Aging at Home Versus Assisted Living: Important Considerations
You may have planned to keep your senior loved one home and care for them yourself, but sometimes that can become challenging. Aging at home versus assisted living can depend on the amount of help they need and how much you, other family members, and home care staff can provide for them.
As we age, medical conditions arise, and our needs change. While some seniors may need minimal assistance, others need more. For instance, if your senior loved one requires minimal help and does not need around-the-clock care, aging at home could be a great choice.
Seniors who need assistance daily and who have medical needs may need more extensive support. In this situation, moving them to a comfortable, safe assisted living community may benefit them the most.
What are Assisted Living Communities?
An assisted living community is made up of rooms, or small apartments, for seniors. A senior can live within the community as independently as they are capable of, while still receiving help with daily tasks, such as personal care, housekeeping, and running errands.
Meals are offered to residents and can be brought to their rooms or they can enjoy communal dining to share a meal with other residents.
Assisted living also provides opportunities for entertainment and life enrichment. This is one way that assisted living communities give seniors a chance to socialize and avoid isolation. Socializing and staying active provides important engagement and connectivity opportunities, which help seniors maintain as much independence and quality of life as possible through sharp minds and staying mobile.
Another feature of assisted living communities is that while they give seniors a chance to remain independent, they can also provide health care, medical assistance, and staff on-site 24/7, in case of an emergency or a change in care needs.
What is In-Home Care?
In-Home care is precisely what it sounds like, care that a senior receives in the comfort of their own home. Many seniors prefer to age at home because it is familiar and comfortable to them.
When in-home care is needed, a senior or their family member will find in-home care services to provide the additional assistance needed. How much assistance a senior needs or how often depends on their medical condition.
Some seniors may only need their caregiver to come to their home and help them a couple of times a week, while others may need support throughout all hours of the day and night.
Common Services Provided By Caregivers
- Help with personal care
- Meal prep
- Medication reminders
- Running errands
- Physical or occupational therapy
- Medical needs
Key Differences Between Assisted Living and Home Care
Aging at home versus assisted living are both beneficial options to consider. It’s important to find the right fit for the senior’s situation and level of care needed. While in-home care and assisted living share some similarities, understanding their differences may help you decide on the type of care your senior loved one needs.
One of the main differences between the two is in the senior’s living arrangements. With in-home care, seniors remain in their homes. Whereas opting for assisted living would mean that they would move to a new home and community.
By moving to an assisted living community, a senior can receive around the clock care, to ensure their needs are met, and they are safe. This is not always an option with in-home care. Many in-home caregivers can only see a senior a few times a week, for a few hours a day.
Not all seniors need medical assistance, but those who do can receive it at an assisted living community. Health care and medical aid are not guaranteed with in-home care. The services of in-home care will depend on who you have been able to hire to help your senior loved one.
Cost is something to consider as well. Depending on the amount of care a senior needs, an assisted living community may be more cost-effective. The more assistance a senior needs, the more caregiving will cost.
Socializing is encouraged, and there are many social activities and events that seniors can participate in at an assisted living community. When seniors remain in their homes, there is always a concern for social isolation. In some cases, it may work well for them to socialize with family members at home.
With an assisted living community, it can be transformative to have a full schedule of activities offered, such as music therapy, rehabilitation, as well as friends and loving caregivers all immediately accessible in one location. This level of increased activity, socialization, and connectivity becomes more difficult at home when a senior can no longer easily leave the house as needed.
Assessing the Specific Needs of You or Your Loved One
If a senior needs minimal assistance and has a good quality of life, in-home care may be the perfect choice for them. But, when a senior is struggling to complete daily tasks and the amount of help they need increases, it may be in their best interest to move into an assisted living community. This way, they can receive more support and have a chance to live a more fulfilling life.
According to an AARP survey, 3 out of 4 seniors 50 years old and up prefer aging at home. While this may be ideal for some seniors, there may come a time where it is no longer beneficial or safe for them to stay in their homes.
The good news is that those seniors’ family members reported their senior loved ones grew to love their new home and community. So while the initial idea of moving may have scared them, they adjusted well and felt comfortable in their new homes.
The Kensington Sierra Madre Can Help
The Kensington Sierra Madre is here to support you, and your senior loved one. Our staff is compassionate, understanding, and would love to assist you in any way we can.
To learn more about some of our great features and resources, feel free to check out Kensington Konnect. Here you will also find how-to videos, online classes, virtual tours, concerts, and more.
Reach out to us today. We can help you decide if a transition to assisted living is the safest option for your senior loved one.
To learn more about our exceptional assisted living and memory care at The Kensington Sierra Madre, click below or give us a call today for any questions. We promise to love and care for your family, as we do our own.