Senior Care Options Run Gamut from In-Home to Nursing Home

Seniors have plenty of options when it comes to long-term care, writes U-T San Diego, but paying for that care is a different matter, as many senior living settings require out-of-pocket payment. 

Senior care options range from in-home care to assisted living to nursing homes, but the first two are primarily private pay.

There are two forms of in-home care, Djena Graves Lennix, president of senior living referral service Accent on Seniors, told U-T San Diego. One form of home care is getting assistance with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, and meal preparation. The other is for more skilled levels of care, such as medication administration or catheter changes.


“Contrary to popular belief, [Graves Lennix] said neither form of in-home care is typically covered by Medicare or insurance,” says the article. “Nor, she said, is in-home care necessarily less expensive than a nursing home, especially if more than eight hours are needed daily.”

While aging in place at home can sometimes be cheaper than moving into an assisted living or nursing home setting, that’s not always the case depending on the amount of care that is needed. 

“It’s usually covered out-of-pocket,” Graves Lennix told U-T San Diego. “In-home care is not [always] cheaper.” 

Assisted living, which Graves Lennix described as a hybrid between home and a nursing home, is also typically an out-of-pocket expense to seniors. Assisted living communities typically offer assistance with bathing or meal prep along with social outings, but provide more privacy and independence compared to a nursing home.


While nursing homes offer many similar features to assisted living communities, they typically provide more skilled care, such as IVs and ventilators, says the article. 

And while nursing homes cost more on average per day compared to assisted living or a few hours of in-home care, the cost of short-term skilled nursing care can sometimes be covered by Medicare, while long-term nursing home care can be paid for by Medicaid in certain circumstances.

Read more at U-T San Diego. 

Written by Alyssa Gerace