The majority of seniors want to live in their own home for as long as possible. They like the familiar surroundings. They like sleeping in their own bed. They enjoy the community they live in. They know their neighbors. They have an emotional attachment to their home, because their kids and grandkids have grown up there. Senior care at home, Instead of an assisted living facility, could save millions for medicare users.
Dementia in Home Care
Most seniors feel that they will be losing their independence when they are asked to move to a facility, whether it is an assisted living facility or a nursing home. Additionally, seniors with memory conditions are especially sensitive to leaving familiar surroundings. Moving to a facility can cause additional stress and confusion.
What is the Difference Between Senior In Home Care and Assisted Living for Aging Adults
So what are the choices when determining how to care for aging adults? Assisted living and in home care are two choices that people struggle with the most. While these services are similar, there are also many differences. You should be clear on these differences before making a decision on how to care for an aging senior.
- First of all, you should assess the senior and the type of care needed to be able to make an informed decision based on several factors:
- The seniors personality
- The type of care needed
- The cost of care needed
- Expectations of future costs and care needed
The senior’s personality is one factor that many people forget to assess, yet it will become a major factor in deciding the type of care. Many seniors simply will not leave their home. Trying to force them out ends up causing contention between family members. Other seniors like the social aspects of assisted living: bonding with other people their age, sharing activities and meals, and enjoying the outdoor areas providing by the facility.
2. Secondly, you need to understand the difference in types of care. In general, most senior care can be classified as either:
- Companionship care
- Personal care
Senior Companionship Services
Companionship care covers services such as light housekeeping, transportation and meals. These are activities that become more difficult as aging occurs.
- Making meals
- washing clothes
- taking out the trash,
- changing bed linens
- loading/unloading dishwasher
Senior Care at Home, Instead of an Assisted Living Facility, Could Save Millions for Medicare Users
These chores can be physically difficult on aging seniors. With just a little help for a few hours each day, companionship care can provide a senior with enough help to eliminate some of the activities that tire them out and can leave them with the energy they need to be able to do the things they really enjoy.
In Home Senior Companionship Personal Care Services
- Personal care services include all of the activities of daily living (ADLs) such as :
- oral care
Seniors requiring personal care are often recovering from surgery or have some type of illness that hinders them from being able to perform these activities themselves. Caregivers who are hired to perform personal care will also take care of companion care services as well.
In home Care Cost versus Assisted Living Facility Cost
Thirdly, assess the cost of in home care versus a facility. The cost for both is usually privately paid, as Medicare and Medicaid have little to offer in this area. In home care is sometimes covered by a long term care insurance policy, but these policies tend to be very restrictive and limited on the amount of care they actually provide.
With the average cost per hour for an in home caregiver being around $18, having a caregiver in the home for 4 hours per day, seven days a week would cost $2,160 per month. As the hours increase, so does the cost. The national median monthly rate for a one bedroom unit in an assisted living facility is $3515, according to the 2016 Cost of Care Survey released by Genworth Financial Inc. In home care can be a lower cost solution than assisted living, depending on the number of daily hours of care needed.
Eventually, as the hours increase, the cost of in home care will surpass the cost of assisted living. Having a caregiver in the home for a few hours a day, several days a week can be a big help in reducing the physical effects of companion and personal care activities. As seniors reach the age of needing help with ADLs, they may need a caregiver in their home every day of the week. However, the level of care given to the senior at an assisted living facility versus in home is not comparable.
Is In Home Care Better than Assisted Living for My Aging Parents
Assisted living facilities provide a shared caregiver who may visit the senior one hour per day. In home care provides a one-on-one relationship between the senior and the caregiver and the caregiver gets to know the senior, their families and friends and can be a vital link between all of them. Additionally, in home care providers generally keep records of care given and can be an informative link in tracking the health and well-being of the senior receiving care services.
In Home Senior Care is Cost Effective
Finally, always assess the expectations of future costs when determining in home care versus a facility. Many seniors move to assisted living facilities only to find out that within a few months they have to hire an in home caregiver to provide the level of care needed. At that point, they are paying for the facility and the in home caregiver, which can be a costly mistake.