behind, even when they are no longer able to care for themselves. These individuals and their caregivers often opt for in-home nursing care that can provide some relief for the whole family without requiring major life changes, but many find that additional support is needed that cannot be satisfied by this option. For more extensive, round-the-clock care, a skilled nursing home may be a better choice.  Learn more about how each option will affect the major life functions of your loved ones so you can make an informed decision that is in their best interests.


Though family caregiving is based on love and emotional connection, these caregivers are not equipped for the day-to-day realities of Alzheimer’s care or significant cognitive or physical impairments. Both nursing care and nursing homes provide professional care, but when home health aides are off-shift, the care falls back onto the aging individual or their family members, often causing stress and strained relationships and a lot of resentment.


 Seniors are often at risk on many levels. Scams targeting seniors are abundant as criminals know that many of them suffer from cognitive impairments and are therefore vulnerable. Home health care nurses can keep an eye on finances but that may only catch the problem after the fact, not prevent it from happening, whereas scammers would not have any way into a skilled nursing care home. The same principles apply when it comes to physical safety. In general, a person may not recognize safety hazards within a private home until there is an incident. In contrast, long-term care facilities are designed with the impairments of seniors in mind.

Activities Of Daily Living

As people age, many develop difficulties performing activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, grooming, or using the bathroom. Those who only need assistance with specific activities that may be able to be scheduled, such as laundry or meal preparation, could thrive with an in-home nurse, but those who need assistance with basic tasks are better served by a 24/7 skilled nursing care facility where there are no gaps in care and there is always someone on call to help as needed. Nursing homes include all of these services automatically on a daily basis without the need to hire someone for each shift.


If your aging family member is still in good health and does not exhibit signs of dementia or an increased risk of heart attack or stroke, you may still be able to get them enough support from a visiting nurse in conjunction with other family members. As medical conditions worsen, however, the increased resources of a long-term care facility may become more attractive. Princeton Health Care Center has a wide array of providers onsite who can coordinate care with one another and form a complete health plan that includes physician services, occupational therapy, and speech therapy, and mental health support. The close proximity of providers not just to the patient but also to one another allows for consistent and continued care.

Social Life

There is more to quality of life than getting good medical care. As seniors age and are forced to cope with the deaths of spouses and friends, their social circles dwindle. A nursing care facility allows for interaction in a way that in-home care never could. Activity centers within these facilities offer scheduled programming such as art classes and movie nights as well as more unstructured opportunities to form meaningful connections. The added structure of a skilled nursing home is also reassuring and soothing to those with cognitive impairments who would not thrive having to work around the chaotic and often rotating schedules of family caregivers, even with regular nursing care providers coming in and out of the home.

It Takes A Village

In order for people to thrive well into their senior years, they must have support for all of their needs. Princeton Health Care Center advocates for our residents, connecting them with the services they require, even as needs change. Contact us to discover all the ways our nursing home can support your loved ones and your whole family.

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