Home Care Vs. Assisted Living

  • What are some options for in-home care?

    In-home assistance options include the elding moving in with a grown child or other family member, a grown child or other family member moving in with the elder, hiring a part-time or full-time caregiver,

    Meals on Wheels for elders who only need meal support, and the elder participating in part- or full-time Senior Activity Centers.

  • What are services that in-home assistance offers?

    In-home assistance services can include assistance with: dressing and personal grooming, meal preparation and eating, oral hygiene care, toileting needs, mobility, bill-paying, laundry, shopping, transportation, and medication administration.

  • What is the cost of in-home care?

    The general cost of in-home care ranges from $15/hr to $40/hr and depends largely upon the needs of the elder, the duties required, the number of hours involved, and the difficulty of the patient.

    For example, a care for an elder who needs companionship only will cost less than care for an elder with memory loss and behavioral issues that requires meal preparation, assistance with daily grooming, and medication administration.

As we age we want to continue to live in our own homes.  With our memories and familiar things all around us, we feel safe and secure.  For as long as we can manage it home, is where our heart is, and where we want to be.  It means we are still independent, still able to be on our own.  

There may come a time when we will need to look at finding some daily assistance that will enable us to continue to live at home.

Some options for In-Home assistance:

  • The Elder can move in with a grown child or other family members.
  • A grown child or family member can move in with the Elder.
  • The Elder or family can hire a part-time or full-time live-in caregiver.
  • The Elder can participate in part or full-time Senior Activity Centers.
  • Meals on Wheels may be an option if the Elder only needs meal support.

Types of In-Home Services: Personal Hygiene assistance.

  • Dressing/personal grooming.
  • Meal preparation/feeding assistance.
  • Oral Hygiene Care.
  • Helping with toileting needs.
  • Mobility such as help with a walker or a wheelchair.
  • Bill paying and financial services (taking you to the bank).
  • Light House Keeping/Laundry/Change Bed Linens.
  • Daily/weekly shopping Needs.
  • Transportation To appointments/Meetings/Activities.
  • Medication Administration and Supervision.

Cost of In-Home Care

There are several factors that go into the cost of In-Home Care. They are:

  • Difficulty of the patient.  When we age, our needs can become greater.  The increased needs may be due to memory/Alzheimer issues.  Behavioral issues such as the Elder’s offensiveness or disrespectful behaviors.
  • Duties required.  When the caregiver is employed for companionship that is different than being responsible for meal preparation or daily hygiene needs.
  • Hours. If your Elder will require twenty-four/seven care, then there might be a small discount for that number of hours.  Most home health aides will need at least five to six hours a day to make the job worth their time. 

The general cost for In-Home Care ranges from $15hr to $40hr depending on the needs of the Elder and the responsibilities of the caregiver.  

It is important to know that the cost of In-Home Care can be offset by the Elders family members providing some of the care when possible.

Assisted Living

Most of us would prefer that our loved one lives at home where they feel safe and secure.  There may come a time however when staying at home is no longer a safe option for our loved one.  Usually, there will be an incident that brings us to this realization such as the Elder forgetting to take their medication, forgetting to eat their meals or even just the loneliness associated with living alone.  

When something like this happens, we need to evaluate Assisted Living options.

Assisted Living facilities:

  • Living areas are one or two bedroom apartments that the Elder will reside in. 
  • Most Elders in Assisted Living facilities need little to no service from others.
  • Residents are encouraged to participate in organized activities and facility amenities thereby fulfilling the community aspect of our social needs.

These communities provide care and housing to our elders who need more assistance with daily care but are not yet at the level of care that is provided at a nursing home.

Assisted living communities have grown as an option for our elders who are still independent but require some assistance with daily living tasks.  Assisted Living communities provide social gatherings/activities/trips that are organized for the residents.

Daily Living Tasks that Elders can receive support within an Assisted Living facility:

  • Meals prepared for them.
  • Assistance with eating when necessary.
  • Medication Management.
  • Housekeeping.
  • Daily Hygiene and dressing
  • Transportation needs.
  • Physical mobility needs.
  • Community and socialization with peers

Financing In-Home Care vs Assisted Living Care

Both In-Home and Assisted Living Care are self-funded options.

  • The Elder uses all the personal money that they have first.  After all personal monies are used the Elder can apply for Medicare/Medicaid support for the Assisted Living costs. 
  • When looking at the cost of maintaining our homes, taxes and living expenses, moving to an Assisted Living facility may seem financially pragmatic.
  • Depending on your state of residency you may find that there may be Medicaid money that can offset the cost of Assisted Living.
  • Veterans benefits as well as HUD money should be looked into for those who served and/or those who have a certain income.
  • Depending on where you live, and the services needed at an Assisted Living Facility, the monthly cost of assisted living could range from $2,000 to well over $10,000 a month.  The higher end is generally for those loved ones with memory issues/Alzheimer’s.
  • As noted earlier the cost of In-Home Care also has a range and most often is based on the services required from the caregiver and the number of hours needed.

Remember there are always emotional and physical factors that need to be taken into consideration when we investigate Elder care.  Our loved ones, if given a choice, would choose to live at home for as long as possible.