Assisted Living vs. In-home Care: The Pros and Cons
When your parent or spouse needs more assistance than you can give, many families face a difficult choice: assisted living vs. in-home care. Choosing between the two is a complex decision with many variables, but you should make sure to include your elderly loved one in the conversation.
In this blog, we compare in-home care vs. assisted living facilities, breaking down each so you can make an informed decision for your family. Let’s begin by defining our terms.
What Are Assisted Living Facilities?
An assisted living facility is an establishment for people who cannot or choose not to live independently. Most residents are mobile adults over the age of 65 that live in small rooms with a bathroom and maybe a small kitchenette (no stoves) and share common areas.
Unlike nursing homes, assisted living is designed for those who need very little elder care on a daily basis but aren’t totally independent.
Some services offered at assisted living facilities may include:
- Three meals a day
- Assistance with personal care
- 24-hour security
- On-site staff
- Transportation services
- Health and wellness programs
- Social and recreational activities
Assisted living communities enable residents to retain their independence without compromising their safety. They uphold a resident’s right to privacy, autonomy, and dignity while promoting community and family involvement.
What Is In-home Care?
In-home care is when a caregiver provides personalized, one on one care in your own home – wherever you call home. Home care agencies offer a range of services, from companionship to elder care management. Caregivers help seniors with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as:
- Household chores
It’s no secret that most seniors prefer to age in place, but what do their adult children think?
A national survey concluded that nearly 85% of baby boomers and Generation Xers prefer that their parents and loved ones age at of at a professional senior care facility. In-home care improves seniors’ quality of life in comfortable surroundings while offering peace of mind and respite to their families.
In-home Care vs. Assisted Living Facilities
Before deciding whether in-home care or assisted living is right for your elderly loved one, you must evaluate a few things.
1. Determine How Much Help Your Loved One Needs
Be honest with yourself and your loved one: How much help do they require?
Start by making a list of everything your loved one needs help with daily, weekly, and monthly. For example, they may need daily help taking a shower to prevent falls or weekly help picking up groceries. In addition, every month, they may require assistance with bill pay. This list will give you a clear picture of what type of care is necessary.
Be realistic: How much can you and your family or friends help? Think about the long-term, not just what’s possible to keep up for the next few weeks or months. Your loved one may need ongoing care for years, so keep in mind the big picture here.
After comparing the list of their needs and what you can help them with, you’ll know how much additional support is needed. Don’t forget to include them in this conversation. Your loved one may adamantly want in-home care, and that desire shouldn’t go unacknowledged.
2. Consider the Pros and Cons
Let’s look at assisted living vs. in-home care, evaluating the pros and cons of each.
In-home Care Pros
- Seniors get personalized, 1:1 care
- Seniors get to remain in the comfort of their (or a relative’s) home
- Flexible care arrangements (i.e., different types of care can be combined to lower costs)
- Depending on the level of care required, in-home care can be cheaper
In-home Care Cons
- If 24/7 care is required, it’s expensive
- Families need to coordinate care
- Seniors’ homes may require modifications for safety
- Seniors may feel socially isolated
Assisted Living Pros
- 24/7 care is easily accessible and more affordable
- Families don’t have to coordinate care
- Residents have ample social opportunities
Assisted Living Cons
- Care won’t be as personalized
- Quality of care varies depending on the staff
- Seniors may not enjoy living in an assisted living environment
Now that you know more about in-home care vs. assisted living facilities as it relates to pros and cons, it’s time to consider the cost of assisted living vs. in-home care.
3. Evaluate the Cost of Assisted Living vs. In-home Care
According to the Genworth Financial Cost of Care Survey (2021), in-home care costs an average of $4,957 per month (44 hours per week). However, the monthly median cost for assisted living nationally totals $4,500, making it slightly cheaper than in-home care.
Note that this is a national average; costs will undoubtedly vary state-by-state. Additionally, providers and facilities in the same area may charge different prices, so compare the costs of a few to find the best value.
To get the most accurate cost for in-home care, request to speak with a care manager from a trusted home care agency who can help you navigate the nuances of elder care.
In-Home Care, At Your Service
Whether you want your elderly loved one to age at home or relocate to an assisted living facility, it’s vital that they receive the best care possible. At Commonwise Home Care, our compassionate caregivers help maintain the highest quality of life for older adults wherever they call home.
We offer multiple care solutions, from 24-hour in-home care to memory care for those with dementia living in nursing homes. We also provide care management services to guide families and support their aging loved ones by coordinating healthcare, advocating during acute stays, and even helping with long-term care insurance.
If you have additional questions about in-home care or are ready to get help for aging parents, we’d be honored to serve your family in whatever ways we can. Speak with a Care Advisor today to learn more about how Commonwise can partner with your family.