The Pros and Cons of At-Home Care

Pros and Cons of At Home Care

When it comes to healthy aging, quite honestly, there’s a lot to do. You’re supposed to make sure to keep your body active and your brain engaged all while maintaining your social connections as well. Sure, the benefits to your overall well-being are worth the effort, but retirement is supposed to be a time with less responsibility on your plate, right? Well, it turns out that in senior living you can have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. Here’s how programs like our Vivid Life make keeping active, engaged, and connected easy and fun! 

Benefits of Healthy Aging 

Good things happen when you focus on healthy aging. In addition to feeling better overall, which in and of itself is a win, other benefits of keeping active, engaged, and connected include:  

  • Improved ability to do everyday things ​ 
  • Reduced impact of illness and chronic disease​ 
  • Enhanced mobility, flexibility, and balance
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased energy level
  • Reduced feelings of depression and stress
  • Increased feelings of happiness and self-confidence
  • Reduced risk of cognitive decline 
  • Increased mental adaptability and cognitive reserve 
  • Improved memory recall and problem-solving skills 
  • Improved concentration and attention to detail  

How Senior Living Can Help 

At home, particularly when living alone, it can be hard to stay as active, engaged, and connected as you’d like. From lack of opportunity to lack of motivation to lack of transportation to mobility challenges, and more, it’s tough, we get it! That’s why we created the Vivid Life program in our senior living communities. It’s composed of three parts: Vibrant Body, Vibrant Brain, and Vibrant Connections. Here’s what each entails:  

Vibrant Body We offer amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, a pool, walking trails, gardening opportunities, and even a dog park to help you stay active. A sample of activities includes:  

  • Walking club – Daily walks at different outdoor locations using pedometers to measure steps. 
  • Yoga – At least once per week for gentle yoga, and once per week for mindful breathing. 
  • Fitness classes – At least two times per week using a variety of hand weights, resistance bands, and circuit-type exercises. 
  • Tai Chi – At least once per week with a live instructor. 
  • Non-traditional exercise – Dancing, gardening, etc. at least two times per week. 
  • Physical games and sports – Golf, putting, bowling, croquet, bocce, and ping pong available daily with organized events one to two times per week. 

Vibrant Brain We offer monthly calendars filled with classes, events, creative arts, and enrichment opportunities to help keep you engaged. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Visiting lecture series – Twice per month with topics such as cultural, historical, local interest, career-oriented, etc. 
  • Creative art series – At least one per week with a theme that runs 3-6 weeks, such as poetry writing, storytelling, painting, digital photography, etc. 
  • Learning series – At least three times per month with an emphasis on learning something new such as foreign language, sign language, technology, hobbies, etc. 
  • Games – At least one time per week and may include poker, bridge, Scrabble, etc. 
  • Mindfulness – A meditation class once per week and gratitude discussion group twice monthly. 
  • Church service – At least once a week through visits by local churches. 
  • Stress reduction – At least once per month class that offers deep breathing exercises, nature walks, music appreciation, spa-type treatments, etc. 

 Vibrant Connections We offer resident-led clubs, social events, outings and volunteer opportunities for any interest to help you stay connected. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Outings – At least twice per month and may include going to concerts, art shows, museum visits, theatre productions, etc. 
  • Intergenerational programming – At least once per month and focuses on building relationships between young adults/children and residents. 
  • New resident welcome party – At least once per month to formally introduce all new residents, and includes ice breakers, social games, etc. to encourage connection. 
  • Philanthropic program – At least once per month provide residents the opportunity to give back to the community, such as volunteering for a local food bank or pet shelter. 
  • Resident-led clubs – May include game clubs, professional clubs, common interests, etc. that meet at least monthly.  

What’s more, it’s all right outside your door (or transportation is provided offsite) and all in a supportive environment with home maintenance, housekeeping, and restaurant-style dining freeing your time to make it even easier to stay active, engaged, and connected. 

Learn more about Vitality Living’s Vivid Life programs. Or find a Vitality Living community near you today to schedule a tour. 

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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.

Pros –

  • 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. 

Cons – 

  • 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.

For more information on senior living communities, download our Senior Living Options guide today! Or contact us today to schedule a tour.

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