To What Extent Are Nursing Homes a Better Alternative to Home Care for the Elderly.

Topics: Geriatrics, Family, Nursing home Pages: 3 (980 words) Published: June 19, 2013
With the changed medical environment and the advancement of medical technology, the proportion of older people in developed countries, such as USA and UK, is higher than in developing and undeveloped nations. As a result, these governments have attempted to find an efficient long-term care to reduce social and medical costs. In the past, families needed to be responsibie for the elderly. However, in the late 20th century, due to the change of social environment, most families tried to find another way to care for their older family members. Moreover, previous researches have shown home care is better than nursing home care, thus this essay will argue that nursing home care is the most appropriate way for the elderly. It will be divided into three sections: costs, quality of staff and facilities, and residents’ thinking.

Costs of nursing home care and home care are one of chief consideration for families who are confronted with a decision between nursing home care and home care. Costs include staff’s wages, equipment costs and medical fees. Caregivers’ wages is the main cost for long-term care. In Korea, the expenditure of caregivers for home care is more expensive than nursing home care (Kim & Yang, 2004, p. 78). Since there are 10 patients who can be cared by one full-time nurse in a nursing home, it can share the expense of nurses (Yeh & Chen as cited in Chiu, Tang, Shyu, Huang & Wang, 2000, p. 334). Moreover, home care needs to pay more for equipment costs than nursing home care (Darton, Netten & Forder, 2003, p. 238). Because private home is not purpose-built for the elderly, it may need to be modified. Finally, compared with nursing home care, home care has a high price for medical use. For example, in Taiwan, home care recipients pay more for medication costs than nursing home care recipients (Chiu et al., 2000, p. 330). It is clear that no matter what kind of costs, the expenses of home care is higher than nursing home care. Therefore, the elderly...
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