Deciding Between Assisted Living and In Home Care
There comes a time in many families lives where they need to make some tough and important decisions about their senior loved ones and their future care. Making sure a senior parent or family member gets the care they need during this time in their lives is very important, but it can also be quite difficult. One of the biggest decisions that families must make when it comes to their senior loved one and their care situation is whether assisted living or in home care is the best option.
This can be a complex decision and there is no one right answer, the correct solution is what works best for you, your senior loved one and your family. If you are trying to make this situation, here are some tips on how to help you make the right choice for you and your family.
Take a Realistic Look at How Much Care Your Loved One Needs
Make a list of everything this senior family member will need from their care. Be honest and realistic. It can be easy to sugarcoat things when making this list, especially if you want your loved one to be more independent. Go through every aspect of their day and life from bathing and dressing to transportation, medication management, social engagements, and special needs such as wound care. The more detailed your list, the better. Many times, looking at this alone will highlight what decision is best.
No one ever wants to think about putting a budget on their loved one’s care or needs, but a budget is necessary in most situations. Compare the costs of in-home care to an assisted living community. Even if a family member or loved one is providing most of the care, calculate additional expenses, utility, food and transportation costs to see how the two stack up.
Look at the Pros and Cons
Make a list of pros and cons of both assisted living and in-home care. There are pluses and minuses to each. For in home care, some of the pros include:
- Tailored care
- A senior’s ability to stay at home while they age
- An ability to choose the caregiver
- Flexibility in care arrangements
However, in home care also has its cons. It can be costly if 24/7 care is needed. It can place stress on the family, while putting the senior at risk for social isolation and loneliness. Many seniors are at risk of developing depression or cognitive decline when living alone at home.
For assisted living, the pros and cons are both strong as well. Some of the perks of this type of care include:
- Less stress on the family
- Family is able to focus more on relationships and less on scheduling
- Care level can change with the senior
- Often more affordable for those who need 24/7 care
However, home care isn’t are personal and the quality can vary depending on the staff. There are also many seniors who simply do not thrive in these types of care situations.
So, what is the right answer? It is up to you and your family. The most important thing to remember is that you need to look at the situation from every angle and make sure you are making a choice that works not only for your loved one, but for you and your family as well.
- Lori Thomas has decades of experience as a caregiver. Her writing for SeniorAdvice.com is informed by years of research as well as hands-on family experience caring for her now late mother, who had chronic health issues for most of her life. Lori is an integral part of the SeniorAdvice.com management team, acting as Vice President of Marketing and Chief Editor.
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