Not all of us want the same things when it comes to aging. Some might crave freedom, while others want around-the-clock assistance. As a result, there are two popular options for seniors who cannot take care of themselves: assisted living and home care. Which one is right for your loved one? Let’s break it down.
What is Assisted Living?
Assisted living is a type of senior housing that offers help with daily tasks like bathing and dressing. Whether your loved one needs help with daily activities like dressing, eating, bathing, getting to and from appointments, or any combination of those, assisted living can provide that assistance. Most assisted living facilities provide meals, housekeeping, and activities, too. Assisted living is often more affordable than nursing homes, but it is also a very different experience. Unlike home care, assisted living residents to have less independence, less control over their living situation, and less privacy.
What is Home Care?
With home care, a professional comes to your loved one’s home to assist with daily tasks, just like in assisted living. The main difference is that a home care provider works on an as-needed basis rather than living at the senior’s home daily. This can be a good option if your loved one needs help with daily tasks but doesn’t require around-the-clock care. Home care can help with many of the same tasks as assisted living. It can assist with dressing, eating, bathing, getting to and from appointments, and more. It can also provide companionship for an emotionally supportive relationship. Home care providers can help seniors stay in their homes — and out of more costly facilities — for as long as possible.
How Are They Different?
Assisted living requires your loved one to move out of their home and into a facility with others who also need assistance. With home care, a professional comes to your loved one’s home to assist with daily tasks. The other big difference is that a home care provider works when needed rather than daily.
Both assisted living and home care providers can help your loved one with things like dressing, eating, bathing, getting to and from appointments, and more. They can also provide companionship, which can be very important if your senior is widowed or alone. Assisted living is often more affordable than nursing homes, but it is also a huge transition for your loved one as they move out of their home into a shared residence. Home care can help seniors stay in their homes — saving money and providing the comfort of privacy and familiarity — for as long as possible.
If you have a loved one in an assisted living facility, you may be wondering what the visiting hours are. Most facilities have designated times when friends and family can come to visit, typically during the day. Some facilities may also have evening or weekend hours. It’s important to check with the specific facility to find out their hours.
In comparison, there are no set visiting hours for home care, since the caregiver will be coming to your loved one’s house at a time that is convenient for them. However, it is still important to communicate with the caregiver about when you would like to visit. This way, they can make sure that your loved one is available and comfortable at that time.
Cost of Care
While the cost of assisted living can vary depending on the facility and location, it is generally more expensive than home care. Assisted living facilities to charge a monthly fee that covers room and board, meals, activities, and care services. Home care providers usually charge an hourly rate for their services. The cost of home care can add up quickly if overtime occurs or if additional services are requested by your loved one.
Most assisted living facilities have security measures in place to protect residents. This can include things like locked doors, security cameras, and staff members who are trained in emergency procedures. Home care does not usually have the same level of security as an assisted living facility. However, you can talk to the home care provider about your loved one’s specific needs or even set-up a home security system for them. The home security system doesn’t usually have staff on site of their home but often have employees that can call the police in case of an emergency.
Which One is Better?
Assisted living may be better for seniors who need a lot of assistance with tasks like bathing, eating, and dressing. They may need to live in a facility that provides around-the-clock care. With home care, a provider will come to your loved one’s home when needed, only when he or she needs help with daily tasks. This could be once a week or for just a couple of hours each day.
Home care may be better for seniors who don’t need as much assistance with daily tasks. And it may be a better option for seniors who want a higher degree of privacy than assisted living offers. With home care, your loved one will get the level of care he or she needs, but without the strict rules of an assisted living facility.
Aging can be challenging, and the right help can make a big difference in how well aging goes. With assisted living or home care, your loved one can get the assistance he or she needs. It’s important to choose the right option — and make sure it’s available when your loved one needs it.