Assisted Living Vs. At-Home Care For Seniors

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Do you have an elderly loved one at home? There comes the point in time where you may need to think about getting some extra help with their care. The first two things you will probably check out on this journey is at home care and assisted living. So the question is, how do you choose?

When It’s A Good Time To Look For Help

Before you start reading brochures of facilities and background checking caregivers you let into your home, you need to know at what point is this needed for you and your family? There are a couple of red flags that can happen that may indicate taking further steps in caring for your elderly loved one.

  • Your loved one is becoming angry, violent, or mean taking an emotional toll on the family
  • It is difficult for your loved one to perform daily tasks
  • What your loved one’s needs are exceeding your physical and mental abilities
  • Their condition is beginning to disrupt family routines
  • Your loved one is beginning to wander
  • You and your family are experiencing symptoms of burnout like avoidance behaviors, hypervigilance, or intrusive thoughts

Assisted Living Or Stay At Home Care?

If you nodded your head a couple of times while reading those red flags, now it comes down to which option would be better for you senior? Both options do similar things, but each has their own pros and cons to consider.

Pros Of Home Care

At home care is when you get a qualified caretaker to come to your home to help with daily tasks as well as helping with medication. There are a couple of good reasons to choose this option.

They Get To Stay At Home

There is something about the comfort of our own home that makes life easier. Some elderly patients can get confused and scared when they wake up in an unfamiliar place, and this can help them avoid that fear.

It Can Be Cheaper

If your loved one doesn’t need 24-hour care, this option could be cheaper. If they are able to perform many tasks but need assistance in just a few areas, you can come up with a plan that fits you and your loved one best to meet the most reasonable price.

Allows Them To Stay With Family Members Who Don’t Need The Same Care

This is similar to being able to stay in your own environment, but being able to stay with family is a big enough benefit to have its own section. For couples, this is a great option for when one spouse needs care and the other doesn’t. Being around family and people who love them can also be a great benefit to your elderly loved one’s mental health.

Maintain Independence

While many assisted living centers strive to give their residents independence, there is more opportunity to exercise this independence at home. Having an at-home caregiver can give you and your elderly loved one more control over the routine to make sure to maintain this independence.  

You Get Choices

When you look for a caregiver, you get to choose who takes care of you. In an assisted living center, you have a full faculty that you don’t have much control over. Being able to choose who takes care of your loved one gives you the opportunity to have more control over positive outcomes. You can also become comfortable with this person like they are family because you see them on such a regular basis.

You Can Be Picky About Your Medication

If your loved one is taking medication, they have more control at home at what they can and cannot take. Especially in this time where many professionals are still uneducated about the impact of medical marijuana, having an at-home caregiver can give you and your family more leeway to medicate the way you see most beneficial.

Cons Of At Home Care

May Be Intrusive

If your family doesn’t like house guests, this can become suffocating. Having someone in the home performing daily tasks for your loved one and being close and intimate with the family may become overbearing for you and your family.

Can Be Costly

If your loved one needs 24-hour care, it can be a bit more expensive than signing up for assisted living. Especially if they need to perform specialized care, stay at home care might not be the best option for your wallet.

Requires Continual Family Involvement

What if your caregiver needs to go on vacation or gets sick? You need to have a backup plan and ways to get around the routine shifting. This could be stepping in while they are away or finding a new caregiver that you feel comfortable with coming into your home and taking care of someone you love.

Can Lead To Social Isolation

At home care can provide a safe bubble that your loved one chooses not to leave. They can find themselves staying in and having their caregiver going out to pick things up for them causing their social life to die out slowly.

You May Need To Modify Your House

If your loved one has recently become wheelchair bound or needs certain attachments added like rails, having them stay with you means you need to get started on some construction. For tips on how to help prevent falls in your home, check out this article.

Pros And Cons OF Assisted Living

Assisted living is a place where your loved one can go to have a trained staff help them with daily activities as well as help them keep track of taking medication. Every assisted living center has their own lists of pros and cons because they are all different, but there are some general similarities to think about when making this decision.

Pros Of Assisted Living

Can Bring Spouse Along

Some assisted living centers allow for seniors to live alone or with their spouse. If their spouse also needs care, this is a great option because they can both receive it in the same building. If the spouse doesn’t need intensive care, they can still live in the facility and utilize what the center has to offer when they need it.

Be A Part Of A large Community

Seniors in assisted living programs are surrounded by people who knew where they were during big events, remember the days of walking through snow uphill both ways to school, and can complain along with their friends about how their dentures don’t fit. Having a community that you can relate to can help with social skills as well as keep seniors from becoming isolated.

Helps Keep Seniors Mobile, Active, And Safe

Many assisted living centers have fun programs for seniors to participate in that keep them active without pushing their limits. They also have activities that help with cognitive skills like with art or music. And all of this is done in a safe environment.

24-Hour Support

In the middle of the night, your senior has the ability to have someone help them go to the bathroom or help them if they fall. One great thing about assisted living centers is that your elderly loved one can have care around the clock. And it is also often more affordable for people who need 24-hour care to go to assisted living centers as opposed to at-home care.

Less Burden On The Family

The assisted living center takes care of schedules, caregivers, medicine, and all of the things that you and your family would have to take care of at home. This gives you the opportunity to instead focus on building and maintaining a healthy relationship with your loved one.

Can Easily Increase Care

If your loved one needs more than just someone cutting up their veggies, it is very simple to increase the amount of care they need. The assisted living center can also help you determine whether or not the next best step is to move your loved one into a nursing home or not which offers a lot more support.

Cons Of Assisted Living Centers

May Have To Share A Room

Some assisted living centers give patients an entire room to themselves equipped with their own bathroom and kitchen. Others may have your loved one sharing a room with someone else. Your loved one may hate this idea, but luckily this isn’t with every facility.

Less Privacy And Independence

Assisted living centers try to give their community as much independence as they can offering transportation and giving the residents the ability to make their own decisions and do their own thing. However, living in this place can take away some independence from people who aren’t used to living somewhere that isn’t their own home.

One On One Care Is Less Consistent

With assisted living centers, you have an entire staff that is taking care of your loved one. Like most places of employment, some people are better at their jobs than others. This can cause strain when the level of care isn’t as consistent as your loved one would prefer.

Not Everyone Enjoys A Group Environment

Extroverts may thrive in this environment, but people who are drained by others may find that this isn’t the right fit. While of course they can stay in their room and have the option to see others and to stay alone, they may find the number of people in the building and common areas to be overwhelming.

You Can Be Kicked Out

When you are getting care at home, you can’t get kicked out. Yes, a caregiver can leave, but you can always just find a new one from the comfort of your own home. In an assisted living center, you can be removed for various reasons and with very little notice.

 

Have you recently decided on whether or not to put your loved one in an assisted living facility? We would love to hear how you made your decision in the comment section below!

 

Sarah Potts

Sarah Potts has been writing about the wonderful benefits of cannabis for CBD Instead since 2017. Medical cannabis has changed her life and her goal is to show others how it might help them as well.

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