Home Care Services in Colorado: Worth it or Stick With Nursing Homes?

Aging is an unavoidable fact of life. Even at this very moment, your body is growing older. Time goes by faster than you know it. Unfortunately, our culture’s focus on independence makes people forget that we all need to rely on each other.

Getting older is not easy. Dealing with the physical changes and complexities of medication, diet, and self-care can be draining for the elderly. 

It bears down on them emotionally, and many seniors feel like a burden to others. In this context, you may be wondering how to best care for your parents in Colorado. Should you put them in a nursing home or hire a home care service? 

In this article, we will explore this question. Hopefully, the themes we discuss can make the decision easier for you.

What Should You Know About Elderly Life in Colorado?

According to the Colorado Health Institute, the state is going to double its elderly population by 2050. Research also shows that depending on their location, senior citizens are likely to face specific challenges in meeting their needs. 

Counties like Otero, Baca, and Crowley seem to host senior citizens that are far more vulnerable than others. 

These vulnerabilities include physical mobility, cognitive difficulties, limitations in vision and hearing, self-care, and independent living. On the other hand, counties like Park and Summit have the lowest aging vulnerability index scores. 

On the whole, the state is far from the worst when it comes to its elderly care. In fact, a recent report by UnitedHealthcare showed that it ranks number 3 in terms of senior health outcomes. Doctors like Michael Stockman, chief medical officer of UnitedHealthcare, attribute this to the higher levels of physical activity in Colorado. 

Stockman explained that elderly people in Colorado have some of the lowest levels of obesity and chronic medical conditions. At the same time, no state is perfect. Colorado also faces other challenges, such as opioid overdoses among the elderly. 

What Benefits Do Home Care Services Offer Over Senior Living Communities?

There are a number of factors that you need to think about when choosing between these two options. Quality of care and affordability will ultimately be your two main priorities. 

You often hear horror stories from nursing homes. The best way to avoid such situations is to pick a reputable one. Unfortunately, those aren’t cheap. What’s more, they often have a waitlist. Home care services, on the other hand, are a far more flexible and affordable option. 

What is home care you ask? Well, according to Always Best Care Senior Services, there are times when seniors prefer to live non-institutionalized lives. Home care services offer help that the family is unable to provide. They provide services like bathing, companionship, nutrition monitoring, and more. 

Some families prefer home care services for the peace of mind that comes from knowing their parents have a personal caretaker. We keep hearing stories of seniors who walk out of their homes and go missing. 

This happened most recently in Lakewood County with Richard Mesa. Apparently, Mesa suffers from a cognitive disorder that makes him confused. If loved ones had hired home care services in Lakewood, CO, someone would have been able to monitor him.

Situations like this happen too often, and the personalized care of home services can be a lifesaver. 

At the same time, nursing homes offer other advantages, such as social activities that can keep the elderly engaged. With feelings of isolation and loneliness being high, nursing homes provide a much-needed sense of connection. 

In this manner, there are many such trade-offs. Let’s take a closer look.

3 Key Nursing Home Benefits

Structured Routines: Studies show that steady patterns of meals, medication, and activities can provide a sense of stability in old age. This can be difficult to replicate in a relaxed, home environment.

Emergency Response: Nursing homes often have well-established protocols and possibly expert staff on hand to deal with emergencies. If your parents are prone to medical issues, this can be a huge plus point for nursing homes.

Access to Nature: Many nursing homes feature beautiful outdoor gardens and green spaces. Seniors may enjoy spending time here instead of sitting inside a house all day long.

3 Disadvantages of Nursing Homes

Loss of Independence: Many seniors are still coming to terms with their physical and cognitive decline. Caretakers at nursing homes sometimes treat elderly people like children. It can be hurtful when they aren’t given the respect and dignity they were used to. 

Quality of Care Concerns: Not all nursing homes offer the same standard of care. There’s a risk of encountering facilities with understaffing, inadequate training, or subpar living conditions. No one wants their parents to be neglected in their final years.

Cultural and Social Disconnect: In nursing homes, seniors might not always find peers with similar backgrounds. If the aim was to improve socialization, feeling out of place in a new environment can increase feelings of isolation. 

3 Key Home Care Services Benefits

Comfort and Dignity: Aging at home allows individuals to maintain their dignity and privacy. This is because they don’t have to share their living space with strangers or adhere to a communal living setup. If your parents value privacy, this can be a big deal.

Independence: Home care services enable seniors to maintain a higher level of independence and control over their daily activities and decisions. Some seniors greatly value this over other aspects.

Pet Companionship: A lot of people have close relationships with their pets. It can be painful to leave them behind when going to a nursing home. With home care services, they can continue to enjoy the emotional support and companionship that comes with a pet. 

3 Disadvantages of Home Care Services 

Emergency Response Time: To ensure 24/7 care, you will need to find caregivers willing to live with the senior. Alternatively, you will need to hire another caregiver for a second shift. Failing to do so leaves your parents vulnerable if the caregiver is the only person they have contact with. 

Caregiver Burnout: Giving personalized attention may become overwhelming for your caregiver. This can be a problem if your parents need to be monitored constantly. You may find yourself dealing with a high turnover rate, and hiring new caregivers can be a cumbersome procedure.

Attachment and Dependence: Some seniors tend to grow fond of the people that take care of them. On the contrary, caregivers may be operating from a purely professional angle. If they remain clinical, leave, or resign, it can cause feelings of depression and loneliness in some seniors.


Taking care of our parents is a responsibility that each of us ought to give a little more attention to.  Of course, there is always the option to have your parents live with you. However, not many are open to this, and nursing homes and home care remain the main means of elderly care. 

As we have seen, both home care services and nursing homes have their own benefits and drawbacks. Knowing which one to choose will require a conversation with your parents to understand how their needs can best be met.