Caregiving, Health Wellness, Senior Living

How Do Home Care Services Compare to Assisted Living?

A closer look at home care and assisted living can help you decide which is the best option for your loved one.

There are specific signs that let you know when an older loved one could benefit from extra support. You might notice an unkempt appearance, difficulty with home upkeep, changes in weight, challenges with mobility or driving, or increased moodiness. But what happens after you’ve noticed these changes? Do you look for home care or talk with your family member about moving to assisted living? Each option provides support with daily activities, but there are also significant differences between the two senior care choices. A closer look at home care and assisted living can help you decide which is the best option for your loved one.

What Is Home Care?

Just as the name implies, home care is provided in your loved one’s home by a hired caregiver. In addition to offering companionship, an in-home caregiver can help with non-medical tasks, such as:

  • Personal care, including bathing, toileting, dressing and grooming
  • Laundry
  • Light housekeeping
  • Meal preparation
  • Medication reminders
  • Shopping and other errands
  • Transportation

What Is Assisted Living?

Assisted living is a residential community where your loved one lives in comfortable housing with personalized support services designed to provide help with daily activities. Services and amenities vary depending on the community, but may include the following:

  • Three meals a day, with the flexibility to accommodate special dietary needs
  • Housekeeping and laundry services
  • Interior and exterior home maintenance
  • Transportation
  • Assistance with activities of daily living, including eating, bathing, dressing and toileting
  • Medication administration
  • An emergency call system
  • 24-hour access to trained care partners
  • Social, educational, spiritual and recreational programming
  • Access to on-site wellness services, such as physical, occupational and speech therapies
  • On-campus services, like a beauty salon/barbershop

Assisted living is a residential community where your loved one lives in comfortable housing with personalized support services designed to provide help with daily activities.

The Advantage of Assisted Living

An AARP poll found that 77% of adults over age 50 want to remain in their homes as they get older. Even as the ability to live independently declines, the comforting familiarity of home can make in-home care seem like the best option in senior care. However, assisted living offers numerous advantages that can make it the better choice in the long run. That’s because in assisted living:

  • You won’t have to manage your loved one’s care. With in-home care, you or another family member will likely need to schedule caregivers, check up on how they’re doing, and fill in any gaps in the schedule. If your loved one is in assisted living, round-the-clock support and supervision are taken care of. You’re free to simply spend time with your loved one, knowing that care partners will be responsive to any questions or suggestions you may have.
  • Home upkeep is taken care of. In assisted living, housekeeping and maintenance are provided, so you no longer have to worry about leaky faucets or lawn care at your loved one’s house.
  • No home modifications are required. As your loved one’s mobility declines, their home might need safety modifications, such as grab bars in the bathroom, a stair lift, or an exterior ramp. These modifications can be costly. Assisted living communities are designed to accommodate older adults’ changing needs, so everything they require to support their mobility and safety is already in place.
  • Social interaction is built in. Isolation can be a serious concern for older adults, especially as they become more dependent on just a few caregivers for companionship. Senior living communities bustle with activity and social opportunities. Instead of relying on one or two caregivers for camaraderie, your loved one will have new neighbors, friends, and care partners with whom they can share stories, laughs or comfortable silences.
  • Dozens of services and amenities enrich daily life. In addition to social opportunities, senior living communities open the door to numerous features that enhance daily life. Activities programming offers opportunities for lively engagement in community life, while features like raised garden beds and an activities center foster an active lifestyle.  
  • Costs may be more affordable. The cost of in-home care depends on numerous factors, including geographic location and how many hours of help your loved one needs. But as their care needs increase, you’ll likely find that assisted living is more affordable. The national monthly median cost of a home health aide in 2022 was $5,302 for 44 hours a week, while the cost of an assisted living community was $4,635 per month. When you consider that the cost of assisted living covers 24/7 support, meals, a comfortable residence, and an array of services and amenities, it’s clearly the more affordable option for long-term care. And consider this: If your family member needed a home health aide available 24/7, the national median cost would be a whopping $20,246 per month!

Explore Assisted Living at Oaks Senior Living

Your loved one will quickly feel right at home at Oaks Senior Living. Our person-directed approach and compassionate, committed care partners create a warm, vibrant setting that honors each resident’s unique strengths while providing the support they need to flourish. Contact us to learn more about assisted living here at Oaks Senior Living, or to schedule a visit at one of our communities.

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in how to partner with us, or have management questions—please contact us today.