How to Decide Between In-Home Care or Assisted Living

Senior man sitting at table, adult daughter serving food

Should your loved one receive care at home or in an assisted living community? This is a decision that many children of senior parents struggle with. Is mom independent enough to remain at home with weekly assistance? Does she have a medical issue that may make living home alone a challenge in the future? Before making a final decision on mom or dad’s care, it’s important to look at the pros and cons of each option. Our team of in-home caregivers in NJ have put together an overview of what to expect regarding in-home care vs. assisted living. 

What is assisted living all about?

Assisted living communities are a good option for seniors who are fairly independent but require some help when it comes to daily tasks like organizing medication, preparing meals, bathing and dressing. It’s a communal way of life that combines private, apartment-style living with access to hotel-like amenities, such as gardens, dining rooms, salons and fitness centers. With assisted living, seniors benefit from having a private apartment that is designed with safety in mind. For example, there are no stairs and grab bars are installed in the bathroom. Along with a spacious apartment, residents enjoy a lively social calendar filled with engaging community events, fitness classes, social gatherings and more. 

Care at an assisted living community is usually tailored to the resident’s individual requirements, allowing them to stay as independent as possible while still having easy access to professional healthcare, housekeeping services, therapists, and more. The care services are designed to scale as different health or personal needs emerge. Adjusting the level of care can be easily done at an assisted living community because medical professionals and associates are on-site 24/7. 

Assisted living is a good option for seniors who feel isolated or lonely, who enjoy being a part of a community, or who are comforted in knowing that help is on-site and easily accessible whenever they may need it. For seniors who need temporary accommodation after surgery or illness or seniors who have dementia or another chronic health condition, assisted living is more than a viable option that combines care, companionship, and community.

How does in-home care for seniors compare?

In-home care for seniors is a little different, as seniors stay in their own homes rather than moving into a community with varying levels of care. Instead, caregivers come to the home to provide assistance, ranging from full-time and nursing care to light housework, meal prep, and companionship. 

The main benefit of in-home care is that your loved one is able to stay in familiar surroundings – in their family home, in the community they know, with no dramatic changes to their current lifestyle. It’s a great option for seniors who are still independent, who are very attached to their current community and lifestyle, or who would like to remain at home for the rest of their lives. 

It is also a very useful service for assisting family caregivers. Professional home health aides can provide medical care (wound care, nursing, medication management, etc.) that is beyond the skills of a family caregiver. They could also more accurately monitor health conditions to provide more specialized care and peace of mind. For active seniors and couples, in-home care can be a great stepping stone towards more comprehensive assistance that may come at a later stage. 

If your loved one finds the idea of moving into assisted living too difficult, or the move would be too unsettling for the family, in-home care can work as an effective compromise to balance care needs with independence.

In-home care for NJ seniors from United Methodist Communities HomeWorks

Choosing between assisted living and in-home care is all about finding the right fit for your parent’s care needs, personal preferences and budget. As part of the United Methodist Communities network, HomeWorks is designed to provide seniors with expert in-home care and companionship in New Jersey. Our services can be customized to each client and are provided by experienced home health aides who have a passion for working with seniors. 

To find out more about in-home care services for NJ seniors, please contact us today or visit our website at: 

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