Key Differences Between Assisted Living vs Home Care
So you’ve decided that a little help might make a big difference in your life. That’s great! Honestly, too many of us have a hard time asking for help, so you should take a moment and congratulate yourself on taking the first step to improving your life and lifestyle.
Now that you’ve made the decision, what next? Keep reading for a deeper review of assisted living vs home care. We’ll look at levels of care, costs, and pros and cons of each option. We understand this is a big decision, one that hopefully will significantly improve your life. If you have any questions after reading this post, we’d be happy to answer them to the best of our knowledge.
Determining the Level of Care You Need
The first area you should investigate when considering assisted living vs home care is your expectations for the level of care you’ll receive.
We find it helpful to make a list of your needs in these seven areas:
- Home safety
- Medical needs
- Cognitive health
- Personal care/hygiene
- Meal preparation
- Social interaction
Make sure you think about your needs on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Once you have your list, be honest with yourself about the level of help and support you can realistically expect from family and friends. Remember, this is a long-term commitment.
Your list might already have you seeing a clear winner when it comes to assisted living vs home care. If not, let’s turn next to the question of costs.
Evaluating Your Costs
Take a look at that list you’ve made of your needs. If you just need occasional help, say less than 40 hours a week, home care may be the less expensive alternative. However, if you need memory care or dementia care help, cost may not be the best deciding factor. In this case, assisted living with a specific memory care option may be your best route.
Now let’s assume your list indicates that you require 40 or more hours of help a week. In that case, you will want to do an in-depth cost analysis of assisted living vs home care. Once you’ve taken a closer look at the costs, we can dive deeper into the pros and cons of each option.
Pros and Cons of Assisted Living Facilities
- Assisted living facilities offer affordable 24/7 supervision and care.
- Your level of care can seamlessly be increased if/as needed.
- You’ll remain as independent and self-sufficient as you want.
- You’ll enjoy daily opportunities to socialize and participate in activities and clubs.
- Your family and friends can focus on their relationships with you because they won’t be asked to be your caregiver.
- You won’t have to worry about additional home maintenance or housekeeping chores and costs.
- Staff may change, meaning one-on-one care may not be as personal or consistent.
- The quality of care you receive can vary depending on the staff (and the community you choose).
- If you require significant one-on-one care, you may still need to hire a private aide.
- Some people simply don’t enjoy living in a group environment.
Pros and Cons of Home Care
- You’ll stay in your home as you age.
- You’ll receive one-on-one care tailored to your needs.
- Costs can be lower if you need fewer hours of care or less skilled care.
- You and your family and friends are able to choose your caregiver.
- While you will be able to remain in your home, it may lead to social isolation, which can contribute to depression and cognitive decline.
- Your home may need to be modified with safety upgrades.
- Your in-home care won’t include housekeeping, grocery shopping, home maintenance and some personal care, which you will still need to do yourself or find additional help.
- You’ll experience high costs if you need 24/7 care.
- Your family will need to stay involved to help with hiring and managing your caregivers and planning backup care options.
Some Final Thoughts on Assisted Living vs Home Care
Home care is certainly a good option for some people. For others, Green Hills Manor at The Heritage of Green Hills provides personal care for those who want to continue living an active, independent lifestyle, but need a little extra assistance with daily tasks. In fact, our Well by DesignSM Home Care program gives our residents the best of both worlds by providing in-home support after an illness or hospital stay.
Whichever option you choose as you look at assisted living vs home care, start by doing your research. And, if you have any questions along the way, please give us a call. We’re always happy to help.