Hospice vs Nursing Home: Which Is Best For My Loved One?


As our family members get older and need more care than we’re able to give them, it’s time to start considering what the best options are for them. When someone needs extensive care, you’re often faced with the decision between hospice vs nursing home care. 

But how can you choose? If you’ve never had to make this choice before, it’s overwhelming. The two options might seem too similar, or the stigmas associated with both of them could put you off entirely. 

We’re here to help. Keep reading to learn about the difference between hospice and nursing home care so you can make an informed decision. 

What Is Hospice Care?

Hospice care is considered “end of life” care. Not everyone who receives hospice care is elderly. People with terminal illnesses can also choose to receive hospice care when they no longer feel comfortable taking care of themselves. 

These people are often in a lot of pain, so they need to receive palliative care (or care that makes them more comfortable instead of trying to heal them). 

When you make the decision to put someone into hospice care, you’re recognizing that this may be their last step. It’s a difficult decision, but ultimately, it can be for the good of your loved one. 

Some nursing homes have hospice care as part of their systems, but you can also receive hospice care at home if it’s more comfortable. There are also specific hospice centers; click here to learn more. 

What Is Nursing Home Care? 

Nursing home care is similar to hospice care, and some people go from one to the other. 

Nursing homes take care of people in multiple stages of life. If someone has a severe degenerative condition, they may be put in memory care. If someone is still relatively active, they’ll have more independence.

In a nursing home, people can still interact with others and make friends. They often have their own private rooms. Nursing homes also have activities for residents. 

In nursing homes, there are many medical professionals on hand to make sure that your loved one is safe from dangerous falls and that they can get medical attention in the event of an emergency. 

Nursing homes may be too restrictive for some people. Some people also don’t want to leave their own homes, making this a difficult option. 

People in nursing homes are often receiving end-of-life care, but they’re not always ill or bedbound unless they’re in advanced memory care. 

Hospice vs Nursing Home Care: Which Is Right?

Neither of these options is better than the other. When you’re choosing between hospice vs nursing home care, you have to choose what’s right for your loved one based on their current condition. 

If your loved one is sick, has a hard time getting out of bed, and experiences frequent debilitating pain, you may want to consider hospice care to keep them comfortable. If they’re more independent, they may prefer a nursing home. 

Talk with your loved one and decide if hospice or nursing home care is best together. 

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About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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