What Is the Difference Between In-Home Care and Assisted Living?

Assisted living professional helping elderly man at home

Comparing In-Home Care and Assisted Living

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As elderly loved ones get older, you may begin to think about housing and care options to ensure their security, health, and safety. Many people think of assisted living when they envision elder care. However, there are other options that may be more appropriate. For example, many seniors thrive with in-home care as an alternative elder care solution.

Both options offer a variety of services for aging adults. Assisted living care is provided in dedicated residential facilities for senior living. Alternatively, in-home care takes place in the home. Some seniors thrive receiving in-home care living alone. However, in-home care is also appropriate for seniors living with their adult children or other relatives.

Care Environment

Assisted living communities may have anywhere from a dozen to over a hundred residents. They live in individual housing units such as apartments or condos. Units are designed with seniors’ needs in mind. Thus, they provide more safety features than the average residence. These communities usually offer meals, group activities, and personal care services on site. Generally, assisted living facility staff is available 24/7. However, direct medical care is not provided. In this way, assisted living is different from nursing home care, which is ideal for individuals who are not able to retain as much independence in their daily lives.

Alternatively, in-home care comes to you. A caretaker will visit a few times per week or even daily to assist in tasks that might otherwise be difficult for seniors. For example, in-home care services may include bathing, dressing, light housekeeping, and medication management. It does not include medical care. In-home care may also be provided on a 24/7 basis, depending on the needs of the individual receiving care services. When an individual does enroll in an in-home care service, the service will usually include safety modifications in the home. These modifications may include installing hand railings, extra lighting, and bathroom renovations.

Flexibility in Caretaking Services

In assisted living communities, there are usually transitional options for end of life care. For example, those in independent living areas may need to move into memory care facilities or hospice facilities. These are often co-located with the assisted living community. In this way, assisted living care is scalable to individual needs. However, in-home care offers much more flexibility. In addition, it won’t require moving to a new facility unit to receive necessary care.

In-home care may supplement caregiving tasks performed by immediate family members. It may even take place on a temporary basis. Moreover, in-home care can be specifically tailored to an individual’s health needs and personal preferences. As an example, in-home care providers may offer care specifically for rehabilitation following joint replacement surgery. In-home care can also be utilized for hospice care, memory care, and Alzheimer’s care.


In-home care is much more flexible and adaptable than assisted living. Therefore, it can be significantly more affordable. Assisted living facilities do have adjustable pricing for some services and amenities. However, they will include a fixed rate that is the baseline for residential care. Conversely, in-home care may be provided for just a few hours per week, which will save your family significant care costs. Additionally, in-home care may be covered by the same type of long-term insurance plans that cover assisted living costs.

If you are in search of affordable in-home care in the Tucson & Phoenix Metro areas, call Placita In Home Care at (520) 221-2083. Our team of experienced, compassionate caregivers can help your family receive the comfort and care they deserve. We also assist in the transition to a nursing home or assisted living facility, should the time come for your loved one.