Assisted Living Vs. Home Care: What’s The Difference?

When your spouse or parent needs assistance in their daily life, many families face a tough decision – in-home care vs. assisted living. Choosing between assisted living and home care encompasses many factors, both financial and personal. It’s a complex decision and the answer depends on your older adult’s particular situation.

If you are considering care options for yourself or a loved one, it can appear like the more you search, the more perplexed it gets. It’s a thing of the past when the nursing home was your only choice. Now, the number of choices available for senior care services is exceeding overwhelming. What’s the difference between a skilled nursing facility, assisted living, and home care? What factors you need to take into account to reach a decision.

Before you go any further, let’s halt for a minute and steer clear of the confusion in these terms. Below, you will find basic information about the two common kinds of care available for the elderly: Assisted living facilities and home care. This information will help you make sense of services for seniors.

What Are Assisted Living Homes?

Assisted living homes are ideal for individuals who require very little senior care on an everyday basis. This means that most assisted living homes offer residents some help completing various tasks such as organizing medication schedule, but they don’t provide full-time long-term care.

Assisted living homes are also called boarding homes, adult congregate care, congregate housing, domiciliary care, or residential care. There are nearly 30,000 assisted living homes in the USA. These facilities presently house approximately 1 million residents – most of whom are mobile individuals over the age of 60.

People who require a wheelchair to move around or suffer from cognitive or behavioral impairments are typically discouraged from moving to an assisted living facility since they need more dedicated care.  Although most assisted living residents ultimately move on to nursing homes, some residents leave assisted living homes to go back home or move to another such facility.

How do they maintain Independence?

Assisted living homes enables residents to preserve their independence as long as possible without compromising their safety. They support residents’ autonomy, privacy, and dignity while converging on family and community involvement.

Most assisted living homes also encourage a resident’s right to practice (or withdraw from) religion, to socialize and interact with people both in and out of the facilities, to contribute in residential councils, to continue making decisions about personal possessions and to manage their own finances.

Visitors can characteristically come to an assisted living facility at any time of the day and even have an overnight stay. many assisted living homes also allow pets.

The Design of an Assisted Living Facility

People living in an assisted living home typically live in their own private or semi-private designated areas. These residences classically include a bedroom, kitchen area, and bathroom, but this can vary from one facility to another. Residents are offered daily assistance with normal tasks, for instance, dressing, eating, and bathing. Dining programs provide meals three times a day, and activities for education and exercise are common.

Other assisted living services may comprise of housekeeping, recreational activities, health services, laundry services, religious and social activities, transportation services, third-party nursing care through an agency, 24-hour wellness and security programs.

What Is In-Home Care?

The in-home caregiver is one of the most requested and fastest-growing services in the USA today. Agencies offering in-home care provide a range of different services from plain companionship to personal care and supervision. In-home caregivers are suitable for candidates who want to stay at home, but also require ongoing care that family members and caregivers are unable to provide.

In-Home care Vs. Home Healthcare

It enables seniors to age comfortably within their homes. Most in-home care plans encompass a mixture of assisted living, or non-medical services, and skilled health care services. Previously, there was no significant distinction between “in-home care” and “home health care;” and however, many people now resort to home health care when specialized nursing care is involved and in-home care when only non-medical assistance is required.

While those differences may appear trivial, they are actually significant since they help people comprehend the level of care being provided. This will, in turn, impart a major effect on the cost of care and the springs of funding available to compensate for the costs.

Non-Medical Care Services Typically Include:

  • Personal care
  • Supervision
  • Meal preparation
  • Companionship
  • Laundry
  • Medication reminders
  • Light housekeeping
  • Shopping
  • Transportation
  • Errands

In-home care agencies and insurance companies frequently use an individual’s ADL (Activities of Daily Living) rating to determine the requirements of that individual. ADL ratings, on six elementary activities that demonstrate an individual’s abilities to maintain self-care. These activities are:

  • Walking
  • Eating
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Transferring
  • Using the Toilet

Although it is imperative to understand the differences between home health care and in-home care in today’s terminology, it is true that, in reality, most individuals who need one form of care will ultimately need the other as well.

Although deciding between assisted living homes and home care can be stressful, you’ve already taken a big step toward making the right decision by learning more about both of these solutions. You’ll find the perfect care option soon!

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