While it’s a given that most people want to remain in their homes as they age, thinking that at-home care is always the best option when they begin to need extra help is not. Yes, there are circumstances where at-home care will fit your family’s needs wonderfully. But there are times when the challenges and cost of this option may outweigh the benefits. Here are the pros and cons of at-home care.
What At-Home Care Offers
In general, there are two types of at-home care from which to choose. They include:
- Home Health Care – These services can be helpful when recovering from an injury or illness as well as to provide ongoing support. Home health care is provided on an hourly, as needed, or 24/7 live-in basis and typically features personal care, household chores, cooking, transportation, occupational, physical, and/ or speech therapy.
- Adult Day Care – Offering a safe environment during normal business hours, five days a week, adult day care services typically include meals and snacks, health monitoring, medication assistance, fitness, educational programs, and social activities.
Pros and Cons of At-Home Care
When it comes to whether at-home care is the best option, it really depends on your wants and needs (or those of your loved one), your circumstances, and the home itself. However, in general, the pros and cons are as follows.
- At-home care gives primary caregivers a break should they need to work, go to school, manage other responsibilities, or just have some downtime.
- You have the flexibility to choose how often (how many hours, what days, etc.) at-home care is provided.
- You or your loved one has the comfort of remaining in a familiar place.
- You or your loved one can continue living with family members who don’t yet need assistance.
- You’ll still have the challenges of managing caregiving with your other responsibilities, particularly as care needs increase.
- You still have to keep up with home maintenance and repair.
- At-home care costs can increase dramatically as needs increase.
- Updates to the home may be needed to ensure it is safe and accessible.
- Specific to adult day care, transportation must be provided to and from and the hours as well as services may be more limited than you may need.
- Social isolation and lack of exercise, and malnutrition are risks when care is provided intermittently at home.
Options Instead of At-Home Care
If you determine that at-home care isn’t the best fit, senior living offers other options. Senior living not only provides different types of care including independent living, assisted living, and memory care, but it also offers benefits that are hard to match at home like:
- Peace of mind that support is always at hand – This may help you or your loved one to feel more confident and independent than they were at home. What’s more is many of our communities offer multiple types of care on the same campus for additional peace of mind should your health needs evolve.
- Freedom from chores and home maintenance – We take care of the yard work, home maintenance, housekeeping, and meals in our communities so you or your loved one can spend more time enjoying what you love the most and/or new things you’ve always wanted to try.
- A lifestyle that’s active and connected – Which is much easier here than at home as we offer a full calendar of social activities, outings, classes, clubs, and volunteer opportunities all planned for you and right outside their door!
- A focus on wellbeing – Our communities offer wellness services, a state-of-the-art fitness center, yoga and Tai Chi classes, onsite spa and salon experiences, and even chef-created menus that use fresh, locally-grown ingredients for meals that are nutritious, and delicious!
- Conveniences that make life easier – With amenities you typically don’t have at home, such as multiple dining venues, onsite beauty salon, concierge services, transportation, pool, library, dog park, and walking trails on beautiful grounds.