Are you considering extra care for yourself or a loved one? Learn the differences between assisted living vs home care so you can make an informed decision.
In 2016, the U.S. was home to 48 million people aged 65 and older. Come 2050, experts estimate this number will jump to a whopping 88 million.
But here’s something more interesting:
Many of those within this age bracket are caregivers themselves. They’re already seniors, but they’re also looking after their aging parents. About 22% of adults 60 and above serve as caregivers to their parents.
Heartwarming, right? Indeed, it is. But as harsh as it may sound, it also puts a serious toll on the family members who act as caregivers.
This is where the case of assisted living vs home care comes into play. Whether it’s you or a loved one who needs looking after, help like this is available. They’re services you’d want to consider to at least ease the toll of caregiving.
But how exactly do they differ? We’ll cover that and more in this post, so keep reading!
The Lowdown on Assisted Living
An estimated 52% of American adults aged 65 and older are at risk of serious disabilities. These disabilities are severe enough they would need long-term care services and support.
Assisted living is an example of such services.
At its core, it’s a type of senior care service provided in a residence. It’s a long-term senior housing and care option, covering many areas, such as personal care. Other services include meals, help with medication, hygiene, and transportation.
These communities, in general, help seniors with their activities of daily living (ADLs). Aside from the above, there’s also help with daily bathing, toileting, and clothing needs. Experienced staff members and caregivers also help with meal preparation and management.
Help with shopping as well as basic medical monitoring are also covered. The staff also accompanies residents who want some entertainment, such as watching movies.
The housing facilities themselves have round-the-clock monitoring, supervision, and security. The staff delivers basic housekeeping and laundry assistance. Residents also enjoy exercise programs and other social activities.
Home Care 101
Home care is any type of care service letting people with special health needs keep living in their own home. In a lot of cases, the aging population is those who prefer this type of care. But it’s also a great option for those with chronic illnesses, disabilities, or had surgery.
It includes help with personal care, like hygiene (bathing or showering), and clothing. Home caregivers also help with household chores, such as laundry, cleaning, and gardening. Meal preparation and medication reminders are also part of this care service.
You can look at it as some form of “home assisted living”. You can enjoy many of the benefits of assisted living, but right in the comfort of your own home.
Assisted Living vs Home Care: When the Other is a Much Better Choice
When choosing between these two care services, your needs are the biggest consideration. How healthy and independent you are now play a huge role in your final decision. But, you also need to factor in your future health needs.
To help you figure out which is the better option, here are some sample situations.
For Seniors Who Want the Greatest Level of Independence
When choosing between home health care vs assisted living, consider your independence level. Say you’re part of the 90% of seniors who intend to remain in your own home within the next half-decade. In this case, then in home assisted care may be the better choice.
Keep in mind your level of mobility and current health, though. For instance, if you’re strong and fit enough you only need help with basic tasks. These may be proper meal preparation, household cleaning, and some errands.
At home care may be all you need in this situation. The same goes true if the help you need falls under non-medical care services. You get to stay in your home and have someone remind you of medication or help with transportation.
Home caregivers can do more than these, though. You can read more here for a more in-depth look at the pros of at home care.
If Companionship is the Main Priority
Many other people choose in-home care because all they need is companionship. These folks are healthy enough they can look after themselves. The only thing they lack is someone else to talk to or have fulfilling conversations with.
Keep in mind that people – especially those living alone – are at greater risk of loneliness. This can then lead to depression. You may be in good health now, but it’s best to have someone you can talk to on a regular basis.
For Elderly Adults Who Need Greater Supervision
Do you want independence but also need a greater level of support? If so, then an assisted living facility may be a safer choice. This is especially true if your needs require more than a few hours of monitoring or supervision.
This is also a good idea if your family members live too far from you. Your loved ones will feel more at ease knowing that you’re always looked after. This then gives them more chances to focus on their relationship with you.
Residents of assisted living facilities also have more opportunities for socialization. If this is one of your top priorities, then you may want to consider opting for this senior housing solution.
The Best Choice is the One Benefitting You and the Entire Family
As you make a choice between assisted living vs home care don’t forget to factor in your family’s needs, too. It’s possible they’d also want you to remain in your own home so they can spend more time with you. But they may feel more at ease if you live in a 24-hour supervised facility.
The bottom line is, base your decision on both you and your loved ones’ needs. Hold a family meeting and ask for their opinions. This way, everyone will have the chance to go over the pros and cons of both types of senior care.
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