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How To Choose Home Care Versus Living In an Assisted-Living Community?

Aging brings a mature perspective on life, and it also brings numerous physical and cognitive changes that can make it challenging to live alone. For seniors who have lost their spouses, loneliness can have a significant impact on their mental well-being. As time goes on, seniors and their adult children face big decisions about what kind of help the senior parent may need. One major consideration for seniors – and their families – is whether to move into an assisted living facility.

The staff at Shady Oaks understand that making care decisions is never easy. Here is some helpful information for seniors and their families to consult when considering home care versus an assisted living facility.

Start by Assessing the Desired Level of Help

The decision of whether an older relative should remain at home with hired help or move into an assisted living facility starts with determining the desired level of help. Family members helping their loved ones to make this decision should keep in mind that they may be adamant about continuing to live alone, unassisted. However, this may not be the best course of action for their health or wellbeing.  It is still important to take these feelings into account.

Each person involved in the decision might compile their observations about specific tasks the older individual needs assistance with on a daily basis. After comparing lists, each family member needs to consider how much help they are willing and able to provide.

Consider seeking advice from friends, doctors, or other people who know this elderly individual well. After creating the lists and asking for input from other people in this senior’s social circle, it should be easier to determine whether they should live at home with hired help or move into an assisted living facility.

Consider the Budget

You may be surprised to learn that the average cost of one month of 24/7 in-home care is much higher than the monthly rent to live in an assisted living facility. Genworth, a marketing agency focused on senior care issues, conducted a survey on average monthly costs in 2020. The typical senior paid $23/hr for home care, and this does not include rent and meals. Meanwhile, seniors in assisted living paid a monthly average of $5.89/hr for care, rent, and meals altogether. Rates vary by location, but the big idea here is simple. Higher care levels are more expensive to manage with home care and less expensive within assisted living communities.

Pros and Cons of In-Home Care

From a senior’s perspective, the biggest benefit of hiring help is that they receive one-on-one assistance in their own home. They get to know the person caring for them, although turnover among home healthcare providers can be high. Seniors and their family members choose the caregiver themselves, and they can select only the services they need. These are the positive things about in-home care. Some downsides to consider include:

  • Home care aides cannot provide the complete package of aides, nurses, doctors, therapists, culinary experts, and recreation directors found in assisted living homes.
  • Cost may become prohibitive for seniors needing 24-hour care.
  • Seniors must continue to complete their housekeeping and home maintenance tasks or hire someone to do it for them.
  • The home may require expensive retrofitting to accommodate the older person’s decreased abilities.
  • Social isolation is a huge risk that can lead to depression, anxiety, or decreased overall health.
  • The family needs to remain involved with managing caregivers and other service providers, which can take a considerable time commitment.

The Benefits of Assisted Living

Assisted living is a communal living environment where seniors live in their own apartment and have continual access to nursing, housekeeping, and other services they need. Here are several other benefits associated with assisted living:

  • Supervision and care are available 24 hours a day from a complete team of caregivers.
  • The family does not have to worry about staff scheduling or covering staff call-outs.
  • Seniors have many opportunities for socialization, including activities and fitness classes.
  • Trained nursing staff who are prepared for residents who may need increasing care as time goes by.
  • Monthly rent is all-inclusive and covers rent, food, utilities, furniture, group activities, housekeeping, and more.

The Belanger family has owned and operated Shady Oaks Assisted Living more than 48 years. Shady Oaks is a small 23 room facility that offers individual attention and specific care for new residents to adjust. Please contact Shady Oaks to learn more about the facility or request a tour.