There are many ways to lead a fulfilling life while receiving high-quality care. No one setup is right for every situation. A lot depends on mobility, cognitive health and emotional well-being.
The ideal solution? A curated arrangement that helps seniors feel supported and empowered.
Among the many options available to seniors and their loved ones: home care and assisted living. These represent two very different forms of care, and yet, these terms are often confused. A third term may also enter the picture, prompting even more questions: What is assisted care?
We’re here to offer clarity so you can make an informed decision. In this guide, we will provide a thorough overview of home care and assisted living, revealing the advantages and challenges associated with both arrangements.
What Is Home Care?
Home care emphasizes the comforts of home. Centered around one-on-one interactions between caregivers and their clients, this setup allows seniors to maintain the familiar rhythms of their daily lives while adding outside support on an as-needed basis.
Typically, this support relates to the activities of daily living (ADL): routine tasks involving hygiene, feeding, and mobility. Caregivers personalize their services to reflect the unique needs of their clients, with the ultimate intention of maintaining maximum independence. Advantages include:
- Autonomy. Under a home care setup, clients feel empowered. Caregivers visit as often as is necessary to maintain a high quality of life, but clients have the ultimate say in how they structure their time — and how caregivers play into their independent lifestyle.
- Continuity. Regardless of its advantages, assisted living always involves some element of upheaval. Some people simply aren’t ready for this level of change. With home care, they can maintain tried-and-tested routines. Modest adjustments may be needed as caregivers enter the picture, but the general structure of day-to-day life remains consistent.
- Companionship. Autonomy is important, but clients also want to feel connected and supported. Home care seamlessly navigates this fine line, providing emotional support while maintaining an atmosphere of respect and appreciation.
- Flexibility. As its name implies, home care is typically based within clients’ primary residences. Its scope can extend beyond the home, however, with custom care often provided within a range of residential spaces or facilities. As clients’ needs evolve, home care adjusts accordingly.
- Respite. Family or non-professional caregivers face a huge burden as they try to make life more comfortable and enjoyable for their spouses or parents. Home care provides much-needed respite, so these individuals can focus on their own physical and mental health while still spending quality time with loved ones.
What Is Assisted Living?
Assisted living takes care out of the single-family home or apartment and, instead, establishes a new primary residence. Independent living remains a priority, but within a fully staffed residential facility. These settings should not be confused with nursing homes; assisted living provides moderate support, while nursing homes deliver round-the-clock medical care.
The perks of assisted living often resemble those associated with home care, but with a few key distinctions:
- Community. Isolation and loneliness are common concerns among seniors and, while in-home services can provide valuable companionship, some clients may require a stronger sense of connection. This is where assisted living can excel: These facilities maintain robust social calendars that include many compelling activities. Residents form strong friendships with neighbors who truly understand their hopes, concerns and frustrations.
- Safe environments. Not all homes or apartments are well-suited to meeting the needs of mobility-impaired individuals. Even with extensive adaptations, seniors may find these spaces difficult to navigate. Assisted living facilities are specifically built to accommodate physical limitations, with ramps, handrails and other features that help residents confidently and independently move about these spaces.
- Medical care. Assisted living facilities often provide easy access to medical services, which may be necessary for residents with significant health concerns. Most offer transportation to medical appointments, with some even featuring onsite physicians or pharmacies.
Choosing the Best Option
Answering questions such as, “What is assisted care?” and “What is home care?” represents an important first step in a difficult decision-making process. This is only the beginning, however, and it may take a great deal of soul-searching to determine which setup is ideal.
Remember, home care and assisted living represent two important components of a vast continuum of care. Every client or resident has distinct needs and preferences. When these remain at the forefront, curated living arrangements can provide the best of both worlds: support and autonomy.
This decision often comes down to a simple distinction: amenities versus in-home comfort. Those who prefer one-on-one assistance within familiar settings will likely gravitate toward home care, while those with an interest in onsite activities and services may appreciate the perks of assisted living.
Custom Home Care: Empowering Chicago’s Seniors
As you examine your options and search for a trusted caregiving solution, look to Custom Home Care for support. Offering comprehensive caregiving throughout Chicago, we provide a range of home care services centered around the activities of daily living.
Committed to improving our clients’ quality of life while promoting independence, we strongly believe in the power of companionship and respect. Both are offered in equal parts by our dependable caregivers, who truly have their clients’ best interests at heart. Discover the power of compassionate and customized service.