As we age, the question of Assisted Living vs. In-Home Care will certainly arise. Many seniors have the goal of “aging in place” meaning, remaining in the home they know so well until their final days. Assisted Living vs. In-Home Care for some, this is indeed possible; however, it may not be the safest, healthiest, or best option for others. Eventually, there comes a time when it becomes necessary to choose between In-Home Care and assisted living, such as that offered at Baxter Senior Living in Anchorage, AK. Choosing between assisted living and in-home care involves many different moving parts. There are several factors to consider both personal and financial. The answers to the inevitable questions that will arise are not always straightforward. There are many complex pieces to put together, and in the end, the answer depends on your senior loved one’s specific situation.

Below we have provided three vital factors to consider when deciding between in-home care and an assisted living community. These include how much help your loved one needs each day, the critical differences between in-home care and assisted living, and your loved one’s financial situation. Having a clear understanding of these facts will help you make the best choice for your senior loved one.

Determine How Much Help Alaskan Elderly Adults Need; Assisted Living vs. In-Home Care

Before any research can be done or decisions made, it is necessary to establish how much help your senior loved one needs each day to complete the essential activities of daily living. Activities of daily living or ADL’s include a variety of tasks such as eating (the physical act of consuming food), dressing, bathing, and using the bathroom. Other important tasks to address include the ability to safely prepare their own meals and the ability to remember to take medications.

The best way to do this is to create a chart or list of everything your senior loved one needs help with. It can be beneficial to divide this chart into daily, weekly, and monthly categories. Remember to include things such as getting to medical appointments, grocery shopping, and attending or participating in hobbies or events outside of the home. Once you can see the entire picture, it can help you, and your loved one discuss their needs and determine the best level of care for them.

Next, have an honest discussion with your family and your loved one about how much help is available. It is essential to think about this in terms of the “long-run” instead of days or weeks. If your loved one is hoping to remain at home, they may need help and ongoing care for years to come. In some cases, merely looking at this list helps to clarify that in-home care may not work and that assisted living at a senior living community like Baxter Senior Living in Anchorage, AK, is the best and most logical choice.

Assisted Living vs. In-Home Care; Understand the Differences

Before your family can establish a clear direction, it is necessary to understand how in-home care and assisted living work and the pros and cons of each.

Alaska In-Home Care 

In-home care is a form of care that allows your senior loved one to remain in their home. A caregiver (sometimes licensed and sometimes not) is hired to come into the home on a scheduled frequency and help with activities of daily living. The specific type of help provided depends directly on the needs of your loved one. In many cases, it includes assisting with meal preparation, ambulation, bathing, dressing, toileting, and sometimes transportation to appointments or errands.

Pros

  •       Your loved one can remain at home as they age
  •       They receive one-on-one care specific to their needs and preferences
  •       Sometimes costs are lower (this depends on the amount of care needed and the skill level of the caregiver required)
  •       One caregiver as opposed to several different people

Cons

  •       If 24/7 care is needed, the costs can be extremely high
  •       Ongoing family involvement is required to manage the hiring of caregivers and to plan for backup care options
  •       Potential for social isolation
  •       The home may need modifications to accommodate ambulation and mobility
  •       Housekeeping and other shopping such as groceries and personal care items must still be completed (these errands are not always part of a home care contract)

Alaskan Assisted Living

An assisted living community like Baxter Senior Living is a place where many seniors live in a community environment. They may live in rooms (with or without a roommate) or small apartments. Most senior communities offer a wide range of care options. Services such as meals, group activities, housekeeping, and transportation are typically included in the monthly fee that is paid to the facility.

Pros

  •       A more affordable option for supervision and care around the clock
  •       Family can focus on the family relationship as opposed to care-related needs
  •       There are plenty of opportunities for social interaction
  •       Caregivers are part of the community, and therefore the family does not need to hire and manage them
  •       As care needs increase, the level of care provided within the community can also increase

Cons

  •       One-on-one care may not be as personal as it could be at home (staff changes shifts during the day)
  •       Your loved one may not enjoy a group environment

Now that a few of the differences between in-home care and assisted living have been explained, it may be easier to start the decision-making process. The next step that requires consideration is the cost of care.

Financial Considerations

A final step in making your decision is to consider your loved one’s budget for Assisted Living vs. In-Home Care. It can be challenging to establish the exact cost of in-home care and assisted living as each is specific to an individual’s needs, location, and how much help they have from family and insurance. The best way to start this process is to call and get pricing information from assisted living communities you are considering. This way, you have a clearer picture of how much it might cost to obtain the level of care your loved one needs.

The number you are provided with when researching the cost of care is merely an estimate. There are a few key costs you should take into account when determining which is the most cost-effective.

In-Home Care Costs

  •       Hours of care needed times the hourly rate provided by the caregiver
  •       Groceries and meal preparation
  •       Household and personal care supplies
  •       Housekeeping
  •       Laundry
  •       Transportation
  •       Household expenses (such as mortgage or rent, property taxes, utilities, water, garbage, and home maintenance.

Assisted Living Costs

  •       Monthly base rate
  •       Additional fees (if necessary, for an increased level of care)
  •       Housekeeping and laundry
  •       Personal care supplies
  •       Overnight visitors
  •       Off-site activities or transportation

The fees associated with assisted living care will vary by community, so it is essential to inquire with each specific location to determine what will be covered by the monthly base rate and what (if anything) is charged in addition. For this reason, it is important to ask for a list of all potential fees upfront so you may have a better understanding of cost should your loved one need additional services later. After considering pertinent financial information, you will have a more stable picture of how each fits your loved one’s budget.

Many seniors will say they want to stay in their homes as they age. This makes sense as the home is a safe, friendly, and comfortable place they have known for many years. Unfortunately, remaining at home is not always possible. In these cases, the caring and compassionate staff at Baxter Senior Living in Anchorage, Alaska, can provide the care and safety your loved one needs as they age. In addition to safety and care, your loved one will have a greater opportunity for socialization, activity, and improved quality of life over in-home elderly care options. If you and your loved one are discussing senior living communities, call Baxter Senior Living today.

Resources

https://www.genworth.com/aging-and-you/finances/cost-of-care.html

https://dailycaring.com/3-tips-to-help-you-choose-between-assisted-living-vs-in-home-care/