Evaluating care options for a loved one — especially if it’s the first time — can be extremely overwhelming because of all the options available and different levels of care. If your loved one doesn’t require highly specialized care, in-home care and assisted living are the most common options chosen.

It’s tough to judge which option would be the best fit. To help in your decision between the two, we’ll first define what both are, and then lay out some factors that can influence your choice.

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

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

Factors in the Decision

Decide How Much Assistance Your Loved One Needs

Before you can decide on what option is best, you must understand the exact needs of your loved one in order to make the most informed decision. To do this, make a list of everything they need assistance with on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

With this list in hand, you’re able to fully understand the level of care that they need. From here, you can decide if you and your family and friends can handle it — but beware of the negative side effects — or if you need additional assistance.

Taking into account the amount of care needed and the availability of family and friends to help with those needs will give you a good understanding if in-home care or assisted living is needed to provide that care.

Identify What Services Address 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. With the needs outlined in the previous step, you’ll be able to match up the needs of your loved one with the services offered by in-home care and assisted living and find the best fit.

With assisted living, your loved one is amongst a community of people who might be going through the same difficulties as them. 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.

Consider the Financial Situation

Depending on the level of need, both in-home care and assisted living can be costly. Therefore, it’s important that you check the financial situation of your loved one.

With in-home care, caregivers are paid by the hour and come and go based on the level of care needed. They can be used for only a few hours, or provide live-in care for your loved one. Services can also be paid for in a variety of ways. However, there will still be the usual costs that come along with home upkeep and payments since they are aging in place. Assisted living eliminates the home costs, but brings with it the cost of living in the facility 24/7.

There isn’t a simple answer to deciding what care option is right for your loved one. The right choice will depend on which one best fits their specific needs and budget.

Having a tough time deciding? We’d be happy to talk it through with you and find the best fit — start a conversation with us!