Choosing Between Home Care And Other Senior Living Alternatives

Guest Contributor Victoria Tan

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Submitted by Guest Contributor:
Victoria Tan, Marketing Assistant
Discovery Village At Sarasota Bay
Bradenton, Florida

As we enter our golden years, each of us may have different priorities and preferences about how we wish to age. While some may prefer to age in place, others may prefer life in a bustling community surrounded by likeminded peers.

However, things may not always go according to plan. You may find that pressing health conditions or mobility issues make it impossible or too costly to age in place, or you may simply find staying at home alone socially isolating. Regardless of the reasons you are seeking out senior living alternatives, you have options. 

In this guide, we share with you the differences between home care and other senior living alternatives to help you make the best decision for your needs.

Understanding Home Care

To start off with, let’s first understand what home care entails. Under this arrangement, a home health aide or caregiver can visit your home on an hourly basis, or you may choose to engage one who can live in. These home health aides can assist with a wide range of tasks from bathing and personal grooming to meal preparation.

On top of that, they serve as companions who can accompany you to and from medical appointments, social events, errand runs and more. While this can sound great in theory, the biggest consideration when it comes to home care is the cost.

Keep in mind that the hourly rate of home care does not include many essentials, such as the cost of groceries and meals, your mortgage payments and taxes, insurance premiums and more. This cost can go even higher if a medically trained professional is required.

Understandably, not every senior can afford home care and sometimes, family caregivers step in to undertake this responsibility. This may not be the most cost-effective solution as lost wages can quickly start to add up. In some cases, adult children are helping to pay the costs of home care and losing their wage can change the financial situation at home.

Family caregivers also may not have the necessary skills and expertise needed to take care of a senior, particularly if they have a health condition that needs managing or a mobility limitation. Ageing in place may be feasible for some, but for many others, being in a safe and supportive community is the better option.

What are Senior Living Communities?

Now that you know what home care is all about, it’s time to take a look at senior living communities. As compared to ageing in place, these communities provide a safe and supportive environment for seniors to live life to the fullest. We all know that it can be dangerous for seniors to live alone. Besides there being no one to watch out for their physical health and safety, social isolation can bring around feelings of depression and exacerbate existing health conditions.

Courtesy Discovery Village At Sarasota Bay

Whether you are a fit and active senior who requires little to no help with daily living tasks or if you require a level of assistance, you can find a senior living community to suit your needs. One reason many seniors decide to make the move is the wide range of amenities and events on offer. Staying at home may not give you many chances to get out and socialize. In a senior living community, everything you need is right on your doorstep.

Understanding Senior Independent Living

There are a few lifestyle options offered at senior living communities, progressing on a spectrum of care. The first is senior independent living. Here, residents do not receive help with daily living tasks such as bathing, grooming, and dressing. However, they have access to housekeeping and maintenance services as well as three fresh meals prepared for them daily. 

Senior independent living residents can benefit from having everything they need within walking distance of their apartment home. This includes amenities such as a fitness center and pool as well as barbershops and salons. If you have given up driving, this senior living alternative makes life comfortable and convenient for you. What’s more, every day, you can choose from a packed calendar of social and recreational activities to take part in. Attend an educational seminar today or take a yoga class and catch a movie in the theater tomorrow!

Courtesy Discovery Village At Sarasota Bay

Understanding Senior Assisted Living

The next lifestyle option on the spectrum of care is senior assisted living. Here, residents have access to all the amenities and services that independent living residents do. They also participate in the same activities and events, and residents are encouraged to mingle.

The only difference lies in the level of personal care residents receive. Assisted living residents will benefit from the assistance they need to accomplish certain daily living tasks, such as bathing, dressing, pet care, and more. This will depend on each resident’s unique needs and situation.

Besides being able to receive the help they need, senior assisted living ensures that residents are always surrounded by friendly neighbors and professional team members. You will never lack for a friendly face or something to do. On top of that, it is easy to keep active with the wide array of activities on offer, such as fitness classes specially catered towards seniors.

Understanding Senior Memory Care

If you or a loved one suffers from dementia, Alzheimer’s, or any other memory-related condition, home care can be challenging. For one thing, you will have to find a home health aide who is trained in memory care. Ideally, this candidate will not just be able to meet the senior’s daily needs, but ensure that they are mentally stimulated.

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This is no small feat. When you are struggling to find a care option for a loved one with a memory-related condition, senior memory care is the best option.

Similar to senior independent living and senior assisted living, memory care residents will live in a community surrounded by friendly faces and professional care. A personalized approach will be taken to their care, taking into consideration their likes and dislikes, the progression of their condition, and their fitness needs.

Active participation in daily activities will be encouraged to ensure that residents retain independence for as long as possible, as well as instill in them a sense of confidence. Engaging activities that match each resident’s attention span will be introduced daily to ensure that they stay mentally stimulated.

Which is The Best Choice for Me?

The truth is, when it comes to senior living, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The option that will work best for you largely depends on your budget and how you wish to spend your golden years.

  • Do you lack interaction staying at home alone?
  • Is there a lack of socialization opportunities where you live?
  • Are you done with shouldering the burden of multiple monthly payments and housekeeping responsibilities?

If so, life in a senior living community will suit you perfectly, allowing you to focus on doing the things you love.

On the other hand, ageing in place may suit you well if you find the cost of home care manageable and you are able to get sufficient socialization opportunities in your neighborhood. Even if that’s the case, you may find that your needs can change later. The most important thing is being open to it and considering alternative options as and when that happens.

Victoria Tan

Victoria is the Marketing Assistant for Discovery Village At Sarasota Bay in Bradenton, Florida.


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