senior living options female caregiver with senior man

The Benefits of In-Home Care vs. Assisted Living Facilities

There are many things to consider when choosing a future for your loved ones. Take the time to do some research!

The traditional idea of elderly persons moving into nursing homes toward the end of their lives is fading fast. Seniors live longer these days and they want more options for how to spend their twilight years. Nursing homes have evolved into assisted care facilities, while in-home care has made a comeback thanks to specialized training and advances in technology. Choosing the best option for yourself or your loved ones requires taking some time to ask questions, to talk about difficult things, and to consider your options.

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Benefits of Assisted Living

senior living options in home care pouring her teaOne of the big benefits of assisted living facilities is 24-hour healthcare and monitoring. In-home care can provide this option, but someone who needs to be continually checked will find assisted living far more financially viable. Most insurances and health plans prefer patients with these conditions to be in a facility. If your loved one doesn’t need such attention, in-home care is often the more flexible and inexpensive option.

Safety is another area where assisted living might prove to be a better choice. Facilities are built with elderly residents in mind. Homes can be made safer with the installation of access ramps and specialty tubs, but these bits of equipment are already in assisted care facilities. They also have staff who have been trained to know what to do during slips, falls and other shocks to the system. In-home caretakers can handle these mishaps as well, but having medical staff on-hand in case things get serious makes assisted living facilities a good choice to protect against permanent damage.

As the human body ages, mobility becomes a challenge. There are the classic aches and pains, but seniors also find it more difficult to drive or use public transportation to help with daily needs. Assisted living has staff devoted to fixing these problems. Physical therapy and local activities get seniors up and out of their beds and chairs to keep bodies strong. For transport issues, bus drivers and daily activities get residents out of the facility and out into the world for fun activities and trips. Many assisted care facilities offer socialization options for their residents. Some facilities consider this part of holistic healthcare, but others know that isolation can be just as must of a challenge to senior health as more chronic issues.

Benefits of In-Home Care

Overall, in-home care has lower costs than most assisted living facilities. Private and semi-private rooms can cost as much as $85,000 per year according to this study. Home care costs run around half this number. Besides that, in-home care providers have more flexible pricing and a la carte options. Home care providers can tailor their care to the patient rather than the one-size-fits-all approach of many care facilities.

Personalized care allows an in-home provider a chance to get to know the patient as well as their family and friends. It goes beyond just knowing what specific illnesses and issues a patient has. Personalized care allows the care to integrate into a routine rather than making a big change or a big move, or other such activities that happen when moving into a care facility. Many seniors want to continue living the lives they’ve led in the home that they’ve owned for years. In-home care provides the care these seniors need without as much disruption.

Technological improvements have also made in-home care an easier solution. Smartphones, video chat and other advances make it easier for families to stay in touch and they also help providers react in real time to requests and patient needs. Many in-home providers use a variety of technological solutions developed by the senior care industry to track medications and other important parts of everyday care. Apps aren’t just for frivolous entertainment. They can send texts and other updates to a family member’s phone about a loved one’s health and status. Programs like this provide excellent peace of mind for family members who can’t live near their loved ones who require care.

The upswing of all this is the big advantage of in-home care: more independence for everyone. Seniors stay in their home and keep their lives on the same track. Family and friends can go on with their lives knowing their loved ones are in good hands. In-home caretakers provide information and updates with a quick text or message and leave time to build relationships with their senior friends to gain a better sense of what they need day-to-day.

Seniors have two main choices for care. If they chose assisted living, they’ll get 24-hour monitoring from healthcare professionals. They’ll live in a safe facility that will protect them from hazards that can affect their quality of life. They can count on others to help them get around, whether its small obstacles or big day trips to important places. They can even look for trend-setting facilities that have focused on providing a homier atmosphere, allowing seniors to live & socialize as they did in their own homes. In-home care offers different strengths. The costs are more flexible and scalable to financial situations. Personalized care allows caregivers to really learn about their patients and customize care options like few can. Technology allows constant communication and updates between caregiver, resident and stakeholders. These elements combine for the independence that most seniors want in their retirement years. The important part of the choice comes in discussing these options early and often so everyone knows your senior’s wishes.

Care in the Home” courtesy of Flickr user British Red Cross and licensed under CC by 2.0.

Featured Flickr image courtesy of licensed under CC by 2.0.