Home Care or Assisted Living: What's Best When a Senior Needs More Help

  • February 25, 2020

When a senior loved one needs a little help with personal care or tasks of daily living, it can be difficult to know where to turn. Families often struggle to decide whether to utilize home care services or encourage a move to an assisted living community.

While both may be viable options, at least in the short term, the decision requires a better understanding of both types of care. This quick overview may make it easier for you to decide.

The Benefits of In-Home Care

In-home care, often referred to as home care or private duty care, is a type of assistance delivered in the privacy of an older adult’s house. It allows the senior to live in their private residence for as long as possible.

Professional caregivers typically provide support with everything from light housekeeping to meal preparation and transportation to and from appointments. Your senior loved one may be a good candidate for home care services if:

  • They require minimal to moderate support.
  • Their needs are custodial in nature—tasks like bathing, grooming, and housekeeping—rather than medical.
  • Their home has safety modifications, such as grab bars, handrails, barrier-free showers, and wider doorways.
  • They have the support of family, friends, and neighbors to assist them between home care visits.

Private duty home care can also be a good short-term solution while searching for an assisted living community.

The Benefits of Assisted Living Communities

Like in-home care, an assisted living community provides seniors with the support they need to remain independent. One leading difference is caregivers are on-site to assist around the clock. This keeps residents safer while giving their families peace of mind.

Each resident has their own private apartment or suite. Caregivers and other staff members are always nearby to assist with bathing, grooming, dressing, housekeeping, and toileting.

Nutritious meals are served in a variety of settings to give residents flexibility and choice. Transportation is a popular service, as is medication management assistance.

A full calendar of activities allows residents to live meaningful days. Typical activities include wellness programs, fitness classes, arts and crafts workshops, local shopping and dining outings, and much more. Residents can participate in as many as they choose.

Moving to an assisted living community may be a good option for you or a senior family member if:

  • They live alone and are suffering from depression or feel isolated.
  • Their current residence isn’t safe for an older person to live alone.
  • They take multiple medications and are struggling to manage the schedule.
  • They have mobility challenges or another health concern that increases their risk for a fall.
  • They have given up driving and are having difficulty with transportation.
  • Their needs fluctuate and they require assistance day and night.

Which Is Best for a Senior Loved One: Home Care or Assisted Living?

While this choice may be difficult, taking time to explore the options will help you make an informed decision. One final tip is to visit communities and talk with home care agency staff in person. Ask as many questions as you need to feel confident in your decision.

If you have questions about assisted living, please call (617) 796-8387. One of our experienced staff members will be happy to help!
 


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