Assisted Living vs. In-Home Care: Finding the Right Solution for Your Aging Loved One

Both assisted living and in-home care services can maintain your loved one’s safety, comfort, and health as they age. However, each service offers some unique and personalized amenities that are tailored to different levels of health, need, and care for the elderly as they age. So how do you determine if your loved one needs in-home care services or if they should transition into an assisted living facility? This guide can help you find the right solution for your aging loved one.  

What Is In-Home Care? 

In-home care services are tailored specifically to your loved one’s needs, goals, and preferences. Most in-home care agencies offer a range of services. An in-home caregiver will visit your home or your loved one’s home on a set schedule to provide services and companionship. Your loved one will be able to remain in the comfort of their own home while receiving services that enhance their quality of life, physical and mental health, and safety.

How Do You Know if Your Loved One Needs In-Home Care?

As your loved one ages, their ability to take care of themselves independently and without assistance will start to decline. Your loved one may start showing signs that they can no longer manage all of the tasks of daily living on their own. Some of the signs your loved one needs a senior caregiver or in-home care services are:

  • A messy home
  • Decline in personal hygiene
  • Inability to keep up with chores
  • Rotting food in their refrigerator
  • Late bills or disconnected utilities
  • Lack of companionship or socialization
  • Withdrawal or depression
  • Missed meals or weight loss
  • A history of falls or injuries
  • Inability to drive
  • Trouble getting in and out of bed or to and from the bathroom
  • Difficulty taking care of pets

How Does In-Home Care Work?

When you sign up with an in-home care agency, they will begin by scheduling an in-depth consultation. This allows them to get to know your loved one and determine what services they need. They will ask you about your goals and needs, concerns, schedule, lifestyle and habits, and budget. They will pair you with a caregiver they think will be best for your family and loved one’s needs. They may schedule a trial period or initial visit to determine if it’s a good match. You will then finalize a list of services and a schedule that your caregiver will provide.

What Services Are Included in In-Home Care? 

The services offered will vary from one in-home care agency to another. In some cases, you can pick and choose the services you need based on your loved one’s age, abilities, mobility, health, and goals. The most common in-home care services offered are:

  • General health services
  • Medication administration or reminders
  • Meal preparation or grocery shopping
  • Light housework and laundry
  • Mobility assistance
  • Toileting assistance
  • Companionship and socialization
  • Transportation to medical appointments and social engagements
  • Memory (dementia) care
  • Alzheimer’s care
  • Assistance with bathing, dressing, grooming, personal care, and other activities of daily living

What Are the Benefits of In-Home Care?

In-home care services offer benefits to both the person receiving the care and their family. In-home care can offer respite for family caregivers so that they can take care of their own physical and mental health and avoid caregiver burnout. Other benefits of in-home care are:

  • Companionship
  • Reduced risk of isolation and depression
  • Increased safety and a lower risk of wandering or sustaining an injury
  • Assistance with the tasks of daily living
  • Lower chance of missed medications, double doses, malnutrition, and other risks of living alone
  • Highly customizable care options
  • Scheduled or on-demand services

What Is Assisted Living? 

Assisted living facilities offer housing, maintenance services, meals, support services, companionship, activities and exercise, and health care services. An assisted living facility may have separate apartments or small townhomes for each resident. The residents receive personalized care and assistance with the tasks of daily living while living in a community of their peers. Assisted living facilities are designed for active seniors who still maintain some level of independence but who can’t live alone. 

When Should You Consider Assisted Living Placement? 

Making the decision to encourage your loved one to move into an assisted living facility is difficult. While you should involve your loved one in the decision making process, you should also accept that they may require some convincing or may be resistant to the idea. Some signs that you should consider assisted living placement for your loved one are:

  • Deteriorating physical and/or mental health
  • Diagnosis of a progressive or chronic illness or health condition
  • Changes in their ability to care for themselves
  • Mobility problems
  • A history of falls or injuries
  • Inability to manage their own personal care or hygiene
  • Trouble keeping up with chores or housework
  • Can no longer drive safely
  • Experiencing cognitive or memory issues
  • Developing signs of weight loss or malnutrition
  • Trouble controlling their bowel or bladder
  • Feelings of depression or isolation
  • Behavioral changes

What Services Are Offered in Assisted Living Facilities? 

The services offered by assisted living facilities may vary from facility to facility. Some services may cost more. The most commonly offered services are:

  • Medication administration and management
  • Meals
  • Housekeeping services
  • Laundry services
  • Maintenance services
  • Companionship
  • Activities and events
  • Transportation to social events and medical appointments
  • Concierge health services
  • Worship services
  • Assistance with the tasks of daily living
  • Exercise classes or a gym
  • Community lounge areas

What Are the Benefits of Assisted Living?

The biggest benefit of assisted living is that your loved one will be safe, comfortable, and well-cared for. Other benefits of assisted living are:

  • Flexible and versatile levels of care
  • Short-term and long-term care options
  • The ability to age in place
  • Around the clock care
  • Socialization and companionship
  • Security and safety
  • Social service
  • Physical and mental health care

Choosing Between In-Home Care and Assisted Living

Making the choice between in-home care and assisted living can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You can involve your family and your aging loved one in the process to make sure everyone is on the same page. You should also consider your family’s budget, your loved one’s wishes and needs, the safety of their home, their location, and their age, health, and abilities. In general, you should choose in-home care if your loved one is still able to maintain some level of independence, has expressed a strong desire to age in place in the comfort of their own home, and has a home that is safe and easy for loved ones to visit. You should choose assisted living if your loved one’s home is too large, is unsafe, or is hard for family or a caregiver to access. You should also consider assisted living if your loved one has a chronic or progressive illness or condition, if they are no longer mobile, if they can’t manage any tasks independently, or if they don’t have the mental capacity to maintain their home and their health and safety. 

Schedule a Consultation for In-Home Care or Assisted Living Placement

At Placita In Home Care, we offer varying levels of professional in-home care services in Tucson, AZ, and the Phoenix metro area that are tailored to each client’s age, needs, and abilities. Our experienced caregivers are carefully vetted and trained, and offer compassionate, professional care. We can assist your loved ones with the tasks of daily living, meal preparation, medication reminders, transportation, companionship, and more. We also offer free assisted living placement services, and can help you and your family find the right assisted living home for your loved one. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a consultation to discuss in-home care or assisted living placement services.