Community Home Care versus Residential Aged Care

If you have an elderly loved one, these insights can help you choose between residential aged care and regular community home care visits.

It is difficult to pinpoint the exact moment when you realise your elderly parent, relative or loved one is no longer coping on their own. Sometimes a fall or accident highlights the need for additional care. Other times it is a mounting pile of laundry or a lack of attention to personal hygiene that triggers some difficult discussions. 

For most families that have elderly members, the day eventually comes when the question ‘What happens next?’ needs to be answered.

Generally speaking, there are two options. First, for an elderly person to stay at home but access the regular help of a carer. Second, to move into residential aged care.  

Take a look at the details and benefits of these two options:

Residential Aged Care

Residential Aged Care has come a very long way when it comes to personal happiness and quality of life. Those in aged care now enjoy privacy, comfort, quality meals and plenty of options for activity and entertainment. 

Elderly people in aged care benefit from round-the-clock support. They receive attention from doctors, nurses and allied health specialists, and are encouraged to continue to enjoy the hobbies and activities they love.

Australian seniors who decide to go into aged care at  KOPWA’s Archbold House are offered a private room with built-in wardrobe, ensuite bathroom, air conditioning, a personal fridge and a flat-screen television set.

Find out more about Residential Aged Care at KOPWA

Those who live in facility find themselves amongst new friends and can get to know the staff on duty each day. Their families have peace of mind, knowing help and company is always within arm’s reach.

Residential aged care offers 24/7 support, mealtimes are scheduled so to encourage socialisation during mealtimes and residents are free to go out as long as arrangements have been organised prior to outings.

Community Home Care

If staying at home is your priority, a community home care package may be an option. These packages are designed to help Australians aged 65 and over to remain living independently at home by accessing the extra support that’s needed for day to day tasks.

Home care packages are available in a range of ‘levels’, from basic and low-level care to intermediate and high-level care. 

The services you access with a home care package can include: 

  • Domestic assistance
  • Shopping
  • Personal care
  • Transport
  • Companionship
  • Meal preparation
  • Medication supervision
  • Home organisation e.g. paying bills 
  • Dementia care
  • Respite care

To determine which level you or your loved one require, an Aged Care Assessment can be requested via your GP or another healthcare professional.

The cost of Home Care is subsidised by the Australian Government but the amount you pay for your Home Care Package will be determined by your financial circumstances. 

Find out more about Community Home Care from KOPWA

Home care services gives the people who feel responsible for the wellbeing of elderly family members and loved ones peace of mind that someone is regularly checking in on and providing essential support. 

Those who stay at home can continue to visit their favourite local places (with help where needed) and can also enjoy having their pet dog or cat as company. They are free to orchestrate their needs and wishes in their package and change the type of help required as per their needs, so mealtimes and outings can be modified when they like. Life can still be enjoyed as per their norm, without the stress of household tasks or personal administration. 

Community Home Care vs Residential Aged Care: Which is right for you or your loved one?

The decision between home care and residential care services can be a difficult one, particularly when a number of people who all have different opinions involved.

One factor to consider is the happiness of the person at the centre of the decision. Are they determined to stay at home and fearful of going into residential care? Are they resistant to the idea of a schedule and wary of others in their new home being around people they don’t know? If so, starting with Home Care services is a good way to introduce the concept of having help without the need for sudden and dramatic change.

Other factors that contribute may include one’s mobility and medical wellbeing. There may come a point where one or two visits from a carer will  not be enough. In these circumstances, having full-time live-in care or moving into residential care may result to be the best options. 

If you live far away from your elderly loved one, you may feel more comfortable knowing they are always safe in residential aged care. However, if you’re only a few streets away, a community home care package may make sense as you can come over when needed.

While your doctor cannot force anybody to make decisions, sometimes their recommendation can help determine the best course of action. A GP or home care nurse can explain in detail why it is time for residential care, perhaps due to the likely outcome of a fall or other mishap. 

 Aged care services from KOPWA

KOPWA offers a range of services that are tailored to suit the needs and interests of each individual. This includes Community Home Care as well as Residential Aged Care. Often our clients begin with a basic home care package before progressing to more advanced packages then relocating to Residential Care when they feel ready.

Our newest Residential Care facility Archbold House is due to open in early 2021. KOPWA’s clinical team provides personalised and best practice care 24-hours a day, while social activities and outings enable residents to live interesting lives full of joy and fond memories.

Contact us to book a tour of a display suite in July 2020 or reach out to us to discuss the best plan for your elderly family member. 

Visit kopwa.org.au