Assisted living versus staying home instead

As the largest generational group in United States history (until the millennial generation narrowly surpassed them), the Baby Boomers are those who were born between 1946 and 1964. Today, this influential group is reaching retirement age – and with it, new challenges emerge. One such issue involves losing independence, and in many cases, a need to make an important decision – should I choose using caregivers and stay home instead of going to an assisted living facility?

 

This decision is different for everyone, and each person must consider many factors when choosing what is best for them. There are many options and variations of care, but two of the most popular options are home care or assisted living.   

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WHAT IS HOME CARE?

Generally speaking, it’s non-medical help provided to someone in his or her home. It includes services such as assistance with activities of daily living – medication reminders, bathing, dressing, toileting – and household tasks such as cooking, light housekeeping and transportation to the grocery store, beauty salon or doctor’s appointments. Many families hire an agency, like Favor Home Care, that will send a caregiver to the home for a certain number of hours a day/week, depending on the person’s needs. Basically, care comes to your home instead of you going somewhere else to get it.

WHAT IS ASSISTED LIVING?

Assisted living usually covers activities of daily living, but the person needing care moves from their home into a new place. These locations are normally similar to apartments and typically have staff on site around-the-clock to help in the event of an emergency. Most offer meals, either in their room or in a communal dining area, and also offer activities for their residents. While these are all benefits, there is also less privacy and independence when someone lives in an assisted living community.

HOW MUCH CARE IS NEEDED?

Before making any decisions, it’s necessary to find out how much help you or your loved one needs and compare that with how much help is already available.

  • Make a list of everything you need help with on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Being able to see the whole picture helps you choose the correct level of care.

  • Be realistic about how much help your family, friends and neighbors will provide. It’s important to think about this in terms of long-term, ongoing help – a few weeks or months isn’t going to be enough.

After comparing those two together, you’ll have a better sense of the tasks you may need additional help with – anything that isn’t already covered. In some cases, looking at this list makes it obvious that staying home instead works best. In other cases, assisted living might be the clear choice.

PROS AND CONS

Both home care and assisted living have their pros and cons. In choosing the best option for you, you'll need to carefully consider your needs and preferences and weigh those against your financial resources and safety concerns.

 

HOME CARE

Pros:

  • One-on-one care tailored to needs and preferences

  • Ability to stay wherever you call home and age in place

  • Costs can be lower depending on hours of care needed

  • Greater level of continuity of care and companionship with minimal caregivers

Cons:

  • Considerable cost if 24/7 care is needed

  • Potential for social isolation, which can contribute to depression, cognitive decline, or health problems

  • Home may need modifications for safety or wheelchair accessibility

 

ASSISTED LIVING

Pros:

  • More affordable way to get 24/7 supervision and care

  • Opportunities for social interaction with other residents

  • Safety concerns less taxing on family

  • Level of care can be ramped up as needed because staff is already in place

Cons:

  • Care won’t be as personal or consistent as it is at home

  • If significant one-on-one care is needed, hiring (and paying out-of-pocket for) additional home care may also be necessary

  • May be evicted for a variety of reasons with little advanced notice

 

THE CHOICE IS YOURS

Now that you know more about home care and assisted living, the choice between them is probably becoming clearer. Hopefully this information will guide you toward the best fit for you.

 

If you’re still unclear of which option you should choose, keep Favor Home Care’s information handy. With the increase in Baby Boomers needing care, there may be a waiting list for the assisted living facility you’re interested in. Companies like ours can help in the transition. You may even discover during that process that staying home instead of moving into a facility is the better option.

Good luck during this journey! If you ever have questions, please reach out to us at 501-725-2273 or contact us via email.