Seniors in America are lucky enough to have several different long-term care options available to them. For families, this can be a difficult choice because there are pros and cons to all of them. It’s important to weigh these against one another to find a match best suited for your senior. People often ask us what the difference is between our in-home care services and assisted living facilities. Today, the B’Zoe team will help break down the differences to help you make a better-informed decision. Let’s get started!

Services Offered

One of the main differences between in-home care and assisted living is the service capabilities. Common in-home care services include things like bathing, meal prep, getting dressed, going to appointments, companionship, grooming help, and more. These are tasks that should be done daily, that seniors may no longer be able to accomplish on their own. The services performed by in-home caregivers are often personalized and catered to your loved one’s exact needs. They can adapt and change as your senior’s condition does! Assisted living facilities typically handle similar services along with housekeeping for the senior’s room. Assisted living facilities usually have staff on-hand 24/7 in case of emergency, and many have registered nurses. Assisted living allows your loved one to live independently in a building or sector with other seniors. Care is just outside the door when needed, making it a great choice for those with more serious care needs. Keep in mind that most assisted living plans are set and not catered to custom needs. This may be fine for some people, but other seniors require more personalized attention than the facility can offer. 24/7 in-home care is also an option, but it is less common than assisted living. While the service catalogs are quite similar between both senior care options, the two are not created equal. 

Living Arrangements

As you would imagine, in-home care is the senior care that comes straight to your door! Your loved one can remain in their own home – or in the home of a family member – and still receive the care they need. This is proven to be more comfortable for the senior because they are familiar with the environment and don’t need to change their whole life around. Because they remain in a home, family and friends can come and go as they please without worrying about visiting hours. Let the grandkids sleepover or take your senior out for the day. The rules are yours to make! In contrast, assisted living facilities often have visiting hours. Outside of this time frame, family and friends are not permitted inside. This can be inconvenient for family members that work odd shifts and can’t make it to the facility during the set hours. When you do get to visit, you usually have a set of regulations to follow. Some assisted living centers do not permit the senior to leave the property, even when accompanied by the family. This can restrict what you can do during visits. Most visits occur in communal rooms, so you won’t necessarily get to spend quality alone time with your loved one. That being said, the rooms are very well kept and each senior usually has their own place. Some facilities have full apartments and others are single rooms with bathrooms. It all depends on how independent you want your loved one to be. 

Cost

Many people fail to realize exactly how expensive senior care can be. According to The Genworth Cost of Care Survey 2018, the average price for assisted living facilities per month is $4,000. That’s more than many people pay for an apartment! This rate is lower than that of a nursing home, but it’s certainly not chump change. Unfortunately, many health insurance plans do not cover long-term care. That means that just about all assisted living expenses will have to come from the pockets of seniors and their families. It’s important to keep in mind that you are getting very good care for this price, as well as the upkeep of the building, activities, and more. If you’re looking to save some money, in-home care is your best bet. Most caregivers stop by x-amount of times per week for a set number of hours. The less they’re there, the less you pay. Hourly rate for in-home care is often more affordable regardless, but the option to add or remove visits is a nice way to give you some flexibility. Very few health insurance plans will cover in-home care 100%, but several of the most prominent brands do offer some assistance, especially if prescribed by a doctor. This can make the bill even more manageable so that you aren’t spending $48,000 per year on a senior who is relatively independent. 

Caregiver/Senior Relationships

We’ve come across many families that didn’t realize the stark differences between in-home care staff and assisted living staff. Home care providers often match you to a single caregiver that will visit every time. This match is based on needs, lifestyle, and personality so that a friendship can blossom. Seniors grow very attached to their caregiver over time because the staff has fewer clients to worry about at one time. They can focus more attention on your loved one rather than running around a facility taking care of 20+ seniors. Assisted living facilities have a more traditional staff that rotates frequently and does different tasks daily. The caregiver your loved one has in the morning is likely not the same one who will take care of them in the evening. This makes it hard for your loved one to build trust and rapport with their caregiver and can make them feel less important and cared for. Think about it in terms of school courses: you’d rather have one teacher with few students so they get to know everyone, right? Huge lectures and rotating teachers are overwhelming and don’t make you feel as valued. The same can happen in large assisted living facilities. 

Overall Pros and Cons

Here are a few additional pros and cons that we feel are worth mentioning. Of course, both senior care options are tested and trusted by millions. We encourage you to do research of your own or even reach out to elderly care companies to ask more questions. One of the best ways to determine how reliable a company is is to turn to their reviews or testimonials. Families will not hesitate to let you know how a facility or in-home company is doing. Keep in mind that not all companies are created equally. These pros and cons may apply to the average company, but they won’t apply to every company. Don’t be afraid to look around. Involve your loved one in the search and decision so that everyone is happy with the outcome! Take a look at some pros and cons we often see:

If you’re looking for senior care options for your loved one, consider an in-home caregiver. B’Zoe has been providing top-notch home care for years and we take pride in our staff. Each caregiver must pass strict background checks and meet a standard of training. We can help your loved one age in place happily and healthily. Learn more about us at https://bzoehomecare.com/ or call us at (206) 953-4900 to speak with our team! We look forward to hearing from you!