Residential VS Home Care – Which Is the Better Choice?

As people grow older, there will come a time when they will require a greater level of care. Even the most independent of individuals will need help at the onset of a progressive disease or through the general process of ageing. Upon reaching this point, a decision has to be made whether they should be (a) transferred to an aged care residence or (b) age in place with specialised support.

Both options come with their own set of pros and cons, and these should be scrutinised to determine which solution best suits the need. While many older Australians prefer in-home care, this may not be the ideal option for everyone and vice versa.

Residential Care

Image Source: Pixabay

There are actually two main types of aged care residences to choose from. One offers limited support with personal care. The other has medical staff to provide nursing services 24/7. Providers like Arcare fall under the latter category.


  • Qualified staff are always on hand
  • Dementia and respite care are also offered
  • Assistance in booking and attending appointments with doctors
  • Household chores, meals, and utility bills are all taken care of
  • Activities are organised to promote socialisation
  • Safety and security are often guaranteed
  • House can be sold to pay for the fees
  • Government benefits and funding might be available
  • Nutritionist may be on hand to ensure healthy eating
  • Costs are clear and reviewed by authorities regularly


  • Need to move to an unfamiliar environment
  • Meals have to be eaten at set times
  • Pets are generally not allowed on the premises
  • Visitations, even by family members, are often restricted
  • Belongings are limited to what can fit in one room
  • Possibility of sharing rooms, toilets, and other facilities
  • Bedtime is at a set time and cannot be negotiated
  • Couples may have to pay double the amount
  • Loss of independence may be felt
  • Other residents may not be friendly or sociable

Home Cares

Image Source: Pexels

This is where an age care Melbourne worker regularly visits the elderly to assist with preparing meals, shopping, personal hygiene, and other tasks. Additional services such as respite and transport can also be arranged, depending on the home cares provider.


  • Family and friends can help with appointments and schedules
  • Familiar surroundings since they stay at home
  • Full control is retained over support received
  • Couples can stay together with only one worker
  • Flexibility to perform activities at desired times
  • Loved ones can visit at any time as long as they want
  • Seniors can eat what they wish, when they wish
  • Dedicated and personal support from an experienced assistant
  • Home won’t be considered when assessing assets
  • Freedom to live with their pets


  • Strangers will have to come into their home
  • Equipment and renovations can affect value of the property
  • Social isolation due to time alone
  • Seniors may have to take care of chores themselves
  • Limited interaction with the carer or visitors
  • Support workers in-charge may change suddenly
  • Additional support aids are often necessary to ensure safety
  • End-of-life care requires move to hospice or hospital
  • Care might get billed by the hour
  • Loved ones may experience caregiver stress

Both residential and at-home aged care can be beneficial for the elderly. By looking at the pros and cons of each option, it’s easier to make a decision for their golden years. Just make sure you pick a reputable provider once you’ve made up your mind to ensure that the senior will receive high-quality support.