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Assisted Living vs. Home Care for the Elderly

assisted livingAs a loved one ages, the decision must be made about what living situation will afford them appropriate levels of care and security. The two main options are assisted living facilities and home care from a medical aide. Each choice has both pros and cons that must be explored and considered before making the final choice.

Cost Comparison Between Assisted Living and Home Care

For many families, the decision to move into an assisted living facility or get a home health aide comes down to money. Whether the aged person was unable to save for their continuing care needs or some unexpected event disrupted their savings, if finances are a worry, they must be taken into account when making this important decision.

In general, assisted living facilities cost less in the long run than aging in place with the help of medical and other assistance. In the beginning, when less care is needed, a part-time aid can save money. However, when the elderly person is unable to take care of day-to-day tasks, a full-time aide that handles cooking, housework, assistance with walking, bathing, and dressing, and all other tasks becomes much more expensive. Add to that the cost of the home upkeep and it can be prohibitive for many reasons.

Pros and Cons of Both Continuing Care Choices

Home care with the help of multiple health aides, housekeepers, and other professionals allows the elderly person to age in place. If they love their home and want to stay there, this is a great option to begin with. However, staying at home after they can no longer drive or take public transportation can cause isolation and contribute to depression and loneliness.

Assisted living facilities have plenty of people around for those who wish to make friends, and also offer activities to keep their mind and body as limber as possible as they age. Continuing care homes frequently have nurses and doctors available 24/7 in case someone gets injured or ill. Nutritionists come up with healthy and delicious menus that are usually eaten in a restaurant-style setting. Housekeeping is also included.

Once the elderly person needs care every day and things like hygiene, healthy eating, and housekeeping begin to suffer, moving to an assisted living facility often makes more sense than staying home. This is especially true for those who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, where being in a secure facility would be much safer.

The decision between getting one or more aids for home care for an aging parent or convincing them to leave their home and move to an assisted living or continuing care facility can be challenging. Many elderly people do not want to give up their independence even though they are unable to properly care for themselves. The best thing for a family to do is sit down and talk about the options well before the need for a home health aide or a move becomes necessary.

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