Nursing Home Alternatives

COVID-19 has made the decision between living at home or moving into nursing home care even more complex. Many seniors and their families are very hesitant to consider a nursing home because of the health concerns, limited family time, and cost that COVID-19 has brought to the nursing home environment.

However, there are alternatives to entering a nursing home. Read on to find out how you or a loved one can overcome the challenges that continuing to live at home may present.

Man being pushed in wheelchair

Health Concerns

Currently, the largest concern around nursing home care is the possibility of contracting COVID-19. Many of the great nursing homes providing care have taken steps to limit the transmission of COVID-19. While many have limited visitors, it is difficult to control who the staff comes into contact with outside of work hours. Many who are considering a nursing home feel safer in their own home, where they are able to control who they come into contact with. They may limit interactions to a select few trusted friends and family members.

Spending Time With Friends and Family

In an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19, many nursing homes have severely limited visitors. Unfortunately, this keeps the residents from sharing valuable time with their friends and family. While living at home, seniors or their families can organize safe ways to spend time with their family by meeting outdoors, or meeting indoors and following precautions such as wearing a mask and following social distancing guidelines. Staying at home gives you or your loved one the ability to continue spending time with family and friends on their terms.


The cost of nursing home care has become an even larger challenge for many families facing the financial hardships that COVID-19 has presented. Some families are dealing with the loss of a job, closing of a business, or having their hours cut. These circumstances make the monthly cost of a nursing home even more difficult to bear.

Alternatives to Nursing Home Care

With the challenges a nursing home presents, some seniors and their families are looking for ways to stay in their home. However, staying at home can present its own challenges. Often times the home itself can be a major challenge. Upstairs bedrooms, basement laundry rooms, raised entryways, and split level homes can present mobility issues. While a family member or home care company can provide the care necessary, accessing an upstairs bedroom can be very difficult for some seniors, but solutions are available.

How to Stay in the Home You Love

For most mobility challenges there is a solution that will allow a senior to still have full access to their home.

Stair Lifts – Stair lifts are often the solution when a set of stairs prevents access to a level of the home. A stair lift is attached to the stairs and allows the user to sit and ride in a chair, up or down the set of stairs. A swiveling seat allows for safe and easy entry and exit of the chair. They are a great option for safely using the stairs to reach a basement, upstairs bedroom, or garage. Outdoor stair lifts are also an option and can allow for safe access to a front porch, deck, or other raised entryway. They are designed to handle the outdoor elements.

Straight stair lift

Wheelchair Lifts – Wheelchair lifts are another solution for access inside and outside of a home. If an individual needs to remain in their wheelchair and is unable to transfer to a stair lift, a wheelchair lift can solve many of the same mobility issues a stair lift does. Most often wheelchair lifts are used to access the raised entryway of a home. Entryways may be in a garage, via a front porch, or a set of stairs leading to a door. The lift allows the user to be raised and lowered vertically on a platform, while remaining in their wheelchair. Additionally, inclined wheelchair lifts are another option. They allow a wheelchair to travel along a set of stairs. While they function very similarly to a stair lift, instead of a chair, the user rolls onto a platform and uses the lift while remaining in their wheelchair.

Wheelchair lift for deck

Options HME Stair Lifts

At Options HME Stair Lifts, we strive to give you the ability to stay in the home you love. We sell, install, and service both stair lifts and wheelchair lifts. If you would like to stay in your home but it presents some mobility issues, please contact us. We will be happy to set up a free, in-home assessment to discuss which product will best fit your needs and your budget. We are a local, family owned company and have been serving Southern Illinois and St. Louis since 2007.