Both choices are popular. Three out of four adults ages 50+ stated that they would like to continue to age at home. Meanwhile, many family members report that while their parent or relative may have initially resisted the idea of assisted living, they quickly grew to love their new community.
The primary differences between assisted living versus home care are where the individual receives support and the overall costs associated with each type of care. Assisted living communities offer care, meals, social opportunities, and housing all in an apartment-style environment, while home care delivers comparable services directly within seniors’ homes.
Learn more about the staff specialties, costs, and services included in these two options for senior support to help guide you in deciding between assisted living versus home care for your loved one.
What is assisted living?
Assisted living facilities provide housing and care services to active seniors who aren’t able to live independently. This type of care combines housing, support services, and health care if needed.
These communities help seniors with activities like bathing, dressing, and eating, but they don’t provide ongoing skilled nursing care.
Many assisted living communities for seniors offer numerous supportive care options, including the following:
- Medication management
- Meal services
- Housekeeping or laundry services
- Social activities
- Assistance with activities of daily living
Benefits of assisted living
Many elderly people might prefer to stay at home longer because they fear change, says Michelle Aweshah, a regional manager at A Place for Mom (APFM). However, over time, assisted living communities can feel like home, too.
Seniors in assisted living, as well as their loved ones, can look forward to multiple benefits:
Assisted living can provide either short-term or long-term care, depending on your needs — it doesn’t have to be a permanent decision.
“Some people feel assisted living might be their ‘final place,’ and are afraid that they won’t like it once they move,” says Aweshah. “The great news is, in most cases, assisted living communities only require a 30-day notification of a move, even if you signed to stay a year.”
In addition to providing flexibility, assisted living offers care day and night, as needed. The various skills of staff members in assisted living play a pivotal role in supporting the well-being and safety of residents.
“There are aides on staff around the clock to assist with personal care needs,” says Aweshah. “Most communities also have nurses on-site, as well as mobile services for physician appointments, therapy services, and more.”
Social activities and services
“For many, being home may feel independent, but if they’re unable to drive, don’t visit friends as often anymore, or don’t eat as well, this can be very isolating and can lead to depression,” says Aweshah. “Being ‘independent’ can quickly become a detriment to quality and longevity of life.”
Assisted living communities provide transportation, nutritious foods, games, and social activities, which are all very popular with residents.
Additional benefits of assisted living can include a host of helpful amenities:
- Beauty salons and barber shops
- Concierge services
- Game rooms
- Movie theaters
If you’ve decided assisted living is the right fit, touring can help you compare communities and ask key questions. Use our downloadable resource to keep track of notes, observations, and next steps.