Taking care of aging parents is something that occupies a lot of people’s thoughts. We want what’s best for the people who took care of for so many years. But that can sometimes mean sacrificing certain amounts of independence in order to be properly cared for. 

Thankfully, modern technology has made in-home care more accessible than ever. But there are still certain situations where assisted living is more appropriate. 

There isn’t always such a clear answer when it comes to assisted living vs home care. But by considering the different factors of your parents’ ability levels, finances, and support network, you can make a more informed decision about what to do. So continue reading and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know. 

Elderly parent

What Are Assisted Living Homes?

Assisted living homes are ideal for people who only need a minimal amount of senior care on a daily basis. Residents at many assisted living homes will be helped with accomplishing various tasks, such as organizing medications. However, these establishments don’t offer full-time, long-term care. 

It’s estimated that around one million Americans over the age of 65 reside in assisted living homes. People who suffer from cognitive or behavioral impairments, or those who need a wheelchair to get around, are usually discouraged from going to an assisted living home. This is because these people typically require more specialized care.

The majority of residents at assisted living facilities typically move on to nursing homes. However, some people leave these facilities and return home.  

Maintaining Independence

When living in an assisted living home, the resident usually has a great deal of independence. They tend to have plenty of privacy, dignity, and autonomy while also receiving support when it’s needed. 

The majority of assisted living facilities promote the right of a resident to practice religion, use their own personal possessions, manage their own finances, and socialize and interact with people both in and outside of the establishment.

Many times, visitors are allowed to come to the facility at any time of the day and are even allowed to stay the night. There are also a number of homes that allow pets too. 

Residence and Services

People who live in assisted living facilities tend to live in private or semi-private apartments. These residences typically include a kitchen area, bathroom, and bedroom. Residents also get daily assistance with normal tasks, such as bathing, dressing, and eating.

Dining programs offer meals three times a day, and activities for education and exercise are common. 

Other services at assisted living homes can include:

  • health services
  • laundry services
  • housekeeping
  • recreational activities
  • religious and social activities
  • third-party nursing care through a home health agency
  • transportation services
  • wellness programs

Many also have 24-hour security too. 

What Is In-Home Care?

In-home care is best for people who wish to stay at home, but they also need ongoing care that friends and family members simply can’t provide. In-home caregivers provide a range of services ranging from simple companionship to supervision and personal care.

This kind of care allows seniors to age in the comfort of their own homes. In-home caregivers usually deal with non-medical services, while “home health caregivers” are people who are skilled in nursing. 

Non-medical care services usually include:

  • companionship
  • laundry
  • meal prep
  • shopping
  • transportation
  • personal care
  • supervision
  • light housekeeping
  • medication reminders
  • errands

There are a lot of in-home care benefits to consider. For example, your loved one will get an even greater amount of privacy and autonomy via in-home care than with assisted living. You’ll also get to avoid the stress of relocation. 

Tips To Help You Choose

Even if you thoroughly understand the details of how in-home care and assisted living homes work, that doesn’t mean this is an easy decision. This is an important step in the life of your loved one, and you want to make sure that the right choice is made. 

Before you make any official plans, you first want to figure out the exact needs of your parents. After you understand what their needs are, you can compare those needs to the help that’s already available. Begin by making a list of everything that your loved one needs help with on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. 

This is going to give you a much better idea of how to proceed. 

You also want to consider how much you, the rest of your family, and your family’s friends can help. It’s crucial that you look at this in terms of the long run. Your parent might require ongoing care for years, so only planning for a couple of months of help will likely not be sufficient. 

After you weigh both options, you’ll have a much better idea of how much help is going to be required. 

The Importance of Weighing Assisted Living vs Home Care

As we can see, there are some significant differences when it comes to assisted living vs home care. Among the most important factors are what kind of help your loved one requires and how much of it they need. 

This shouldn’t be a decision that you make on your own, however. It’s important that you speak to your parents and see where their preferences lie. The more comfortable and involved in the decision-making process they are, the more smooth and successful the transition will be.

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