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In Home Care vs. Nursing Homes

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What’s the difference: Home Care vs. A Nursing Home

There’s no set age when a senior might need a some more help living day to day. But when that time comes, one of the single biggest debates is between home care vs. a nursing home. Making decisions about long-term care is never easy – every situation is unique. But it’s still important to understand the benefits of nursing homes and the benefits of home care for seniors to make the most informed decision.

By “nursing home,” we’re talking about living in a long-term care facility. Generally, they provide ongoing, 24-hour specialized nursing care to residents with a variety of physical or cognitive conditions.

Long-term care facilities create individualized care plans for residents with access to physicians, therapists and other healthcare professionals.

A few benefits of long-term care facilities to consider:

  • Room and board are provided, and you don’t need to worry about shopping for groceries and prepping meals
  • Most long-term care facilities offer recreational programs, outings and opportunities to socialize
  • You’ve got unlimited access to medical care, along with other personal grooming services
  • Facility staff make your bed, do your laundry and ensure you take your medication
  • If you’re married, your spouse can live with you

One important thing to keep in mind is that long-term care facilities often have wait lists to get in. In Ontario, the average wait time can be as long as five months.

Home care, on the other hand, is basically what it says on the tin: ongoing, specialized care for seniors within their own homes. Family members can act as your caregivers or hire care professionals to regularly visit (and even live) with you on a daily basis if needed. These in-home caregivers typically help with daily tasks, including meal preparation, showering and dressing.

Red Dot specialize in providing at-home services such as 24/7 monitoring in case of an emergency and mobile safety services for when you’re out and about. In other words, today’s technology – along with in-home care professionals – can help keep you living safely in your home for as long as possible.

Key benefits of home care include:

  • In-home care allows seniors to maintain their independence longer and to age in a comfortable, familiar environment
  • Flexibility to add on more care and services – such as physiotherapy and nursing – as needs change and evolve over time
  • Support for daily outings – i.e., groceries, shopping and medical appointments – nutrition and household chores
  • The ability to build meaningful relationships with caregivers and companions
  • Greater level of privacy and one-on-one support

What’s the cost of home care vs. nursing homes in Canada?

So, what about the cost of home care vs. nursing homes in Canada? Well, that depends. Across the country, monthly fees for nursing homes and long-term care facilities can range from about $1,450 to $6,000. This all depends on the size of the accommodations, where the facility is located and amenities.

Total in-home care costs can be a bit trickier to nail down. The average home care billing rate in Ontario is between $20.00 and $30.00/hour for in-home support, personal care or companionship. For professional services, like nursing, that cost can jump up to around $50.00 to $60.00 per visit. However, this can depend on the services provided and level of care required – whether you’re looking for daily visits, or 24-hour, live-in care.

Whether you choose in-home care or a long-term care, the decision will ultimately depend on your needs, living preferences and finances. Do your homework on care providers or long-term care facilities and don’t be afraid to consult with family and seniorcare experts if you have any lingering questions. Remember: it’s about building a care plan that works well in helping you maintain your safety and quality of life.

Dear Red Dot Alerts Client:

The world is grappling with an issue of enormous scale and human impact, and our hearts go out to all who have been affected by the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).


We want to assure all Red Dot Alerts clients that the COVID-19 outbreak will not impact our Emergency Response Call Handling. Our 24-hour monitoring station is fully operational. We are always here to help. It's our top priority to ensure our clients are safe and healthy, especially during this time of crisis.


We continue to monitor the latest COVID-19 updates and are taking actions to safeguard the health of our employees, to preserve our ability to operate. In compliance with recommendations from the Federal and Provincial Governments, many of our normal day-to-day operational tasks will be managed by employees working remotely.


Rest assured, we are here for you and your loved ones.


Stay Home. Stay Safe.


Your Red Dot Alerts Team