Is In-Home Care the Best Option for Your Elderly Loved One?

As your loved one ages, you want to do what is best for them to protect their health, safety, and happiness. It might be difficult to make the decision to transition your loved one into in-home care or assisted living, but you will have peace of mind knowing that you don’t have to worry about falls, accidents, or injuries.

If your loved one needs specialized care that you can’t provide, or if you need assistance caring for your loved one, consider in-home care. This allows your loved one to age in place in the comfort of their own home.

It is a good option for people who aren’t yet ready to move into an assisted living facility. Here’s a guide for choosing between in-home care and assisted living.

What Is In-Home Care?

In-home care is non-medical care that is provided in the client’s own home. A caregiver offers assistance with daily living tasks, such as bathing and toileting, dressing, preparing meals, grocery shopping, light housekeeping, and medication management.

Some in-home care agencies also offer transportation to medical appointments and social activities. These social activities allow your loved one to stay engaged in the community and enjoy mental stimulation so they won’t feel lonely or isolated.

In-home care is a good supplementary option for loved ones who have family members who can provide assistance when the caregiver isn’t there. However, it is only recommended if your loved one’s home is safe and can accommodate their needs.

What Is Assisted Living?

Assisted living facilities offer a wide range of services depending on the client’s needs. Some facilities allow residents to age in place, meaning they provide tiered services that are scalable based on each client’s changing needs.

Others only offer one level of care, and your loved one would need to move to a different facility if their needs change. Assisted living facilities have nurses, doctors, and skilled therapists on site to provide a range of medical care.

They also offer socialization, meals, housekeeping, maintenance, and other services. If your loved one can’t live alone safely and needs more care than an in-home caregiver can provide, they may need assisted living placement.

Pros of In-Home Senior Care

The biggest benefit of in-home elder care is that your loved one will get to maintain their privacy and independence. Most seniors prefer to stay in their own homes, where it is comfortable and familiar.

In some cases, moving your loved one to an assisted living facility before they are ready could cause more harm than good. Here are some of the pros of choosing in-home care rather than assisted living:

  • Retain independence and privacy
  • Stay in their own home, where it is comfortable and familiar
  • Keep pets with them
  • Often less expensive
  • Caregiving duties can be split between an in-home caregiver and family members
  • You will have peace of mind knowing your loved one is less likely to have a fall or accident
  • Opportunities for socialization and companionship
  • Assistance with basic tasks and activities

Pros of Assisted Living Placement

If your loved one’s home is no longer a safe environment and you’re worried about falls, accidents, and injuries, consider requesting an assisted living placement.

In some cases, an in-home care agency can’t offer the level of support needed, as they don’t provide medical care or around the clock supervision.

If you and your family can’t act as caregivers and your loved one needs advanced care and support, you should review the pros of assisted living:

  • Around the clock care and supervision
  • Medical staff onsite for emergencies and health needs
  • 24/7 maintenance
  • Housekeeping and meal plans
  • Therapies and mobility assistance
  • Alzheimer’s care and dementia care
  • Rehabilitative care post-surgery, injury, or illness
  • Assistance with laundry and grocery shopping
  • Medication management
  • Increased security
  • Opportunities for activities and socialization
  • Access to spiritual needs and religious services

Evaluating Your Loved One’s Needs

In order to make the best decision for your loved one, you will need to take the time to evaluate their health, cognitive abilities, emotional and mental outlook, needs and wants, goals, and vision for the future.

You will also have to consider your budget and finances, and the amount of time you and your family can devote to providing caregiving services. Here are a few factors to consider when working with your family to make the decision:

  • How healthy and independent your loved one is.
  • The overall safety of the home. Are there any obstacles, mobility concerns, or security issues?
  • Whether your loved one faces any challenges living alone.
  • If your loved one has a spouse that has different care needs.
  • If there are animals in the home that your loved one would be separated from in an assisted living facility.
  • Whether your loved one has serious medical or cognitive issues, or health problems.

Completing a Home Safety Assessment

If you decide that in-home care services are the right choice for your loved one, you should have a home safety evaluation completed. During a home safety assessment, someone will walk around the entirety of the home, inside and outside, to identify any safety issues or security problems.

They will use a checklist of common health and safety issues and identify potential hazards. They can give you tips on remedying safety issues; for instance, installing safety rails and banisters, better lighting, and shower seats or mobility aids. They might also point out unsafe walkways or trip hazards, unstable or uneven surfaces, and dangerous corners.

Involving Family Members in the Decision

It’s important to involve family members in the decision regarding your loved one’s care. It can be an emotional, stressful, and overwhelming time for everyone, so it might seem easier to avoid conflict and make decisions yourself.

However, that can backfire if family members decide they are unhappy with your decision or are unable to devote time or money to your solution. This is why it’s best to make sure it is a family decision from the start.

Even having one sit-down meeting with your family to discuss your loved one’s health and safety and your options will ensure that everyone has a voice in the matter. Give everyone a chance to be honest about their thoughts, opinions, and suggestions.

If the family can’t agree on a plan of action, you can look for local resources, such as social services and family aid organizations, religious leaders, or other experts who might be able to offer advice that will help everyone come to a consensus.

Contact Us to Discuss Our Options for In Home Care in Tucson, AZ

If you and your family are trying to decide between assisted living placement and in-home care in Tucson, AZ, our team at Placita In Home Care can help. We offer specialized, compassionate in-home care services, as well as Alzheimer’s care and memory care.

We can set up a consultation to discuss your loved one’s needs and provide guidance and advice based on your needs, goals, and budget. We also offer assisted living placement services. Call us today or fill out our contact form online to learn more.