Senior care is a multi-faceted responsibility that can be complex and confusing to understand and undertake. But as our senior citizen population continues to grow, more and more of us will either need that care or need to provide it, making a trusted eldercare placement agency like Senior Care Authority a valuable resource. This is especially true when family members are trying to decide between home care vs. assisted living for a senior loved one. Here, we’ll take a brief look at the two and what needs they fill, depending on those of your loved one.
Home Care: Allowing Seniors to Age in Place
Most of us see our homes as our sanctuaries, places that protect us and surround us with the people and things we love the most. It’s no surprise, then, that most seniors would prefer to age in place, to stay home for as long as they can, and live as independently as possible. For those elderly loved ones who are still relatively healthy and able-bodied but may need some help with activities of daily living (ADLs), home care may be the answer.
Home care means professional care providers come to the home of your senior loved one to help them with ADLs like personal hygiene, meal prep, transportation, and more. They also provide companionship for the elderly, who may feel isolated or alone. In-home care varies but generally falls into three categories:
Licensed medical professional care: help with medical attention, such as injections and wound care
Non-medical care: wide-ranging assistance with ADLs, food preparation, and companionship
Dementia support: help for seniors with progressive disorders. Examples include Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other conditions affecting cognition
Assisted Living: Living Independently Away from Home
Assisted living facilities, sometimes called residential care communities, allow seniors to live as independently as possible away from home while still receiving the companionship they may want and the help they may need with ADLs. Seniors may share a room with another same-sex senior (or a spouse) or choose to be in a private room if that is their preference. Amenities and services differ from location to location. While assisted living facilities don't typically offer constant supervision or medical treatment, they do offer 24-hour personal assistance for peace of mind. Caregivers help with bathing, dressing, medication management, meal services, and transportation as needed. Housekeeping and laundry are typically included in the cost, while care needs are determined by an assessment.
Assisted Living might be a good idea if your senior is mentally acute and physically healthy but maybe in need of some assistance with their activities of daily living or more companionship and social engagement than you are able to provide. There is also security in knowing that round-the-clock access to help is available.
When Is it Time to Think About Outside Help?
Anyone caring for an elderly loved one has probably thought about home care vs. assisted living and has wondered when the right time might be to decide between the two. Below are some questions to ask yourself that can help you decide whether or not outside help is warranted, and if so, what kind:
Is my loved one becoming unsafe in his or her home?
Are my loved one’s care needs beyond my physical abilities?
Am I becoming a stressed, irritable and impatient caregiver?
Am I neglecting work responsibilities, my family, and myself?
Would the structure and social interaction offered by outside help benefit my loved one?
Remember, you don’t need to make these important decisions alone. Relying on a respected eldercare placement agency like Senior Care Authority can help you identify options and make transitions easier! Let our experts help you navigate care decisions for your senior loved one.
To find out more about home care vs. assisted living, get in touch with Senior Care Authority today.