Deciding Between Home Care and Institutional Care

When making a decision about the care of an elderly loved one, there are a lot of things to take into consideration. For this article, we’ll look at some common questions you should ask, as well as some of the differences between home care, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes. Let’s get started.

First, when considering which services to use, you need to make an outline of your loved one’s specific needs. Make a list of those needs and concerns and then write out the answers to them. Here are some questions you can ask to help you do that:

  • What type of help does my loved require to be able to live as independently as possible?
  • Make a list of any healthcare, nutritional requirements, supervision, companionship, housekeeping, and transportation needs.
  • How much money is available to pay for these services?
  • Will insurance cover any of them?
  • What days and times do we need assistance?
  • What help can I, a family member, or friend provide?

Home Care

This is either provided by professionals or family members. Depending on the needs of the patient, professionals are able to give care ranging from several hours a day to 24/7 care. For those who may only need assistance with daily tasks, home care may simply be helping with common chores. Others may need help with medications, injections, or other medical help; f that is the case, then certified health training is required.

Home care takes both a level of healthcare and supportive services to help an individual who can live at home safely, but is homebound, sick, or disabled. The hours, types of care, and level of care given varies by the healthcare providers.

Independent Living Facilities

An independent living facility allows the elder to rent a condo or apartment home on a community campus. In the campus, there are services that give them a variety of options for socializing. For those who are in generally good health, a major benefit is that they can stay socially active and lessen the chances of becoming socially isolated or depressed. Because health care services aren’t normally provided here, it’s not really the best option for those who have major health concerns.

Assisted Living Facilities

Assisted living facilities are very similar to Independent Living Facilities with the exception that Assisted Living facilities provide basic health services, while ILFs do not. Residents in an ALF live independently in their own apartments, but they also have access to help with personal care staff to assist with any common chores. There aren’t usually any skilled nurses on-site, so the types of health care services they offer are typically limited.

Nursing Home Care

When an elder needs 24-hour care, he or she is generally moved into a nursing home, where they receive care for major medical needs given by a variety of medical professionals. On a daily basis, residents might see RNs, LPNs, doctors and therapists. Residents often live in a room on the facility grounds and share them with other residents. Other needs and services provided include housekeeping, laundry services, meals, and recreational opportunities.

Again, making the right decision hinges upon the needs of the senior and what the family can financially afford. It is best to consider all of the options available to you and to consult with a doctor or physician if you have any questions or concerns before making a decision.