While in-home care options have advanced over the years, sometimes an assisted living facility is the most comfortable long-term choice to keep seniors safe.
Many older adults initially prefer to age in place at their current home, but this isn’t always an option.
To help you make the decision between assisted living services or at-home care for a senior loved one, we’ll dive into the key differences and benefits of each.
Assisted Living vs. At-Home Care: Understanding the Key Differences
While assisted living and at-home care are two popular types of care options for seniors, they offer different services to accommodate varying needs.
At-home care can include anything from a daily companion to a full-time caregiver.
Often, a caregiver is an adult child or other family member who will assist their loved one with the following:
- Organizing medications
- Driving to doctor’s appointments
- Grocery shopping and other errands
- Preparing meals
Many families also choose to hire a home health aide for their senior loved one to provide one on one care, and assist with daily tasks, personal care, or light housekeeping duties.
However, if a loved one has a progressive illness, over time their care needs will grow.
The greatest benefit to at-home care is that a senior can remain in their own home, and maintain their independence for as long as possible.
But if a senior is beginning to struggle with their activities of daily living (ADLs), it can be difficult to ensure they have the level of support they need at home.
Assisted living community
Traditional assisted living communities were previously known to offer only light support to residents, but many communities today offer a full spectrum of care.
This means that while more independent living services are available, as a resident’s care needs change over time, they can still remain in the same community.
The Kensington Redondo Beach, for example, has a specially trained staff of skilled medical professionals to provide all levels of care that seniors may need.
Many communities today also offer enhanced care options, including memory care.
This full spectrum of support includes tailored care options, on-site recreational activities and events, meal preparation, fitness and wellness programs, and more.
The goal is to provide true “aging in place” for residents, so they can have access to a loving home where all care needs can be met successfully.
How to choose what is right for your loved one
To determine the right option for your loved one, it’s helpful to evaluate their ADLs.
This is how many medical professionals determine the level of care a person needs.
Basic ADLs include these fundamental skills required to independently care for oneself:
- Personal hygiene
To evaluate a loved one yourself, take a look at their ability to move and walk independently, whether they can feed and dress themselves, if they are struggling with personal hygiene, or if they can use the bathroom on their own.
If your loved one is still able to care for themselves in many aspects, but is starting to struggle with moving around the home easily, cooking for themselves, or completing daily chores, it may be helpful to hire at-home support for the time being.
However, if your loved one is struggling in multiple areas and needs more support with daily tasks and organization, it may be time to move out of the home and into a community that’s easier to navigate.
From a financial perspective, it depends on how much support your loved one needs at home, and how much a family caregiver is spending on home modifications or other home maintenance.
Both options are centered on helping seniors remain as independent as possible — it’s up to an individual’s needs and the needs of their families to determine which option is best.
Assisted living communities help seniors live independently
While in-home care can be the right choice for many initially, sometimes our loved one’s care needs exceed what we or other in-home caregivers are able to provide.
The decision to move a loved one to an assisted living community can be difficult, and often is met with resistance.
Fortunately, while many seniors initially would prefer aging in place at their home, they often come to love their new community and enjoy the numerous social opportunities, less responsibilities, and overall comfort and convenience.
Senior loneliness and social isolation are real concerns that can result in serious health risks, including higher rates of depression, anxiety, heart issues, and dementia.
While a home companion can be a great comfort to seniors, at an assisted living community they have the opportunity to participate in a full calendar of events and activities with other residents.
Residents have social opportunities at every turn, both with other residents and with the loving staff that supports them with their daily activities.
Quality of life
Assisted living communities are focused on improving and maintaining quality of life for their residents, no matter what level of care they need.
They accomplish this by skillfully weaving professional medical care with overall health and wellness needs, including alternative types of therapy such as art, music, or pet therapy.
In a community setting, the services your loved one needs are available on-site.
For example, at The Kensington Redondo Beach, this includes:
- Nutritious, gourmet meals tailored to specific dietary needs
- On-site physician’s office
- On-site rehabilitation services and fitness center
- Specialized memory care services
- Beautiful outdoor spaces
Additionally, seniors no longer have to worry about taking care of a home, and are free to enjoy life in whatever way they now choose.
One of the biggest challenges with at-home care is navigating the safety of a loved one who struggles with memory loss.
Assisted living communities offer round the clock care, so residents always have access to the support they need.
At The Kensington Redondo Beach, residents requiring memory care have access to two specialized “neighborhoods,” Connections and Haven, that are designed for the safety and security of our residents with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
These cozy, intimate neighborhoods offer plenty of spaces for sunshine and fresh air, while also using wander management technology and adaptive designs to help with recognition.
Aging in place at The Kensington Redondo Beach
The Kensington Redondo Beach Promises to love and care for your family as we do our own.
With a beautiful balance of fun, fresh air, and access to the highest levels of care, we specialize in customized care that emphasizes independence and self-sufficiency as much as possible.
We believe there are many beautiful moments ahead for you and your loved one, and we want to help you treasure these moments.
Reach out to our team today to learn more about our loving community, schedule a tour, and tell us all about the unique needs and preferences of your loved one.