What’s the difference between private home care and community care?

Nurse Next Door

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Not all care is created equally. Knowing the differences between private care at home and community healthcare can help you narrow down the options available to you, and choose the right care for your circumstance.

It’s worth noting, if you’re here searching for differences in care between private care at home and community healthcare, you’re already in the right place—gathering information and considering your options to ensure you’re making the best choice for you and your family.

We’re here to give you some answers. Here are four reasons to consider private care at home over community healthcare.

Private home care vs community healthcare

If you’re confused about the health care options available, you’re not alone. While there’s a health care option for every kind of medical condition, broadly speaking health care falls into two categories:

Private home care services

Qualified caregivers or registered nurses visit patients in their home to provide a suite of home health care services they may need. The type of care provided can range from non-medical tasks like bathing, cooking, and helping out with household chores—to more intensive caregiving tasks like supporting clients with dementia around the clock or helping clients after surgery or an injury. Usually, private care at home is customized and one-on-one.

Community care services

Seniors are taken care of in assisted living or nursing home facilities that are publicly subsidized. Depending on where you live, this can be an affordable alternative to private in-home care. A community healthcare patient will share rooms, so it’s ideal for people who like being social. Although it has ‘community’ right in the name, clients don’t leave their living facilities often.

1. Quality of care

Aside from location, there are some other key differences between private care at home and community healthcare. While the goal of both is to meet the needs of the patient, both services differ in the way that care is provided.

Private home care services

The quality of care a client receives will ultimately depend on the company you choose. For example, at Nurse Next Door we believe that the right care is prvided in the comfort of your home. We focus on building relationships with our clients and their families, and encouraging them to live a fulfilling, independent life at home.

  • Customized care: We’re committed to improving the lives of our patients. To ensure every client gets the best quality of care, we customize each care plan around their schedule, help them continue to enjoy extracurricular activities, and provide assistance with daily and weekly household management tasks.
  • A perfect match: We match seniors with caregivers based on their backgrounds, interests, and medical needs. Our first question to new clients: “What did you use to love doing that you no longer do?”. This lets us match you with caregivers that share your passions and will do everything they can to keep you feeling energized and at ease.
  • Ongoing case management: Your personal care manager will develop a comprehensive home care program for you. We manage every step, including in-home consultation, planning and monitoring physical and emotional health, and regular care updates to family.

Community care services

This one is a bit harder to answer as the quality of community healthcare services can vary wildly across states. While all community healthcare providers should be vetted and skilled, it’s still important to do your research and request other client testimonials to make sure this type of care will meet your needs.


example of home care

 2. Consistency of care

When choosing a care provider, you should be sure that you or your loved one will receive high-quality care on a consistent basis. Here’s how that works.

Private home care services

With Nurse Next Door, you’ll never be in the dark about who’s caring for you. Our team matches you with one dedicated carer over a long period of time so you can get to know them and build up a genuine friendship with them. Getting to know you as a person means carers have the ability to spot changes in mood, and catch early signs of deteriorating health. In turn, seniors feel more comfortable bringing up sensitive medical questions, helping caregivers and nurses provide accurate and timely healthcare.

In our 20 years of caregiving, we’ve found that this is the best way to keep seniors comfortable and provide consistent private care excellence.

Community care services

In a community home care service setting, you or a loved one may encounter many members of a care team on a weekly basis. They take on tasks that range from supporting your medical needs and providing meals at the same time each day, to planning social activities within the facility.

However, we need to address the virus-shaped elephant in the room. Since COVID-19 became a worldwide concern, nursing homes have seen a staggering rate of employee turnover. The New York Times reported on one survey that looked at the impact of COVID-19 on nursing homes, finding that annual turnover rates were 128—300 percent on average across 15,645 nursing homes in the U.S. Besides a lack of care continuity, this figure reveals these challenges led to more than one-third of all Covid deaths.

This harrowing statistic means that it’s crucial to ask about nursing turnover rates if you’re considering this option.

3. Flexibility of care 

For families of aging seniors, it’s important to find an agency that suits their schedule, as well as a company that can work around their needs. Here’s how private care at home and community healthcare stack up.

Private home care services

At Nurse Next Door, flexibility is built into our services. We provide hourly, daily, and 24/7 home support. So whether you need someone to visit once or twice a week for companionship and to help around the house, or your loved one requires around-the-clock care with a registered nurse—we’ll connect you with the right care for your situation. And if your situation changes? It’s not an issue. With no long term contracts, you can just phone your support team to amend your care plan.

Community care services

Flexibility is not usually the first thing that comes to mind for this form of care. Clients have a strict daily routine where staff serve meals at the same time each day, and activities are in a set schedule. Some seniors enjoy the predictability, but this form of care won’t suit patients that like to be cared for on their own schedule and want to have the freedom to change care visits when they have weeks where other things come up.

4. Costs of care

One of the biggest questions to ask when seeking care is: how much will these forms of care actually cost? In general terms, here’s what you’ll pay when you need professional care.

Private care services

When choosing private in home care, the costs will vary based on how many hours of care you or your loved one needs each week. Let’s take two common care scenarios as examples.

Client #1: A father approaching his 70s with mobility issues.

This client’s adult daughter recently received a job offer in a neighbouring city and has moved there to be closer to work. Before the move, his daughter would check in on her dad a couple times a week to make sure he was okay and to help cook dinner for him. He has trouble getting to the store so she always brought groceries when she visited.

Because this client doesn’t need intensive medical support, his daughter chose Companionship Care from Nurse Next Door. Dad’s caregiver visits twice a week at a cost of approximately $240 per month.

Client #2: A mother in her 80s with Alzheimers.

Until a few months ago, this client’s family took turns taking care of their mother. But as their mother’s condition worsened, caring for her on top of juggling jobs and their own child-rearing responsibilities became unsustainable. It made more sense to bring in a qualified professional. After doing some research on in home care, they decided to choose 24/7 Dementia care and Alzheimer care from Nurse Next Door.

Their mother’s new caregiver helps maintain her daily routine, prevents her from wandering, and teaches her adult children coping strategies when they visit. This costs her children approximately $3000 per month.

You can read about the costs of home care in more detail here.

Community care services

The costs of community healthcare services will differ fro person to person. It’s also based on where you live and what kind of care you require.

But to leave you with some ballpark figures—in the U.S the national average cost of a private room in nursing homes can be $7,500 per month. While in British Columbia, Canada, some health services are free (well, tax-payer funded) and the rate for assisted living services is at minimum $1,070.90 per month and is determined by your income.


Ready to match Mom or Dad with the perfect Caregiver? Learn more about our home care services on our website.

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