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Senior Living Communities or Home Care: Which is Right for My Family?

July 1, 2023

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Whether it’s changes to vision that impact a person’s ability to drive or changes in mobility that affect their ability to safely navigate their home, many older adults need additional support in their day-to-day lives. However, this doesn’t mean they have to lose their independence. Instead, senior living and care options are designed to foster independence and help older adults live safer, healthier lives.

If you feel your parent or someone you love could benefit from additional support, there are two options: in-home care and senior living communities, and the right choice depends on your family’s situation and preferences.

To help you make an informed decision for yourself or a loved one, our Franciscan Ministries team is sharing the similarities and differences between in-home care and senior living communities.

In-Home Care

According to AARP, data shows that 77% of adults 50 and older want to remain in their homes. Whether it’s the house they raised their family in or where they created cherished memories with friends and loved ones, many older adults want to age in place, keep their current routine and continue to live life the way they always have. 

In these situations, in-home care is a viable option. In-home care involves a caregiver providing support and assistance in the client’s house. In general, in-home care is flexible based on a person’s needs, from hourly care to a live-in caregiver, and can be broken down into two basic groups:

Non-Medical Care

Similar to the support provided in an assisted living community, non-medical caregivers can provide assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) and basic household tasks like laundry and cooking. They can also offer companionship if an older adult lives alone. 

Licensed Medical Care

Licensed medical care provides home-based nursing care by an RN (registered nurse) or LPN (licensed practical nurse), such as dressing a wound, administering shots or monitoring vitals. While some may handle basic household tasks, others strictly handle their medical responsibilities, leading the client to have to handle cooking and cleaning themselves or hire someone else to assist in those areas.

Additional Factors

While in-home care allows individuals to remain in their homes, it’s important to note that they do not handle more laborious household responsibilities like yard work, home repairs or shoveling snow. If your loved one is unable to do these tasks themselves, you will likely have to pay someone else to complete them, adding to your loved one’s costs.

In addition, in-home care costs are based on a person’s health and care needs. Over time, should their needs evolve, the cost of care will increase, as well, especially if they reach a point where they need 24/7 attention. Nor do these costs include the expenses associated with owning a home (if applicable), such as a mortgage, property taxes, home insurance, etc.

Senior Living Communities

In-home care may seem like a convenient option for yourself or a family member, but senior living communities offer the necessary support and assistance with additional benefits, amenities and features.

For instance, senior living communities offer maintenance-free living, so residents never have to worry about (or pay for) repairs or upkeep. This helps to alleviate some of the surprise costs that can arise when owning a home.

In addition, for those living in assisted living, memory care or skilled nursing, assistance is available 24/7. While an in-home caregiver may be with Mom or Dad every day from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m, what happens if Dad has a fall at 5:30 p.m. and isn’t able to call for help? To this end, senior living communities offer peace of mind that help is always available through technology and on-site team members.

Senior living communities also offer constant opportunities for companionship, connection and engagement. Residents don’t have to wait for a caregiver to show up to have someone to talk to; they can head to one of the many common areas, dining rooms or on-site amenities to find neighbors and friends.

Discover Faith-Based Senior Care 

There is no right or wrong answer, and the choice between in-home care and a senior living community will depend on your family’s preferences and budget.

For those interested in home care, Franciscan Care Solutions offers a wide range of in-home senior care and nursing services. As a leader in at-home senior care, Franciscan Ministries is partnered with Open Arms. They are a fully licensed at-home senior care agency that specializes in supporting seniors with Parkinson’s Disease, stroke, cancer, dementia, ALS and other conditions, all in the comfort of their own homes.

On the other hand, our Franciscan Communities throughout Illinois, Indiana and Ohio offer a continuum of care that enables residents to comfortably live in a supportive and vibrant community, regardless of their health and care needs. From locally sourced dining to refreshing outdoor common spaces, our communities are founded on resident health, safety and wellbeing. 

We invite you to contact a member of our team to learn more about Franciscan Ministries and the senior care options available!