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Long-Term Senior Living Options: Home Care vs. Assisted Living

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Long-Term Senior Living Options: Home Care vs. Assisted Living

As of 2015, seniors age 65 and older accounted for almost 15 percent of the total national population. The U.S. Census Bureau expects that number to rise to 25 percent in the next 40 years. Whether you're currently a senior considering your long-term care options or you want to find the right option for a parent, know that you're not alone. And with an increasing older population, the options for long-term senior living and care are also growing.

Currently, two of the most popular options are home care and assisted living. We break down the pros and cons of each to help you make an educated decision about what's right for you or your loved one.

What Is Home Care?

Home care refers to providing assistance for seniors in their own homes, whether they live alone or with loved ones. The care provided can range from basic companionship to assistance with daily activities to medical care provided by home health nurses or other certified individuals.

Assistance with daily activities includes providing help with any of the daily needs required to live and enjoy life. Depending on a senior's cognitive and physical function, home care providers may need to assist with transportation, cooking and eating, dressing, bathing, going to the bathroom and other activities of daily living (ADLs).

Advantages of Home Care for Seniors

Home care is popular in the United States. More than 34 million adults care for older loved ones at home as unpaid caregivers. They may do so because they aren't aware of other options, but many people choose home care for advantages that include:

  • The ability for the senior to remain in a familiar home environment
  • The benefit of having older adults live alongside younger family members
  • The perception that home care is always the least expensive option, which isn't true in all cases 
Disadvantages of Home Care for Seniors

Home care does come with some downsides, for both the senior and anyone who may be working to provide assistance.

If you live in your own home alone, caregivers may need to come and go. That leaves you potentially isolated some of the time, which can be bad for mental and emotional health as well as physical safety. Plus, there is still a home to take care of, and either you or someone else will have to handle those tasks.

Seniors who live with other relatives may feel less freedom when it comes to various lifestyles choices because they aren't in a home of their own. And caregivers can experience stress and burnout because they are trying to attend to their own lives and obligations while also ensuring their older loved one experiences as full and positive a life as possible.

What Is Assisted Living?

Assisted living communities take the principles of home care and adapt them to a professional, independent living environment. In these communities, seniors live as independently as possible in their own rooms, apartments or suites, and trained staff are on hand to provide the appropriate level of assistance or care.

Advantages of Residing in an Assisted Living Community

Assisted living communities take the principles of home care and adapt them to a professional, independent living environment. In these communities, seniors live as independently as possible in their own rooms, apartments or suites, and trained staff are on hand to provide the appropriate level of assistance or care.

  • The ability to live in and control your own space and schedule
  • Easy access to caring, trained staff who can provide a level of care appropriate to your needs
  • The ability to move up and down the care spectrum within the same environment (from independent living to more enhanced care)
  • Not having to attend to housework and other tasks
  • Access to healthy, delicious meals and snacks without having to cook
  • Opportunities for both planned and informal socializing daily in the community
Disadvantages of an Assisted Living Community

There aren't many disadvantages of residing in assisted living for most seniors. You do have to pay to live in an assisted living community, but depending on your needs, the costs of assisted living can be similar or even less than the costs of in-home care. In some cases, there are some additional resources to help seniors cover the cost of such beneficial care.

Discover an Assisted Living Community That's Right for You

Learn more about the benefits of residing in a vibrant senior living community. Complete the contact form below, and someone from Brightview Senior Living will be in touch to discuss care options or schedule a visit.


Categories
Senior Living Resources, Health and Wellness, Resident Perspectives, Vibrant Living

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