As Baby Boomers age, it is expected that the population of older Americans will increase dramatically in the next twenty years. With age comes less independence and for many people, a need for either in-home care or an assisted living facility. Perhaps you are the child of an older adult who is beginning to lose their ability to remain independent. Are they able to keep their home clean, run errands, perform basic chores, or drive to medical appointments? If they can’t do these things, you may be wondering what you can do. There are many options, but for this post we will be talking about in-home care and assisted living.
What is Assisted Living?
Assisted living is a type of care facility that aids seniors with daily tasks. This type of facility does not necessarily provide daily medical assistance like a nursing home. People who live in an Arizona assisted living facility sometimes live in separate rooms or share a room with another senior.
As an assisted living resident, your loved one becomes part of the community; they can take part in community activities, social circles, and develop a routine. Assisted living facilities oftentimes provide transportation, housekeeping, laundry, and some medical services. Essentially, assisted living communities are built to help residents stay mobile, active, and safe. While these are all benefits, there is also less privacy and independence when one lives in an assisted living community.
What is In-Home Care?
Home care is very different from the care provided in an assisted living facility. Most people prefer to remain in their own homes to age in place if possible, and some elderly people like the privacy of receiving care from a professional in the comfort of their own home. Each person has their preferences and some may not want to be around strangers or they may just enjoy having their own space. Ask us about the S.A.I.L Program which stands for Maricopa County’s Senior Adult Independent Living.
In-home care allows a person to receive help with daily tasks while simultaneously living in the home they are comfortable and familiar with. For people who choose in-home care, use of a personal medical alert is recommended.
Pros and Cons of In-Home Care
The downside to in-home care is that it may be intrusive or annoying for other in-home family members or relatives. Depending on the level of care needed, the cost of home care varies widely. Often, in-home care personnel are paid per hour, with a price range depending on the type of care provided.
Duties can include general chores like cleaning up clutter, laundry, or medical assistance. Staying in one place while receiving care enables a senior to stay with family members who do not need the same level of care they do. Many people would prefer to age in place if possible, and this is by far the biggest advantage of in-home care. In Arizona, there is a program called ALTCS, which will help pay for in-home care. While they won’t cover 24 hour care, they will pay up to 40 hours per week depending on medical need. This can be immensely helpful if a family member is the one currently providing in-home care.
Pros and Cons of Assisted Living
The most important advantage for assisted living is the 24-hour support and supervision. Facilities are built to provide safety for your loved one, nutritional meals, fitness programs, around the clock housekeeping, and laundry. Group homes around Phoenix and throughout Arizona provide an even higher level of care. Although assisted living seems expensive, when you factor in how many hours of care you are receiving for the price, it becomes more affordable than in-home care.
On the other hand, in-home care allows someone to stay with their family in an environment they are comfortable with. In-home care also lets seniors maintain independence and control over their routine. In-home care, however, has higher costs and can be cumbersome for other family members who are not receiving care. Another negative of in-home care is that the in-home personnel are not usually there 24/7. The care is limited since hours are designated by the agency. Assisted living has staff available around the clock. The cons for assisted living are the separation from home and family (which can cause stress, anxiety, or loneliness) as well as the lack of independence and lack of control over their routine.
Senior Planning can Help
You and your loved one should do research on what method of care would be best for your family and your aging loved one. If you are unsure where to start, give us a call today or submit your information and we will perform a free assessment regarding your situation.
We can also assist with the ALTCS application. If you need care, but are unable to afford it, getting approved for ALTCS can be a lifesaver.