For many older adults nowadays, aging involves having medical homecare professionals at home looking after them. While some seniors are still choosing other options like assisted living facilities, retirement communities, and other institutions designed to care for the elderly, an increasing number of seniors are still choosing to stay at home.
Aging at home can present unique challenges for seniors. For instance, mobility and health issues make it difficult for them to live safely and independently. And that’s just for starters. Fortunately, home care professionals make it possible for seniors to live safely and independently right in the comforts of their very own homes.
Home Care vs. Other Alternatives: Which is Right for You?
Figuring out if they should age at home or in other types of facilities that offer care for the elderly is a dilemma many seniors face. Since every individual’s situation is unique and everyone has different needs, choosing the best option becomes even more challenging.
If you want to help an old family member or friend make the best decision, it would be best to walk through a few scenarios and use it as a guide when the time to make a decision comes.
Scenario Number 01: Senior is healthy and is living independently.
For healthy and independent seniors that want help with household chores, home care is undeniably the best option. Also referred to as companion care, home care is most likely the best bet in similar scenarios. After all, if you’re doing just fine at home, there’s no need to leave it for a facility.
Home care also provides other peerless benefits. For instance, if seniors live far from their loved ones (or friends), the caregiver can give the family updates about the client’s condition. Having a caregiver can also provide family members with reassurance and peace of mind knowing their elderly loved ones are not living alone.
Scenario Number 02: A senior with health challenges is living alone.
Healthy and independent seniors have more options compared to those with significant physical and health challenges. For those who belong to the latter, assisted living can be the ideal option. Assisted living is also suitable for seniors with health challenges and has no family or relatives nearby.
If the senior finds assisted living facilities isolating and would rather stay at home, it is reassuring to know that many home care companies provide transportation to medical appointments and social events so they won’t miss out and feel isolated.
Scenario Number 03: The senior’s significant other has different care needs, but they want to stay together.
At times, having a significant other that needs a different level of care can be distressing. Generally, seniors can’t take up residence in a nursing home when they don’t need nursing care. This principle applies even if they have a significant other who does.
Fortunately, home care can be a great option in similar scenarios. An onsite caregiver can help on certain days and relieve the spouse of some of the problematic aspects of care.
Also, even if one of the spouses needs round-the-clock supervision or care, having a caregiver can ensure they stay together in familiar and comfortable surroundings.
Scenario Number 04: A senior has serious health issues.
In some cases, seniors with severe health conditions might require institutionalization. For instance, seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s might do well in assisted living or other specialized memory care facilities.
Thankfully, many home care companies also provide specialized services for those with Alzheimer’s. In many instances, the comfort of staying in familiar surroundings can make it easy for family and friends to connect with loved ones with memory impairments effectively.
Scenario Number 05: Senior is approaching death.
For many people, death can be a very uncomfortable subject to tackle. For many people with senior loved ones nearing death, a skilled nursing or hospice family can seem like the most sensible option.
However, if the senior is already at home or can be released from the institution, hospice care at home is also something they can look into. A similar set-up can help the client and their loved ones avoid the facility’s sterile environment.
More importantly, it will allow everyone to spend the senior’s last days meaningfully, and in a surrounding they’re familiar with.
Choosing between home care and assisted living arrangements can be challenging for both seniors and their loved ones. As such, it should be something you need to put much thought into. Sit down with your elderly loved ones and make sure you take into account all the critical factors so you’ll be able to pick the best option available.
About the Author
Sarah Keller is the Content Marketing Strategist of A To Z Home Care, a team of professional home care providers based in Phoenix, Arizona that specializes in long-term care for your loved ones. She enjoys riding horses and camping with her friends and family in her spare time.