Deciding between at-home care and a senior living community is not always a clear choice for an older loved one, especially if that person only needs occasional assistance and is, for the most part, able to remain safe and connected to others. However, there are instances when staying home could jeopardize a loved one’s health, wellness and overall quality of life.
In those instances, at-home care and/or adult day care could be an option.
Providers who offer at-home care assistance with housekeeping, transportation, bill paying, meal preparation and offer personal care support. A visiting nurse or aide can help on a daily or weekly basis.
Loved ones who require more care and are determined to remain in their home, 24-hour nursing (i.e. live-in or rotating shifts) at-home care can be an option, though it’s often more expensive than a senior living community, as noted in our Cost of Senior Living Versus Aging at Home blog post. This solution may be most suitable for more introverted loved ones who are not as interested in socialization with their peers as well as those who can afford these services.
Adult Day Care
Some loved ones live with family caregivers and cannot be alone during the day. In this case, adult day care can be of help. They provide programs in a variety of formats, from daily to weekly options. This option provides socialization in a safe setting, with planned activities and outings. And it gives caregivers, an opportunity to work, tend to children or simply have a break from the demands of caregiving.
Sometimes the safest and smartest solution is to realize that at-home care isn’t the best idea, and opt for a senior living community instead. Caregivers should watch for the following:
If signs are pointing that at-home care is not enough, senior living is the right option to choose. Senior living communities are specifically designed for the safety and comfort of older adults. In the case of continuing care retirement communities (i.e. life-plan communities), like Carroll Lutheran Village, multiple levels of care are available, including independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, rehabilitation and respite care.
Evaluating loved ones’ abilities and knowing the concerning signs to look for is key for caregivers to determine whether loved ones are fine with aging at home or would benefit from living in a senior living community. When a little help is needed, at-home care or adult day care may be enough. However, when a greater level of care is needed or there’s a desire to live a better quality of life, senior living communities are the ideal option.
Learn more from our Senior Living Options Guide.