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Caring for Aging Parents: Assisted Living or Home Care?

Assessing how much help seniors need in their daily lives in one of the critical factors in deciding whether home care would be enough to support them or they would be better off in a senior living facility. The extent of care determines the expenses involved, and naturally, the financial capabilities of families become a factor too. Choosing is not always easy due to the complexities of the situation that is specific to individuals.

To make the decision-making process easy, you must focus on three areas – the extent of help seniors need, their financial situation and understanding the differences between home care and assisted living in a community.



Determine how much help they need

The condition of individuals with respect to their ability to do their daily work should help to determine how much help they need. Comparing it with the help already available at home should indicate what to do to meet the expected level of support so that they receive the best care. It consists of making a list of all kinds of help that the senior needs on a daily, weekly and monthly basis and then figuring out how much of actual help would be available from the family, friends, and neighbours in the long term. The exercise helps to identify the gap and understand if home care would be enough or not.


Differences between home care and assisted living

In home care, the caregiver is either someone from the family or a hired professional who helps seniors with the support they need to carry out their daily activities. Help is available for meal preparation, moving around the house, bathing, dressing, transportation, toilet going, etc. Seniors receive customized help package with individual attention. The family chooses the caregiver, and the senior is under the care of a single caregiver.

In an assisted living facility, many seniors live under one roof although in separate rooms or small apartments and enjoy community living. Most communities have elaborate arrangements for providing all kinds of care for all types of seniors from those who can live independently to those who need a high level of care. The scope of services is similar or sometimes even more than what they receive in-home care. However, individual care on a one-to-one basis would not be possible.



The financial situation of seniors

Home care is more expensive because you must create dedicated facilities for an individual whereas in assisted living it is cheaper due to shared facilities. Moreover, if the senior suffers from memory problems, the costs would be much more as you must look for memory care facilities near you. Although the financial condition of families influences the choice sometimes, they have no choice especially for people suffering from memory diseases.

Knowing which choice would work best and matching it with the budget is the best way to take a pragmatic decision. Since the needs are specific to each person, the location, financial condition and the kind of help needed should be the primary considerations to take the right decision.

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