Pros & Cons: In-Home Care Vs. Assisted Living
When choosing the best care for you or an aiding loved one, consider these differences between in-home care and assisted living.
In-Home Care Pros
Home Sweet Home The relative independence that comes from receiving in-home healthcare makes this an attractive option for many individuals. Home-care is also an option that allows spouses to stay together when one requires extra care.
Variety of Care Options For patients requiring a small amount of help to keep life functioning smoothly, in-home care might be the best option. Care can range from non-professional care givers that may help with housekeeping and meal preparation to professionals such as health care aids and registered nurses. In-home care provides the flexibility to hire the best type of care for each individual.
Lower Cost In 2010, the average cost for a home health aide was $21 per hour. Homemaker services averaged $19. Hiring both a health aid and homemaker service for an hour a day is still less than half the cost of the daily average of $100+ for assisted living. Also, some in-home care programs are approved through Medicare.
In-Home Care Cons
Medical Help Many health conditions require more assistance than occasional check-ins. Home care agents may not have the technical training to help with all ailments or in emergency situations. As health conditions worsen or change, assisted living might become a better fit.
Isolation Living at home alone with deteriorating health can lead to loneliness and depression in aging adults. Unless the individual is living with or close to loved ones, the isolation may actually be detrimental to their health.
Assisted Living Pros
Peace of Mind In many assisted living homes residents enjoy a secure environment with 24-hour assistance, secured entrances, and wireless response systems. Because aging can make adults more vulnerable to theft and fraud, living in a secure environment can bring peace of mind to both them and their families.
Help with Medical Needs Well-staffed assisted living facilities are well-prepared to aid with numerous types of ailments- physical, mental, and emotional. Help is readily available for basic needs such as bathing, incontinence care, and taking medications.
Finding Community Assisted living can provide a sense of community at a time when many elderly individuals often feel isolated. Meals can be eaten in communal areas or in private. Various activities and programs give opportunities to interact with new friends and develop new skills.
Less Stress for Everyone Adults in assisted living homes can maintain a degree of independence living in their own apartment while not having to worry who will mow the lawn, make dinner, or clean the house. When family and friends visit, they have the freedom to relax and enjoy their time together.
Assisted Living Cons
Higher Costs In 2010, the average monthly cost for a single bedroom unit in an assisted living facility averaged $3,293. Medicare does not cover assisted living.
Size Makes a Difference Smaller assisted living facilities may lack the proper staff to help a resident as they transition into requiring more specialized physical or mental care. On the other hand, large facilities may be well-staffed, but can feel impersonal and lack the feeling of a home.