As people age, they often find themselves needing a little help with activities of daily living. Families may face difficult decisions when they must decide what form that help will take. While assisted living is the right choice for some, many older adults want to stay in their homes as long as possible. Homecare may be the solution for those who don’t want to move to a new place or facility.
What Is In-Home Care?
In-home care is when you hire a caregiver to come into the residence to help the older person with daily living activities. In-home caregivers may assist with preparing meals, transportation, getting dressed, toileting, and more. The most apparent advantage of in-home care is that it keeps the person safely living in the home. Here are a few of the other positives.
- The older adult gets one on one care that is specific to the needs.
- Costs are often less than assisted living, depending on how many hours of care and the skill level needed.
- The older person and the family get to choose the person coming into the home to deliver the care.
- Care comes from the same person each day rather than from multiple staff members.
- In-home care is more flexible than assisted living. The older adult and family may combine different care types, such as adult day programs, agency caregivers, and home health care, to meet the need.
What Is an Assisted Living Facility?
An assisted living facility is a community where seniors live in small apartments or individual rooms. In most assisted living facilities, care is offered in a range depending on the need to accommodate those who are relatively independent and those who need a great deal of care. The fees you pay to reside in an assisted living facility may include meals, transportation, activities, and housekeeping. Here are a few of the advantages of assisted living.
- If the older person needs round the clock care, assisted living may be less expensive than 24/7 care in the home.
- Assisted living lets family members continue to be spouses, children, and relatives rather than taking on a new role as a personal caregiver. The family also doesn’t have to worry about hiring and supervising caregivers.
- In an assisted living facility, residents have many opportunities to interact with others socially.
- The staff in an assisted living facility is already trained to provide many levels of care so that they can accommodate as needs change.
What Kind of Help Do We Need?
While everyone’s situation is different, there are some primary considerations when your family is deciding between assisted living and in-home care. The first question is, how much help does the older person need compared to what is available? The answer will likely be one of the deciding factors for your family.
The family will want to consider eight critical areas of daily living to assess how much help is needed.
- Medical needs
- Personal care and hygiene
- Family support
- Home safety
- Social interaction
- Cognitive and mental health
- Meal preparation
As you think through these areas, it may be helpful to list all of the tasks in each category that the older adult needs daily, weekly, and monthly. Be honest about how many family members, friends, and neighbors can help. It is easy to overestimate your availability when someone you love needs you, but overcommitting yourself will only frustrate you and the person you’re trying to help. Keep in mind that the conditions may be long term and indefinite. Once you have a list of the things that can’t be covered by family and friends, you will know what kind of help you’ll need from either assisted living or home care.
What Is the Financial Situation?
Once you understand how in-home care and assisted living work and what kind of help you need, you are ready to consider how to pay for the one you choose. Understanding each one’s costs requires research because so many factors are involved, such as needs, location, and how much the family can contribute. Even though it is difficult, it’s critical to understand what you can afford so that you don’t commit to something and then run out of money.
Where should you start? Here are a few steps to get you started.
- Call around to some assisted living facilities and home care agencies in your area. Prices can vary widely by geography, so it’s essential to contact facilities and agencies that you would consider using.
- Information is readily available online, but be cautious because this data may be unreliable.
- If you’re overwhelmed, consult a reputable financial advisor or accountant. You’re attempting to plan for the next five to ten years, so calling in a professional is wise.
Where Can I Learn More?
At Trusted Choice Homecare, we understand how important and stressful these decisions are to you and older loved ones. You want to make the right choice, the one that keeps your family member healthy, safe, and at home for as long as possible. Contact us today and let us help you walk through the many facets of your choices, including the CDPA program.
Featured Image: Shutterstock / Fizkes