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5 Different Types of Senior Care to Consider


Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman


May 16th, 2022

As a family member or caregiver of an aging loved one, there are likely two types of care for the elderly you’re exploring: options for elderly care at home and care homes for the elderly.

However, there are many different types of senior care available. 

If your loved one has dementia, it may be time to consider memory care assisted living. If they are diagnosed with a serious illness, palliative care is a great option. For loved ones at the end of their life, hospice care will help them comfortably minimize symptoms while a hospice caregiver affirms their life. 

In this article, we won’t cover an exhaustive list of all of the options for senior care at home. Choosing one of the many elder care options can feel overwhelming, so we’re only listing five types of care for the elderly that we think are most helpful.

Before listing the types of care for seniors, we’re starting with the basics: What is elder care?


In-home elder care solutions in Charlottesville, Richmond, Williamsburg, VA and Charleston, SC.

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What is Elder Care?

Elder care is an umbrella term for specialized services intended to help older people live as comfortably and independently as possible. Examples of elder care range from transportation, meal preparation, and cleaning to higher levels of medical care.

At Commonwise Home Care, we offer three primary categories of elder care:


Personal Care

For seniors who are struggling to perform activities of daily living, we offer personal care services. Our Care Team can provide support in various ways, from personal hygiene, dressing, and feeding to assisting with transfers and ambulation.


In-home Elderly Care

In-home caregivers offer customized support such as total care, Alzheimer’s care, and post-surgical care. In-home care is a wonderful way to support an aging loved one with unique needs and may even help them maintain a level of independence as they age.



For older adults, living alone can increase their risk of loneliness, potentially leading to the development of a mental illness. A companion caregiver can help your loved one around the house or simply be a friendly presence, keeping them company throughout the day.

Now that we’ve discussed elder care, let’s jump into five general types of care for the elderly.


5 Types of Care for the Elderly


1. Living With a Family Member

Often, caregiver options for seniors start with family members. Family-provided elderly care in the home can happen in a few ways:

  • Senior loved ones continue living independently while a family member provides regular assistance.
  • The aging family member moves into an on-premise mother-in-law suite.
  • The elderly adult moves in with another family member.

However, moving in your aging family member requires a lot of contemplation. You will need to consider your relationship with them, financial situation, their personal and medical requirements, level of independence, etc.

This may be a good option for some families, but certainly not for everyone. If your mother currently lives with you and it’s not working out, read our blog: Caring For Parents In Your Home: How To Deal With An Elderly Parent Who Is Demanding.


2. Adult Daycare

Adult day programs offer older adults a social, structured environment to participate in during the daytime. 

Adult day cares are particularly good options for seniors who don’t require around-the-clock care. These programs allow family members to continue holding a 9-5 job, knowing their loved one is in good hands during the workday.

Studies show that older adults who enroll in these elderly care facilities experience a higher quality of life. Adult day cares can remedy loneliness through social interactions and provide psychological and behavioral benefits, especially to those with dementia.

Depending on the level of care your loved one requires, enrolling them in an adult day care may be just what you and your elderly loved one need.


3. Elderly Care Facilities

Elderly care facilities are a sensitive topic for many families. Assisted living facilities typically have a negative connotation associated with them. However, they can be a valid and incredibly beneficial option for families with aging loved ones.

Assisted living facilities can actually be transformative for aging adults. They will likely make new friendships with people their age, discover new hobbies, become more active, and enjoy amenities they wouldn’t have otherwise.

The downsides to elderly care facilities are the price and the low ratio of staff to elderly adults. The cost is usually high based on location, type of living space, and any regular care requirements—with an added cost for memory care. These facilities often have a 12:1 ratio of clients to caregivers, meaning your loved one may not get the one-on-one care they might need.

If you’re considering an elderly care facility for an aging adult in your life, make sure you process the decision with them before moving forward. 


4. Live-in Care

At some point, aging adults will need more assistance than you can provide. Whether your loved one lives with you or not, live-in care is a great alternative to an elderly care facility

Live-in care is when a professional caregiver moves into your home or the home of your aging family member. One prerequisite is that the live-in caregiver must be given a place to sleep and 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep in a 24-hour period.

While live-in caregivers live in your loved one’s place of residence, they only provide care for 16 hours per day. In addition, a new elderly live-in caregiver relieves the existing caregiver every few days—meaning, there’s no consistency in who’s providing the care.

If daytime hours are when your elderly loved one requires the most care, then a live-in caregiver is a good option. However, if you want around-the-clock care, 24-hour home care is a better alternative.


5. 24-hour Home Care

One of the best types of care for the elderly is 24-hour care. 24-hour elderly home care is also known as “full-time home care,” “24/7 home care,” or “overnight care.”

Unlike live-in caregivers, 24-hour caregivers don’t live with older adults or require a private space. One of the biggest differences between live-in care and 24-hour care is that 24-hour caregivers don’t sleep on the job. Overnight caregivers work 8- to 12-hour shifts, staying alert while caring for your loved ones around the clock. 

24-hour home care for seniors gives family members peace of mind knowing that their loved one is continuously receiving the specialized care they need.

Whether an aging adult in your life just had surgery and needs around-the-clock care, or suffers from an ongoing condition such as dementia, consider 24-hour elderly care in the home


Discover Your Options for Elderly Care at Home

Now that we’ve discussed five types of care for the elderly, how do you determine which one is the right fit?

At Commonwise Home Care, we can help you find the best solution given your situation, and your aging loved one’s needs. Our experienced care managers provide families like yours with comprehensive support and guidance. 

From coordinating home health services to navigating long-term care insurance, we’re here to serve you.

In addition, we offer a care management tool called “Family Room.” This web platform allows clients and their families to track our care relationship by:

  • Staying informed about scheduled care.
  • Reviewing caregiver assignments.
  • Checking care logs and shift tasks.

You can also pay electronically for care using Family Room by setting up auto-pay, splitting a bill, and viewing past invoices. Our goal is to make the home care process as easy and stress-free as possible.

You have enough on your plate—let us help share the load. Contact our Richmond, Williamsburg, Charlottesville, or Charleston office to speak with a Care Advisor today.


In-home elder care solutions in Charlottesville, Richmond, Williamsburg, VA and Charleston, SC.

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