Deciding between in-home care and an assisted living facility can be a hard decision. Ultimately you want yourself or your loved one to receive proper care whether at home or elsewhere. So how do you know which one will work better for you?
Assisted Living Facilities
Assisted living facilities are a short-term option best suited for individuals who require very little senior care daily. They allow individuals to remain independent, which means that they usually only provide residents with some help in accomplishing tasks such as organizing medications and transportation, but they do not offer full-time long-term care. Keep in mind that any care needed longer than 2-3 years, or any specialized care like behavioral or cognitive impairments, would require either a nursing facility or in-home care. These facilities currently house approximately 1.2 million residents in the United States.
Services & Living Arrangements
As mentioned before, assisted living facilities can help you with tasks like organizing medication and transportation, however there are also several other services included. Residents can get daily assistance with housekeeping, excise, dining, dressing, and social/religious activities.
You will find that most assisted living facilities house their residents in their own private or semiprivate apartments. These can also be furnished or unfurnished and include a kitchen area and bathroom. Residents maintain their independence here and are encouraged to socialize with people in and out of the facility, manage their own finances, and have a right to privacy. Third party care is also allowed.
In-home care allows seniors to age in the comfort of their own home, and they are best for those who want to stay home, but do not have family or friends that can stay with them and provide ongoing care. In-home caregivers can provide care that ranges from as little as two hours, to as long as 27/7 or live in care. It is also important to note that there are two types of in-home care: medical and non-medical.
Medical Vs. Non-Medical
One of the biggest differences between medical (also referred to as Home Health Care) and non-medical in-home care is the level of care that can be offered. Non-medical care includes services like companionship, laundry, light housekeeping, meal preparation, medication reminders, shopping/errands, transportation, and personal care. Home Health Care on the other hand includes services like wound care, monitoring vital signs, physical therapy, and monitoring of medical equipment.
Some agencies may provide both medical and non-medical care services, or just one. You should also keep in mind that a medical in-home care company may be able to provide non-medical services, but a non-medical in-home care company cannot provide medical services.
Ultimately, several factors like cost and level of care will determine whether in-home care or an assisted living facility will work best for you or a loved one. Some things to keep in mind are: Will family be there to help? Do you (or your loved one) prefer to stay at home? How much care is really needed? Try to make this decision as a family if possible, as you want everyone to be on the same page. Again, this decision is never an easy one, but if you can sit down and compare pros and cons for each option, then you will have a better idea of what works best in your situation.
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