3 tips to help you choose between an old folks home and home care.

Do you have an older adult in your family that currently requires care support? If yes, you must be weighing the pros and cons of choosing between a care home or hiring a live-in caregiver. This is often a complicated decision and requires a well thought-out review of the persons well-being.

In this article, we outline 3 tips that will help you make the best choice for your loved one.

1. Determine the level of help they need

It is important to start your evaluation by understanding the complexity of your loved ones needs. This can be best accomplished by putting together a list of their needs. Here we list out the key areas of your loved ones daily life that you will need to consider when ascertaining how much of help they will require:

  • Physical safety

  • Medical needs

  • Mental health

  • Level of mobility

  • Assistance with personal hygiene

  • Help with meal preparation and feeding

  • Social interaction

We advise that you begin by determining where your loved one stands in these areas and how much support they currently have. Once you've undertaken this exercise, you will be able to make a more informed decision.

When performing this review, it's important that you be realistic about what you and your family will be able to do and where you will need help. It's important to think about your situation in a long-term basis. Chances are, your loved one may need support for a considerable amount of time.

By the time you conclude this exercise, you should have a good idea of whether home care or an old folks home is a better choice for your loved one.

2. Understand the differences between home care and an old folks home.

Before making a decision between these two options, you will need to understand the differences between them. Here are a few basic pros and cons for each choice:

Home care

Home care is when you choose to hire a nurse of care-giver to come into your home to provide care assistance. Currently, this service is usually performed by foreign workers(i.e: Filipino's or Pakistani's). These individuals may or may not be qualified nurses but almost always do not have valid practicing certificates to work as nurses in Malaysia. Nevertheless, they are typically meticulous in the work that they do. These carers are able to assist with diaper changes, maintaining daily hygiene, administering medication, etc.


- Personalized one-on-one care tailored specifically to your loved ones needs.

- Your loved one is able to continue living at home in a familiar surrounding.

- A single person will be responsible for the provision of care of your loved one, as opposed to many different people.


- This option is more expensive with charges ranging between RM12.50 to RM25.00 per hour.

- Lack of a multi-disciplinary team approach to care.

- A sole caregiver has limited capacity to perform many tasks. This means that other family members will still need to participate in care provision.

- You will need to look into making physical changes around the house to accommodate the needs of your ailing loved one. This may include minor renovation work to make your home wheel-chair or hospital-bed friendly.

- Investment into medical equipment needed in order to create a conducive environment for your loved-one.

Old folks home(or nursing home)

An old folks home is a dedicated care facility that's operated by a group of professionals dealing in care for the elderly. These facilities are almost always operated by a multi-disciplinary team of healthcare professionals. Among the professionals involved are:

- Doctors

- Nurses

- Medical assistants

- Certified caregivers

- Nutritionist/Dieticians

- Physiotherapists

- Occupational therapists

- Psychologists

- Visiting consultants

The more established care facilities in Malaysia today offer a wide range of care options depending on the clients needs. This ranges from independent living to bed-ridden care.

All the attendant services like housekeeping, laundry, and transportation services are usually included in the monthly charges.


- The most affordable way to provide round the clock professional care.

- Care teams are multi-disciplinary and includes oversight and supervision by nurse managers and doctors.

- Opportunities for your loved one to have social interaction with other residents and carers within the facility.

- No need for family members to worry about supervising the level of care being provided.

- Level of care can be modulated to fit the needs of your loved ones.


- Level of care will not be consistent due to frequent change of staff.

- Quality of care being provided may vary depending on the staff working.

- Your loved one may not enjoy having to share his/her living space with other people.

Having reviewed the above, you should already have a better idea on which option would make for a better for you. The next point to consider is the cost of care.

Cost of Care

Before making a decision between home care and an old folks home, it's important to ascertain how each of these decision would impact your budget.

Deciding between these two isn't easy and is heavily dependent on the level of care that you loved one needs. It is important that you take the time to go through this exercise carefully as it will help avoid the unpleasant circumstance of realizing later that you're overrun your budget for this.

The best thing to do would be to call and make enquiries to a number of old folks homes and also home care providers that you may be interested in engaging. That way, you will have a good idea of how much each option is going to cost you depending on the level of care your loved one requires.

Don't forget to make accommodations for incidental costs that will also feature in your monthly expenses. This can include but is not limited to:

- Groceries

- Medical consumables

- Medication and supplements

- Scheduled visits to clinic/hospital

- Personal care supplies

- Housekeeping and laundry services

After taking all of these into consideration, you will be well-informed and able to determine which option is better for your loved one. Home care or an old folks home.

Genesis Life Care Centre is an old folks hotel providing premium services at affordable prices. Visit us at or call +6012 321 0457 to learn more about our services.

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