Senior care – Home care or assisted living – pros and cons

As people get older, they often need more help with daily activities. Decisions about the best care for a senior can be difficult and often complicated. Here you will find help choosing between assisted living or senior care in their home.

The choice between professionally assisted living in a nursing home or relying on home care can be a painful choice for a senior’s family. There are pros and cons to both options and these should be carefully considered before any settlement is made.

One of the first considerations to make is why the care is needed and whether degenerative conditions can eventually reach a point where home care is nearly impossible.

If so, it may be worth considering an earlier transition to assisted living, when the senior in question can have some influence and power over deciding where to go and what services they would like to receive .

Some of the benefits of home care for seniors include their familiarity with the environment, the comfort of their belongings and space, and the ability to hire nursing staff who can make home visits when you are not available.

However, there are drawbacks, including the restrictions on family members who can take on many of the regular activities, such as cleaning and cooking. There are costs associated with hiring nursing staff and there are limits to when they are available to come into the home. If there are no family members around, it can be difficult to ensure that adequate care is provided and that the senior remains able to care for himself when alone.

There’s also the problem: what if the person in home care gets sick, quits, or just doesn’t show up one day?

The use of assisted living is an alternative if it is not appropriate to continue home care. A range of levels of care is offered, from very minimal to full care. If the family is located far from the senior, assisted living options provide an immediate benefit by always providing some degree of care and protection to the senior without the need for carers to be involved.

Care in retirement homes is often quite minimal, but the units offer a senior a helping hand in case of acute health problems. Most feature panic buttons in key areas such as the bathroom and living room, offering social activities while providing a sense of privacy. However, this lifestyle may become rather insular, with the senior less likely to venture outside the village. It really is a good first step in care, but it has to be appropriate.

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If your senior needs more specialized or regular attention, then high-level assisted living may be the option for them. This means living in rooms that can be single or shared, depending on the facility, and nursing staff with doctors on call available 24 hours a day.

In general, you need to look at immediate and projected future needs and decide which options will work both now and in the future. Often, families will initially work in home care for a period of time until it is no longer appropriate, but it can be important to have plans in place before the time comes to increase oversight and access to medical care.