Understanding the difference between assisted living and home care for seniors
If you’re trying to decide on the best approach to care for your senior loved one, you may be wondering what the differences are between assisted living and home care. The good news is, when it comes to care for older adults, families now have many flexible options to suit their specific circumstances. Perhaps you want your loved one to remain at home for as long as possible, or maybe they’re interested in joining a local senior living community.
In this article, we’ll discuss home care and assisted living to make an informed choice for you and your family. If you’d like more information about both options, please contact our senior care team at UMC today.
What is home care?
Home care is a general term that covers a diverse range of care services from home health aides, nurses, and doctors. The type of home care your loved one needs will be determined by their specific circumstances. Some of the most common types of home care include:
- Personal care and companionship. Many seniors who live alone are mentally and physically sound, but still require assistance with things like personal grooming, cooking, cleaning, laundry, medication management, reminders for appointments, and other tasks around the house. Home caregivers also alleviate loneliness by spending time with seniors and participating in their hobbies and interests.
- Private nursing care. Adults who have chronic illnesses, injuries, or mobility issues often require private nursing. This is long-term in-home care that includes monitoring vital signs, catheter care, ventilator care, feeding tube care, and care for diseases, injuries, or conditions.
- Home health care. This short-term care is overseen by a physician and designed to help someone recover from a hospital stay, an illness, or an injury. When someone is recovering from an operation or an illness, they may require physical therapy, speech language therapy, occupational therapy, and other related services.
What is assisted living?
Assisted living is a community-style living for older adults who no longer live at home. Senior living communities are often designed like regular apartment complexes, and residents have varying degrees of mobility and medical needs. Assisted living communities give families peace of mind because of around-the-clock on-site medical care, quick access to pain management specialists and other therapies, and other security measures to ensure their loved one’s safety.
Senior communities are full of vibrant, energetic residents who are free to pursue new hobbies and interests, spend quality time with friends, and enjoy visits from their family.
Evaluating Home Care Agencies and Assisted Living Communities
Choosing the best home care agency or assisted living community for your loved one is an important choice. First, we recommend involving your senior family member in the decision. They may express reluctance in the beginning, but be patient and persistent in reminding them that you care about improving their quality of life and ensuring their comfort.
Do your research online and read client reviews. You may also ask the home care agency or the assisted living community for testimonials and check with friends who have gone through similar situations with their loved ones.
Your local assisted living communities should offer tours, so you can have a look around and get a real idea of what it would be like for your loved one to live there. Take them along so they can ask questions and experience it first hand. Chances are it’ll be much better than they expect!