In-Home Care vs Nursing Home care? Don’t make these mistakes!

In-Home Care vs Nursing Home care? Don’t make these mistakes


The senior population otherwise known as the aged population has been increasing even in Nigeria. This is a special population that requires more care and attention due to some health challenges that are associated with old age. This has carved out a new niche in health care service to cater to this group, even here in Nigeria. 

Deciding to place a loved one in in-home care or nursing home care can be difficult. It is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each to make an informed decision. In-home care is often seen as more desirable because the loved one remains in their own home and familiar surroundings. However, it is important to remember that in-home care requires more work on the part of the caregiver. Nursing home care provides round-the-clock supervision and care, but can be expensive and may not be suitable for all patients.

In this post, I will be sharing with you what makes a care service in-home care or nursing home care, the strength of each, and factors you should consider when you have to choose between the two.

What is in-home care in Nigeria?

Think of this as a sort of nonmedical help, whereby you hire the service of trained professionals to assist you to take care of your parent, or an aged family member, right in his or her house. In-home care in Nigeria is a non-medical service that assists with activities of daily living in the comfort of the client’s home. It includes light housekeeping, laundry, errands, grocery shopping, meal preparation, medication reminders, and providing companionship.


Some in-home care services also offer skilled nursing services, which are overseen by a registered nurse. These skilled in-home nursing services can include wound care, injections, and physical therapy.

In-home care is generally less expensive than nursing home care, and it allows your loved one to age in a place they live, love and are familiar with. It also offers more flexibility in terms of hours and days of service.

What is Nursing home care in Nigeria

These are private facilities set up by individuals to cater to the care of the elderly or the aged. The care can range from personal services such as medication monitoring and/or even health-related care like post-surgery care. Nursing home care in Nigeria is defined as “residential care in a licensed facility that provides nursing and personal care services to adults who are unable to live independently because of physical, mental, or emotional disabilities.”

This type of service is common in the USA and the UK, and it’s growing even here in Nigeria, as more and more people who are mostly out of the country are constantly seeking to get the best health care services for their parents.

There are two types of nursing homes in Nigeria:

  • skilled nursing facilities (SNF)
  • and intermediate care facilities (ICF).

SNFs provide nursing and rehabilitative services to people who are recovering from an illness or injury. ICFs provide custodial and personal care to people with chronic illnesses or disabilities. An example is RockGarden Home Care, one of the best in Nigeria that provides extensive Nursing care to people in Lagos, Nigeria. 

Intermediate care facilities (ICF)

The focus of people who use ICF is more on non-medical personal care. These are an option for people who are not able to live independently but do not require the constant medical care of a nursing home.

An ICF provides housing, personal care, and health-related services to people with cognitive impairments or other chronic conditions. These facilities are also known as group homes, residential care facilities, or congregate care facilities.

The main difference between an ICF and a nursing home is that an ICF does not provide around-the-clock skilled nursing care. Instead, staff members at an ICF provide support with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and eating. They also help residents stay as active as possible and connect them with community resources.

Nursing homes, on the other hand, are designed to provide constant skilled nursing care and supervision to people who need it. In addition, to help with activities of daily living, nursing home staff members give residents medications, monitor their health status, and provide rehabilitative services.

Just before we discuss what are the noticeable differences between these two types of services, we must first talk about who is authorized to provide these services.

Life expectancy is getting better; the growing aged population

According to microtrend, there has been a sort of improvement in the life expectancy in Nigeria in the last 5 years. In fact between 2021 and 2022 alone, The current life expectancy for Nigeria in 2022 is 55.44 years, a 0.57% increase from 2021.

Also, the life expectancy for Nigeria in 2021 was 55.12 years, a 0.57% increase from 2020. The population of senior citizens is rapidly increasing in Nigeria, and this has led to an increased demand for home care services.

This is creating a unique need to care for the increasing population of elderly ones in Nigeria. Since the public hospitals have been overstretched already, this has provided a great opportunity for the private individuals with the right capacity to deliver quality home care services to set up in Nigeria, since we all know that demand will always bring about an increase in supply.

Another challenge faced by caregivers is the cultural norm of respecting one’s elders. Nigerian culture dictates that children should take care of their parents until they die, regardless of the parent’s ability to take care of themselves.

Who can provide in-home care services in Nigeria?

Only licenced agencies and companies like the Rockgarden Homecare Agency are authorized by the government and other related agencies to provide this service. This became necessary to ensure the quality of health services and care that are provided and administered.

What are the similarities between the two?

As much as you might want to think these two health care services are completely different, they share a lot in common, and when not carefully started you might even think these services are the same in some situations.

Nursing home care is carried out in a facility that is controlled by the health care provider and the client will have to move into such facility to receive care services while the in-home care service ensures that all care are provided to the client in his or her home as such that the client do not need to travel or get to any other facility before accessing all medical and nonmedical care.

The main similarity is that in both cases, the care recipient will be living in a home-like environment, as opposed to staying in an actual home. This means that they will have more privacy and control over their daily routine. In addition, there is a great deal of flexibility that both gives you in deciding what care should be included when choosing either in-home care or nursing home care. Both in-home care and nursing home care can be customized to meet the specific needs of the individual

Which of these two should you consider for your aged or elderly ones in Nigeria?

Perhaps, you are considering which one of these two should you choose for your elderly parent, aged relatives, or family member, there is one way about this. You have to consider a few factors.

There are a few key factors to consider when making this decision and are listed below;

The type and level of care needed

The first is the level of care required. If your loved one needs around-the-clock medical care due to some chronic health conditions that require constant monitoring (such as heart disease), then a nursing home is likely the best option. This is because you have well-trained nursing help that can provide the adequate support that is required every single time. On the other hand, if they only need help with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and eating, then in-home care might be a better choice. these activities are nonmedical and as such do not require that much medical assistance or nursing assistance. Anyone that has been adequately trained and certified to look after aged and routines can provide them.

How many funds are you willing to spend

Since there is a huge difference in the quality of medical services provided at both places, this has introduced a major factor to seriously consider which is the cost. Nursing homes can be very expensive, particularly if your loved one needs a private room or special medical amenities and equipment. Sometimes, it may even require a specially trained nurse in just one aspect of care due to the condition of the aged one to be cared for and this drastically contributes to the increase in the cost of the service. In-home care is typically much less expensive, although it will still depend on the number of hours required and the services needed.

Preferences from the aged ones

In Africa, especially in Nigeria, there are still a lot of myths that encourage older people to stay in their houses even when they will possibly get better care and attention in a nursing home. If they prefer to remain in their own home, then in-home care is probably the best option. However, if they would feel more comfortable in a facility where they can interact with other people their age, then a nursing home might be the better choice. What is important is to ensure you have this discussion with them.


Now that you know that In Nigeria, there are two main types of elderly care: in-home and nursing home care, and factors that can influence your choice of the best care type or plan for either your aged parent or older relatives. Both have their unique benefits and drawbacks, but ultimately the one you choose will depend on your specific needs and situation plus one of the most important factor, which is the cost. If you’re not sure which type of care is right for you, we offer free consultations so that you can get all the information you need to make an informed decision. We can provide you with this help because we have helped many Nigerians who need the best help for their relative by giving them quality and healthy living experiences. Click Here to get support from Rockgarden Homecare Agency