The choice between assisted living or in-home care can be daunting.
Understanding key terminology can help in making informed decisions regarding what best meets the needs of your loved one and ways to help support their health and wellness as they age.
Our simple guide walks you through pros, cons, and essential considerations for your loved one’s circumstances, whatever they may be.
What are Assisted Living Communities?
Assisted living is housing that specializes in providing services for people needing various levels of personal and medical care. Assisted living homes can be apartments, individual rooms, or shared living quarters.
As the name implies, assisted living often offers services to assist with daily living. They provide a feeling of home and community and are set up to promote physical independence.
Some of the advantages of assisted living include having staff available to assist your loved one 24/7. Assisted living also provides the opportunity for your loved one to regain or maintain a level of independence that might not be feasible otherwise.
Assisted living communities often offer transportation to medical appointments, trips to grocery stores and shopping malls, as well as day trips and cultural and social outings.
What is In-home Care?
In-home care is just that, it’s care for a loved one in their private home. In-home care provides seniors the opportunity to age in their own homes. It can provide a sense of continuity and familiarity for seniors and their loved ones.
There are a few different types of in-home care providers, and understanding those differences can play into deciding what kind of care your loved one needs. As a loved one’s needs and challenges progress, the level of care and assistance needed may also change.
Caregivers are not medically trained professionals. Often the term ADL comes up with caregivers and the range of their responsibilities. Those letters stand for Activities of Daily Living. Caregivers can provide companionship, drive your loved one to appointments, prepare meals, assist with mobility and hygiene, and perform light housekeeping tasks and laundry.
Generally, compensation for caregivers is lower because they have not had the professional training and necessary certifications to provide nursing care. If more specialized care than a caregiver can provide is needed, a nursing care professional is another option.
Nursing care is designed to cover the medical tasks that legally must be performed by a licensed professional. Examples of care that can only be performed by a trained professional include measuring and recording vital statistics, changing catheters, changing IV’s, and administering intravenous medications.
Key Differences Between Assisted Living and In-Home Care
There are some wonderful advantages to both assisted living communities and in-home care. Determining a clear delineation between the two and the benefits and concerns associated with each can decide which to choose easier.
Benefits of Assisted Living for Seniors
- Access to staff for assistance 24/7
- Increased independence
- Able to join a thriving community
- Opportunity to socialize, engage, and connect, which improves quality of life
- Receive a high-quality level of care on a consistent basis
- Have the ability to customize living space to personal taste
- Family will not have to manage or schedule caregivers
- Family gains peace of mind making it easier to enjoy a relationship with their senior loved one
- Care can be adjusted quickly, as necessary compared to more limited in-home resources
- Remove the burden of maintaining a home and property
Concerns with Assisted Living for Seniors
- May not enjoy community living
- Less control over hiring staff
- Downsizing from a home
- Transitioning to a new location
Benefits of In-Home Care for Seniors
- Able to age in place
- Familiar surroundings
- One-on-one care
- Hiring autonomy for senior/ family
Concerns with In-Home Care for Seniors
- Lack of privacy in the family home
- Rarely 24/7 care
- Maintaining a consistent level of care
- Potential for social isolation
- Burdens such as home and property maintenance
- Burnout for family members caring for a loved one
- Structural safety modifications that have to be made
There are distinct advantages and disadvantages to in-home care or assisted living, but understanding what will work best for your situation needs to be weighed with the understanding of the needs of your loved one.
Assessing the Specific Needs of You or Your Loved One
Trying to reach the best decision for your specific situation can be challenging. Some general assessments are regularly relied on to determine if your loved one is in a position to safely and responsibly have in-home care.
If the areas listed below are consistently presenting issues for your senior loved one, it might be time to assess whether in-home care is best for everyone’s needs.
- Medication Management – Are medications being kept up with?
- Meal Preparation – Can they cook for themselves? Are they eating balanced meals?
- Safety and Mobility – Have there been falls? Can they safely navigate their home?
- Personal Hygiene – Are they bathing and grooming themselves?
- Transportation – Are they safe behind the wheel, or do they have some other mode of transportation?
- Socialization – Are they maintaining a social network? Are they leaving the house?
- Home Management – Is the interior and exterior of the home being maintained?
- Financial Management – Are bills being paid on time? Are there stacks of unopened mail?
These are general benchmarks for assessing where a loved one is, in terms of needing care assistance. It is also important to remember that as loved one’s age, their ability to perform these tasks might diminish.
As a senior loved one needs more assistance in these areas, a family may begin to essentially try running their own assisted living setup out of their own home. In addition to managing each family members’ lives, with children in school, careers, etc., the family takes on the need to also manage the senior’s house and yard work, medication, nutrition, activities, transportation, healthcare needs, and having to hire and fire in-home care resources as needed.
The decision between choosing assisted living or in-home care is deeply personal and varies from family to family. Even in the same family, the preferences can vary between individuals. Having an understanding of the differences between the options is a starting point in what will work best for your situation.
To learn more about our exceptional assisted living community at The Kensington Redondo Beach call us today for any questions or to schedule a tour. We promise to love and care for your family as we do our own.