As we age, it can become difficult to maintain the quality of life we are used to without some form of assistance. But when it comes to senior care, it’s not always clear what living arrangement is best for an aging adult. With large numbers of Baby Boomers reaching retirement age every day, the options for senior care are becoming more rich and diverse. For some, the comfortable familiarity of senior home care is the number one priority, while others prefer the wealth of assistance options and provided senior activities of assisted living. Before you make your decision for yourself or a loved one, make sure you’re aware of the benefits and drawbacks of each care option.
Senior Home Care
Aging in place is an attractive choice for many seniors, but some daily activities such as driving, shopping, bathing, and housekeeping can require assistance. In-home care is one way to ensure reliable help for any tasks that may cause difficulty. An in-home caregiver can support seniors in keeping up with proper hygiene, exercise, and nutrition, as well as maintaining a clean and pleasant home environment. A caregiver can also be an excellent companion to a senior who chooses to age in place, as opportunities to socialize may be limited by mobility and availability of transportation.
However, senior home care services are all different, and may charge additional fees for certain tasks, or aren’t able to offer them at all. Since caregivers usually charge per hour of service, the cost of caring for a senior who needs help with many daily activities may become a burden for them and their families. Additionally, in-home caregivers usually cannot provide medical care, though they can assist with making and keeping appointments, and with medication reminders and administration.
In assisted living, communities are created with autonomy for aging adults in mind. With routine and medical care always available, seniors are empowered to maintain their familiar and ideal lifestyles. Not only is independent living easy, such as cooking favorite meals or working on hobbies, but assisted living also provides opportunities for being social with comfortable community spaces and a variety of senior activities. Seniors in assisted living communities typically keep their own schedules - and with so many things to do, that’s no small task!
Seniors and their families may dismiss assisted living out of hand as being out of their budget, but the option is more affordable than many believe, especially when compared to the long-term costs of in-home care. Care, living space, meal options, and activities are all included in the cost of an assisted living arrangement, whereas seniors aging at home need to pay for each of these individually. Making the decision to move from a familiar home full of memories can be painful, but the opportunity to continue living life with vigor in an assisted living community, surrounded by friends and loved ones, can definitely make it worth the choice.
Ultimately, the decision between in-home care and assisted living can only be made by a senior and their loved ones. Depending on the level of care required, the ability of family members to provide assistance, and medical needs, one option may work better than the other. Understanding the benefits of each can help you make the best decision to help you or your aging loved one live life to the fullest.