Facility Living or Elder Care at Home: Which Is Right for the Senior in Your Life?

When it comes to deciding on care options for a senior you care about, you have a plethora of ones from which to choose. Some of the most common are nursing homes (also called long-term care centers), assisted living facilities, and getting elder care at home. Read on to find out which option is best for your loved one.

Nursing homes

Nursing homes are often the first choice for those who are unable to care for their loved ones at home or who have specialized concerns. Seniors with complicated medical needs, such as breathing tubes and ventilators, are those you’ll frequently find at nursing homes.
Technically, it is possible for these individuals to receive care at home or an assisted living facility. However, they may have frequently changing medical conditions or emergency situations that are better addressed in a licensed medical facility. This includes those with dementia and related behavioral issues that are so severe they cannot be handled adequately in the home.

Assisted living facilities

Assisted living can be a great option for someone who needs help taking care of things like cooking and housekeeping, but who is still able to perform most self-care independently. Tasks such as preparing meals, scrubbing, sweeping, lawn maintenance and the like are no longer an issue because they are the facility’s responsibility — not the resident’s.
Assisted living is also ideal for those who need to leave the home frequently, but who lack adequate transportation to do this — and whose houses have structures that make it difficult. The difficulty may stem from walk-up apartment buildings or homes with multiple floors or steps that lack the space for ramps or stair lifts.
What’s more is that those who enjoy community living and activities often thrive in assisted living. These are individuals who might otherwise feel isolated living at home – even with the companionship of a home health aide.

Elder care at home

Personal care at home is an intriguing option for today’s seniors – mainly because it can work for almost anyone. If your loved one has medical needs that can be taken care of by visiting professionals (such as licensed nurses or physical therapists) home care can be an optimal choice. If needed, social workers and care managers can also make home visits for additional services or to coordinate care.
Even those with cognitive impairments, such as Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia, can take advantage of personal care at home. In fact, seniors in this  group often benefit the most from the personalized, one-on-one nature of regular home care.
Individuals who don’t need access to 24/7 medical services are probably the best suited for personal care at home. Although it is possible to have a home health aide 24 hours a day, the senior may only need or want them a few hours a day, a few times a week, or just overnight. If the senior needs things like light cooking and housekeeping, and/or help with self-care needs, that can be arranged as well.
Home care is also a viable care option for the elderly who need help driving to and from appointments, but are still able to get up and down stairs or ramps with assistance (or with assistive devices).
Finally, seniors whose socialization needs can be fulfilled by the presence of one person may be especially comfortable with home care. This socialization can include discussing current events, playing cards, or just enjoying time spent together. And if your loved one strongly prefers to live out their retirement in the house they’ve known and loved for years, home care is the most obvious solution.
A licensed home care agency is the most appropriate provider to discuss this possibility with you. By getting in touch with one in your area, you can get answers to all your questions and see which care option is the best fit for your aging loved one.
If you are unsure of how to best help an aging loved one, the trained and compassionate staff at the Institute on Aging is here to help. Contact us to find out more about getting quality in-home care for a senior in your life. 

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