If you’re evaluating care options for yourself or a loved one — especially if it is the first time — you may feel overwhelmed by all of the options. One common situation we’ve seen in our conversations with prospective clients is uncertainty of whether it would be better to keep a loved one at home with in home support, or enroll them in a care facility.

First, we’ll make sure you’re up to speed on the terminology of these care settings, then provide some context on how you can effectively choose between assisted living and in-home care options to provide the ideal care scenario for your situation.

Homecare — a trained health care aide comes into your loved one’s home to help them with daily living activities.

Assisted living — a community ofelderly adults that need a range of assistance to accomplish day-to-day activities at one specific facility.

Factors in Your Decision

Decide How Much Assistance Your Loved One Needs

Make a list of everything your loved one needs help with on a daily basis. Once you have tackled that task, look further into the future— what kind of assistance will they need in the weeks, months and years ahead? This will give you a better understanding of the correct level of care necessary to maintain a quality of life.

Next, it is important to be realistic with how much your family is going to be able to provide help. Life is busy and unexpected things surface. It’s also important for a caregiver to budget time to take care of themselves — if you, a friend or family member burn out, it is unfair to you or your loved one. The assistance that you account for but do not provide negatively affects their health.

Looking at both of these aspects should give you a better understanding of what your loved one will need.

Is now the right time? Discover seven signs that your elderly loved one needs extra help.

Identify Provided Services That Meet These Needs

There are major differences between assisted living and homecare that affect the services and levels of attention they can provide your loved ones. You’ll want to ensure your choice meets the needs you outlined in the previous step.

With assisted living, your loved one is amongst a community of people who might be going through the same difficulties as your loved one. This will help to prevent depression and loneliness. However, most facilities do not staff nurses to provide medical care on-sight, which includes care such as diabetes injections and managing pills. One-on-one care is also limited due to the needs of others in the same facility.

In-home care offers one-on-one services such as dressing, bathing, toileting, feeding, and mobility along with housework, medication reminders, shopping, communication help, and transportation. In-home care is not home healthcare, which allows for more medical needs to be met.

Depending on what kind of care and level of attention your loved one is looking for can help lead you to the right choice.

Consider the Financial Situation

Both assisted living and in-home care can be costly, depending on level of need. It’s important that before making any decisions you sit down and look into your elder’s financial situation.

The best thing to do is to contact representatives at the options you are exploring and ask for a pricing estimate. It can be very difficult and frustrating to find pricing online, so it’s often more efficient to go to the source.

Being tasked with deciding between homecare and assisted living can be extremely daunting, whether it’s for yourself or a loved one’s. Deciding on what kind of services are absolutely crucial can be tough for families to face. Being equipped with the knowledge of what the differences are between assisted living vs. home care is very important.

Know that assisted living and in-home care are not competitors. They are two similar yet different services, each with its own use cases depending on level of need, that strive to provide the perfect amount of help for your loved one in need of assistance.

Need help making a decision for yourself or a  loved one? We’re happy to consult with you on the best choice for your situation.