Home Care Versus Assisted Living: Which Is Right for a Senior Loved One?

Home Care Versus Assisted Living: Which Is Right for a Senior Loved One?

  • September 04, 2018

When an aging parent needs a helping hand, adult children typically begin to search for senior care options. One debate that often arises is if the older adult should stay at home with an in-home caregiver or move to an assisted living community. From safety and finances to quality of life, families want to make an educated decision.

On the surface, these two types of senior care look similar. In reality, there are distinct differences. Here are a few factors to take into consideration.

5 Differences Between Assisted Living and Home Care

  1. Time of service: A home care aide is typically scheduled for certain hours each day or week. Unless you employ a live-in caregiver, the older adult will receive support only during designated times. By contrast, a senior can receive 24/7 support in an assisted living community where caregivers are on-site around the clock. For example, if a senior needs assistance getting to the bathroom during the middle of the night and a caregiver isn’t there, a family member might have to drive to the senior’s home. At an assisted living community, however, a caregiver is always on-site.
  2. Companionship: Isolation has been identified as a serious health risk for older adults. It is linked to higher incidences of type 2 diabetes, obesity, depression, and more. While a caregiver who visits the home a few hours a week can help a senior feel more connected to the world, the companionship and active lifestyle at assisted living communities offer more benefits.
  3. Financial investment: Home care might be a financially advantageous short-term solution if a senior only requires a few hours of assistance each week. As the older adult’s need for care and support increases, an assisted living community is usually a better financial option.
  4. Medication assistance: Depending upon the state in which you live, a home care agency might be limited in the types of medication assistance they can provide. Families often turn to pill dispenser technology when a senior loved one lives alone. That can work if the older adult isn’t required to take many medications and if they have support setting up the pill dispenser. When a senior takes multiple medications at various times, an assisted living community’s medication management program is likely to be a safer, more reliable solution.
  5. Peace of mind: Knowing a senior loved one is safe and secure 24/7 is important to friends and family. It can relieve a caregiver’s stress and help everyone sleep better. In most cases, a live-in caregiver can provide that sense of security as long as there is a back-up plan in place in the event the caregiver becomes ill or has an emergency of their own. An assisted living community has caregivers on-site around the clock. Families have peace of mind knowing help is available anytime their loved one needs it.

Make the Most of a Tour

If you will be touring an assisted living community, it’s important to know what to look for and what to ask. “What Questions to Ask on a Senior Living Tour” will provide you with the insight you need to make the most of your visit.
 


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