Deciding whether to choose assisted living or home care is tough, and many emotions come up which influence the decision-making process. When you realize that you or a loved one needs some outside help, which option will work better? The answer of course is different for each individual and family, but there are certain considerations that tend to come up again and again.
Two of the key features of assisted living facilities are that they’re designed so that seniors can be as independent as possible while remaining safe, and that they provide services in a cost-efficient manner (since they are shared by several or more people). On the other hand, home care has the undeniable advantage of the senior being able to remain in their home and/or with loved ones.
However, the coziness of home care can also be one of its disadvantages. Having someone in the household with such extensive needs can be a burden for others in the family. We all want to feel like we’re doing as much as we can for aging loved ones, but caregiver burn-out is a real issue. Remember that before you can help others, you must help yourself: if you’re stressed or feeling negative, the senior in your life isn’t getting the best help. Allowing assisted living to take on the chores of daily care may allow you to spend the time connecting with your loved one and enjoying each other’s company.
Another major issue that you should consider is the cost of the two options. Assisted living can be a very affordable solution that gives you a lot of value for your money. Just about all of life’s needs are taken care of in one fee: housing, food, utilities, housekeeping, and social activities, plus the care and assistance that helps the senior get through daily life. Many feel that a lot of worries have been taken off their shoulders when they move to assisted living.
With home care, though, you’re paying on an hourly basis. The average cost of home care in California is $20 per hour, so that adds up quickly even before you throw in other needs like food and housing. Since you are managing home care yourself, you’ll need to have a plan when a hired caregiver cannot come in due to illness or any other reason. This can be addressed by using an agency, but the agency will charge higher-than-average fees for the convenience of knowing someone will always be there.
Again, be sure to take into account your individual needs. There are some situations in which home care may be more appropriate. Before committing to one choice or the other, do thorough research on the actual cost and make sure you truly understand your options. Then this challenging decision may become a little more clear.