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Options for Seniors: In-Home Care vs. Assisted Living

» Uncategorized » Options for Seniors: In-Home Care vs. Assisted Living

The next phase of life can be daunting as one approaches their retirement years. Helping Hands Senior Foundation offers assistance in both of these aspects, but between the level of involvement and financials there is no “one size fits all”. Let’s unpack which type of care is best for your situation, and the implications that come along with either choice you decide is best.

Let’s address assisted living. In this scenario, you or your loved one goes to a dedicated and specialized caretaker. The pipeline for assisted living begins with the selection of a care home, which in-itself can be an overwhelming process. Clients typically refer to the knowledge and connections of specialized agencies such as Helping Hands to make sure that their provider is the best fit for them. Once an ALF (Assisted Living Facility) is chosen based on your unique and specific criteria, a move in date is scheduled. While this may be reminiscent of dorm-days, this living arrangement is rather a community of seniors grouped together based on need and level of independence. Rooms in ALFs can be just like home; en-suite with a kitchenette and even group communal areas to socialize. Of course, post-COVID safety cautions must be taken into consideration in today’s day and age.

You may be wondering what the difference between these environments and nursing homes may be. There are seemingly a lot of commonalities and the confusion is understandable. In an ALF there is no constant supervision or check-ins that are required for more in-need tenants. The caveat is that there is 24-hour personal assistance available, in case any health, medical, or personal needs arise.

The other more popular form of senior end of life care is in-home senior care. This is defined by remaining in your current home or residence, and having care come to you. This is also referred to as “aging in place”, and it has become a priority for many older adults. According to a 2018 AARP survey, nearly 75% of Americans 50+ hope to stay in their current living situation for the remainder of their lives. This can be for many reasons, but primarily because of close proximity to family, or the sentimental aspects of their current situation. By aging in place, this can be both a calming and convenient solution.

While this is seemingly the more simple choice than packing up everything and relocating later in life, it does come with a few downsides. This can include difficulty treating those with chronic health problems, reduced mobility, or who need consistent and frequent supervision during meals or showers. This is where care placement consulting can be very useful, as these needs are usually in direct opposition for a desire to remain independent.

The typical cost for either in-Home care or ALFs can vary, but they typically follow the following structure:

As you can see, assisted living is cheaper just by a hair, and can often bring more assurance to family and friends knowing there is 24/7 available care if needed. Methods of payment can also differ for ALFs or in-home services. Private pay is the most widely accepted form, followed by insurance and state supplied funding such as Medical or Medicaid. With the latter, you may have more limited selection in the type of care available. This is why private pay is usually a primary choice for many of our clients.

For in-home living or aging-in-place patients, IHSS (In Home Supportive Services) is an option made available to California residents who need financial assistance to pay for this type of treatment. To be eligible, you must be over 65 years of age, or disabled, or blind. There are also a number of smaller criteria that must be filled and is usually determined in an evaluation made by a social worker. To take a look at the evaluation form, you can print it out at your convenience.

We hope this information has been helpful in the decision making process for end of life care.
The complexity and permanent nature of these types of housing choices can be a profound source of stress. Helping Hands can help alleviate these concerns and make the decision making process easy, and even enjoyable. Give our caring and compassionate team a call today!

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