October 31, 2017

More and more seniors prefer to age in place, and flexible in-home care options are readily available. Yet some families may still find providing in-home care overwhelming, and many seniors enjoy living with their peers in an assisted living community.

With so many factors to consider, how do you determine whether in-home care or assisted living is best for your parent? Ultimately, the choice is a personal one. But understanding the differences between the two, and knowing what each one costs, will help you decide.

What to Expect from In-Home Care
In-home caregivers can provide a wide range of services depending on your parent’s needs and the terms of their unique care plan. They can support daily activities such as hygiene, dressing, nutrition, and exercise. Or they might help with light housekeeping, meal preparation, and laundry. Though caregivers don’t provide medical care, they can remind your senior to take medications, schedule doctor’s appointments, and help with transportation. Not least, caregivers offer companionship simply by being available to run errands, take walks, and play games with your senior.

Characteristics of Assisted Living
Assisted living communities are residential facilities that preserve some of the independence of aging in place. Seniors typically live in their own rooms and maintain their own schedules, but they also have access to a variety of social activities and public areas. Daily care is typically limited to the types of basic needs that in-home caregivers address, but residents also have access to some medical services, should they need a higher level of care.

Cost Comparison
Comparing the cost of in-home care and assisted living can be complicated, particularly since every family has different needs and priorities. Remember that aging in place can sometimes require paying a mortgage or rent, utilities, maintenance, meals, and in-home caregiver costs. Assisted living fees include these expenses, though they may be affected by the size of your senior’s apartment and the level of care they require. Many assisted living facilities also charge an administrative fee of up to several thousand dollars when your senior moves in.

In the Chicago area, the average cost of assisted living is currently about $4,500 per month. In-home care rates vary typically between $9-$40 an hour. At Companions for Seniors, the cost per hour drops the more hours are booked.

What’s Best for Your Senior?
To decide whether in-home care or assisted living is best for your parent, start by asking these questions:

  • Does your senior need occasional or more frequent help with basic daily needs?
  • Are the still actively involved in the community, or are they isolated and lonely?
  • Are family and friends able to stop by frequently to make sure she is safe and healthy?
  • Has your senior voiced a preference for aging in place or living in a senior community?
  • Which option makes financial sense for your family?

There is no right answer to these questions, but we’d love to help walk you through the process. Give us a call today at (866)910-9020 to talk to one of our professional advisors.