More than one in seven Americans are 65 or older, and their age group represents 16% of the country’s population. While older Americans are more vigorous and engaged than ever, even the most robust individuals eventually need some level of help to remain independent as they age. The two most common solutions are assisted living and home care.
Both options offer solutions for seniors who need help but do not require skilled nursing care. However, the two choices also have critical differences, so families or seniors must evaluate the pros and cons before making a choice. There are several factors to consider, including the following items.
Many communities that provide assisted living in Escondido, CA offer residents a choice of housing arrangements. Individuals who choose assisted living move to a community where they have a shared or private apartment or room. Accommodations typically include a kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom. Some include only a bedroom and bathroom.
Residents can usually choose housekeeping services or do their own laundry. Homes include safety features such as grab bars, sprinkler systems, accessibility features, and emergency call buttons.
Seniors who do not want to move may choose at-home care. Those who take this route often alter their homes to make them safer and easier to use. They might add stair lifts, wheelchair ramps, grab bars, or walk-in tubs. Caregivers travel to clients and provide services as needed.
Families and seniors often choose an assisted living community to prevent isolation and loneliness. According to The National Institute on Aging, isolation in seniors has been linked to health problems. Per Steve Cole, PhD., “The biology of loneliness can accelerate the buildup of plaque in arteries, help cancer cells grow and spread, and promote inflammation in the brain leading to Alzheimer’s disease.”
Community living allows seniors to socialize as much or little as they like. Social directors create a range of opportunities so residents have a choice of activities they can enjoy with friends.
However, not every senior who lives alone is isolated, which is an essential factor to consider when weighing the merits of at-home care. An older adult who needs minimal care for their needs can still live a vibrant life and enjoy the company of friends and family when they feel like it. If these active seniors eventually move to a community, they often choose independent living arrangements that offer freedom but ensure security and safety.
There is no cut-and-dried way to determine whether at-home care or assisted living is the least expensive. Per Paying for Senior Care experts, a rule of thumb is that if a senior needs 40 hours or less per week of paid home care, then home care is the less expensive choice. But, many factors can change the equation, including an individual’s life, whether they own or rent a home, and whether they require additional services like Alzheimer’s care.
Every person’s situation is different, so it’s vital to factor in anything that could affect costs. For instance, at-home care may be less expensive, but overall fees might increase costs when a home is modified. If circumstances change and a senior requires more hours of care, at-home care becomes costly. Seniors or families may also have to pay for additional services like housekeeping and grocery shopping.
Assisted living communities are far more inclusive. Although they do not offer the one-on-one care provided at home, Aging.com notes that it’s simple to alter the level of care if a resident’s needs change, and 24/7 care is less expensive in an assisted living environment.
Seniors can arrange for in-home caregivers to grocery shop and prepare meals. Care providers ensure that clients get nutritious meals. Although this means the elderly may eat alone much of the time, some people prefer solitude.
Assisted living communities include dining areas and offer carefully planned menus. They can accommodate dietary needs, and chefs often prepare special holiday meals. Residents can share meals with friends in a cheerful dining room. If they choose, seniors can also eat in their rooms. The staff ensures their nutritional needs are met.
One reason that in-home care has surged in popularity is that it allows seniors to customize care to suit their lifestyles and personality. Those who are homebodies can enjoy favorite activities, and caregivers will keep them company. More social individuals may arrange for transportation to events.
Assisted living is more structured, and activities are planned. However, residents are free to participate as they wish. They can enjoy quiet hobbies like reading or join group activities with new friends.
At some point, even the most independent senior citizen will likely need help with everyday activities. In-home care and assisted living communities offer solutions. Each has benefits, so seniors or their families must evaluate each option carefully to determine which is best for their situation.
Cypress Court is a vibrant Escondido, California community offering assisted and independent living options. The friendly staff is dedicated to helping residents live their best life.