How To Care For Your Senior: In-Home Care vs. Assisted Living

Learn the Difference Between In-Home Care And Assisted Living To Determine The Right Fit For Your Senior

There comes a time in most seniors' lives when medical conditions, loneliness or an inability to care for oneself force families to make a decision about where their senior(s) should be living. Often a decision needs to be made between in-home care or moving to an assisted living facility. Each situation is different, and families must consider many factors when trying to make the right decision.

When considering how to care for your senior, learn the difference between in-home care and assisted living.

In-Home Care

Most people prefer to remain in their own homes to age if possible, and some seniors like the privacy of receiving care from a professional in the comfort of their own home. In-home care also lets seniors maintain independence and control over their routine.

Typically, services include assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, toileting and household tasks such as cooking, cleaning and running errands. Many families hire an agency that sends a caregiver to the home for several hours each day or a few times a week, depending on the senior's needs. For people who choose in-home care, use of a personal medical alert is recommended. Staying at home, which many think would always be preferable, must be evaluated on a person-by-person basis and should consider these factors:

  • Safety
  • Access to care as needed
  • Ability to manage bathing, dressing, medications and food access and preparation
  • Connections to other people and basic socialization.

The downside to in-home care is that it may be intrusive or annoying for other family members who are not receiving care. Another negative of in-home care is that the in-home personnel are not usually there 24/7. The care is limited since hours are designated by the agency. Depending on the level of care needed, the cost of home care varies widely and can be higher in cost. Often, in-home care personnel are paid per hour, with the price depending on the type of care provided.

Assisted Living

Assisted living is like senior home care in that it usually covers activities of daily living, but the senior moves from the family home into a new place. These locations offer small, private apartments and some are situated in sprawling or luxurious campuses that can cater to a wide variety of needs and preferences. Assisted living facilities typically have staff on site round-the-clock to assist in the event of an emergency and help keep seniors safe. Most offer meals, either in room or in a communal dining hall, and these communities tend to offer activities and social events for residents.

As an assisted living resident, your loved one becomes part of the community and is active socially; they can take part in community activities, social circles, and develop a routine. Assisted living facilities oftentimes provide transportation, housekeeping, laundry, and some medical services. Essentially, assisted living communities are built to help residents stay mobile, active, and safe. While these are all benefits, there is also less privacy and independence when one lives in an assisted living community.

Certainly, the major advantage of assisted living is the 24-hour support and supervision. Facilities are built to provide safety for your loved one, nutritional meals, fitness programs, around the clock housekeeping, and laundry. The median monthly cost for an assisted living community is $4,000 – totaling $48,000 annually.

In deciding how to care for your senior, you need to determine whether in-home care or assisted living is the best option. Consider carefully your loved one's needs and preferences and weigh those against your financial resources and safety concerns.

Assisted Living Locators offers a FREE service for seniors and their families to help you explore and understand senior care options. An advisor will meet with you and your loved one for an in-depth assessment discussing your current situation and help you find assisted living.

Assisted Living Locators is your partner in finding the right senior living option. Click here to find a senior care advisor in your area today.