An Important Choice for Seniors: In-Home Care vs. Assisted Living

Aging requires all of us accept change. For some seniors, this means accepting that we can’t do what we used to do. For others, it means deciding that it’s time to concentrate on what matters in life. It’s a time to consider if a helping hand can improve the quality of our lives. Here’s a look at two types of assistance for seniors: in-home care and assisted living.

What is In-Home Care?

In-home care is a service that provides assistance to people with special needs, in their own homes. This care is intended to help seniors to continue to enjoy their normal, day-to-day activities. The care provided may be medical or non-medical, depending on the client’s needs. In-home medical care providers are trained and/or licensed professionals such as nurses, physical therapists, nutritionists, and social workers; non-medical care can be performed by well-trained, well-meaning caregivers.

Benefits of In-Home Care

In-home care allows seniors to continue to live independently, even when they may no longer be capable of handling all of the day-to-day tasks and activities that they used to do. Without this help, seniors might be forced to move into an assisted care facility. But with it, seniors can continue to stay at home; they can continue to set their own hours, choose their own diet, leave at any time, and essentially do as they please.

The benefits of being able to stay at home can’t be overestimated. Familiarity is comforting in this time of change. Remaining in a place where they have lived and loved yields peace of mind and emotional well-being. In this place, seniors know where to find things and what to expect; they feel comfortable and secure. And they avoid the stress and uncertainty that comes with moving to an unfamiliar place.

In-home care can also provide a needed source of companionship. Seniors Helping Seniors, for example, provides in-home care from fellow seniors. Whether the care provider is a senior, a volunteer, or another agency employee, being able to count on seeing a friendly face a few times a week can make a big difference.

What is Assisted Living?

Assisted living is a combination of housing and limited care. Assisted living is different from in-home care in that seniors move into facilities that have been especially designed to accommodate and support them. Entering into an assisted living facility represents a significant lifestyle change as well as a significant expense.

Some seniors move into assisted living facilities because they can no longer manage their day-to-day tasks and responsibilities; other seniors choose not to manage them. Some seniors in assisted care facilities are independent and able to care for themselves; they simply opt to have someone else take care of some of their day-to-day chores and concerns.

Assisted living allows seniors to thrive in a place where they can receive a little or a lot of assistance, depending on their particular wants and needs. Seniors can receive help with house cleaning, laundry, driving, daily chores, social activities, and medical appointments; they can also enjoy on-site food service.

For some seniors, assisted living is a choice made not out of necessity, but rather a desire for a better quality of life. Assisted living communities can be well equipped with sports and recreational facilities, allowing seniors to stay active. These communities also offer social opportunities, getting seniors together in a place where they can meet and easily interact with fellow seniors.

Which Choice Is Right For You?

Both in-home care and assisted living can greatly improve the quality of live for seniors. For seniors hoping to continue to live as they have – and who are able to do so with some assistance – in-home care is the best choice. Assisted living will be the right choice when the senior is no longer able to handle living independently, even with help; it can also be the right choice when the senior is willing to trade some independence for better social opportunities and more time to devote to personal pursuits.