Deciding the next step in your elderly parent or loved one’s care plan is never easy. You want them to have the best possible care while still considering their medical concerns, independence, safety, happiness, comfort, and finances. This in-depth guide is for those caretakers trying to decide whether home care or assisted living is right for your loved one.
In this article, we’ll cover the following:
- What is home care?
- Different types of home care
- What is assisted living?
- What are the pros and cons of home care?
- How much does home care cost?
- What are the pros and cons of assisted living?
- How much does assisted living cost?
- Will Medicare cover the cost of home care or assisted living facilities?
- How does GoGoGrandparent help?
- Which option is right for my loved one?
What is home care?
Home care refers to various services that help increase independence for seniors living at home and “aging in place.” Often, seniors who utilize home care are independent and can partially or fully manage their own care. Those in assisted living homes may require more assistance with daily living activities.
What are the different types of home care?
Palliative care refers to a specific at-home therapy for a chronic illness or injury. This includes things like at-home physical therapy and speech-language pathology after a stroke. This may be short-term or long-term and can help with specific healthcare needs. Private nursing care is another option if your loved one needs more in-depth medical help on a regular basis.
Home health care is a type of home care specific to health needs. This is often a nurse, therapist, or professional aide who comes to the house and can assist with daily living and medical activities, such as going to the bathroom, getting in and out of bed, and handling basic health concerns.
Companion care is a type of care that focuses less on health and more on daily tasks. This is a form of long-term care for those who need assistance with activities like cooking,
GoGoGrandparent is a supplemental home care service. For seniors aging in place, GoGo can even be their primary form of home care. We offer safe transportation options, grocery and meal delivery, prescription delivery, and professional home services – all to ensure your life is comfortable, easy, and safe.
What are the pros of home care?
Aging in place is familiar and comfortable
Many adults prefer to stay in their own homes as long as possible. Home care in-house allows seniors to receive care in comfortable and familiar surroundings, which can help reduce anxiety and promote a sense of independence and well-being.
Seniors can maintain the routines they’ve built in their home over the years, which helps with a sense of security. They know which routes to take to get to the grocery store, they remember where everything is in the kitchen, they’ve grown a garden in the yard, and they like the familiar sounds of that one creaky floorboard.
Home care allows for more independence
Because home care helps maintain autonomy and independence, it may also slow mental and physical decline. Even with part- or full-time home care assistance, senior adults who live in their own house tend to have more responsibilities than those that live in an assisted living facility. (Seniors in assisted living facilities have many of their needs cared for, like cooking and cleaning.) Keeping the mind and body active with these daily responsibilities and chores is essential to slowing cognitive decline and maintaining self-dignity.
One reason so many senior adults love GoGoGrandparent is that it provides flexibility with how to accomplish these daily tasks. For example, if they want to cook most of their own meals but want to take a break on the weekends, they can order fresh, healthy takeout with our GoGoGourmet option. If they love cooking but hate going to the grocery store, they can get their groceries delivered with GoGoGrocery. GoGoGrandparent takes home care to the next level by offering top-notch services that improve quality of life for seniors who live in their own home or an independent living facility.
Home care is customizable
Home care can be tailored entirely to the needs of your loved one. You can customize their home care based on their medical and health conditions, daily activities, schedule, routines, and more. This also allows for more flexibility for seniors to choose their services, so they can create a lifestyle around their unique needs and wants.
Aging in place allows for consistent socializing
Home care allows seniors to maintain the same social circles with friends and family, which is hugely beneficial to mental and emotional well-being. They can continue going to their bridge clubs, religious organizations, charity events, bingo nights, etc. GoGo’s Transportation service helps by giving seniors freedom of movement while still offering safe, reliable rides, protected by our caring GoGoGuardians.
Home care may be more affordable
If your loved one does not require extensive medical care, part-time home care along with GoGoGrandparent services are often more affordable than assisted living facilities. We’ll discuss the cost of home care more below.
What are the cons of home care?
Home care isn’t suitable for everyone, though. Here are some reasons you may not want to use home care instead of an assisted living facility:
- Some seniors may feel lonely living at home, especially if they do not maintain social circles regularly. An assisted living facility will put them around other seniors with whom they can socialize regularly. An assisted living facility also generally offers recreational activities and social events that your loved one would otherwise have to search out themselves.
- If there are concerns with mobility, balance, and memory, it may be unsafe for your loved one to live alone without a full-time home health care assistant to supervise and care for them.
- While a personalized care plan is an advantage of home care, it also means there are more moving parts that the caretaker must manage.
- Some medical needs require specialized equipment that you may not be able to afford or find space for in the house. In these cases, a nursing home that offers that equipment might be the right option.
- Family members often must be more hands-on when their loved ones live at home. If you feel you don’t have the time, support, or skills to help create a safe environment for your loved one, it can cause a lot of emotional stress.
GoGoGrandparent helps ease this pressure with our Family Features dashboard, so you can help manage your loved one’s rides, prescriptions, groceries, meals, and home care.
How much does in-home care cost?
Home care costs can vary drastically depending on the level and type of care. Home care is generally a more affordable option if your parent only needs occasional assistance with daily or medical activities. However, if your loved one requires specialized medical care or treatment, an assisted living facility might be the safer and more economical choice in some cases.
There’s no set number for home much in-home care costs. It can range from the cost of GoGoGrandparent services to the salary of a live-in physical aide. So, you’ll want to do some research and a cost analysis to see if home care is a more cost-effective option.
For those seniors who only need partial home care services, GoGoGrandparent is an affordable way to have access to safe, reliable help without paying for a home care aid.
What is assisted living?
Assisted living is a type of senior care in a community setting. It was invented in the 1970s by Dr. Keren Brown Wilson for her mom. The idea was that as you get older, it’s harder to drive safely, eat good food, get your groceries, etc. Instead of hiring a driver, a chef and a personal assistant for just yourself - Dr. Wilson hired them for her mom and all her friends, and moved them into the same building to split the costs. If you move into assisted living, you or your loved one will move out of their current house into an apartment or private room at the assisted living facility. These facilities help with daily activities like meals, laundry, and transportation. For example, chefs cook the residents’ meals, laundry is done within the building, and there may be shuttle routes from the facility to local spots.
Assisted living facilities focus more on daily and social activities and generally don’t include medical aid. Nursing homes are a type of assisted living facility that focuses more on medical care.
What are the pros of assisted living facilities?
- The most significant benefit of assisted living facilities is the social aspect. Your loved one will be surrounded by others their age and may even have some of the same medical, social, and lifestyle concerns. Studies show that seniors who socialize regularly experience a boost in happiness and mental well-being.
- Assisted living facilities also offer a ton of fun activities, like game nights, outside excursions, exercise classes, arts and crafts, dancing, and more. This is a great way to keep your loved one active and involved, which is essential to mental and physical health.
- For those seniors who struggle with taking care of themselves, assisted living facilities can offer daily services like cooking and cleaning that give more dignity and freedom back to residents. This allows them to feel more in control of their lives while easing the burden of some of these stressful tasks.
- Your loved one will not have to rely on you or others for their daily care. This may help improve your relationship.
What are the cons of assisted living facilities?
Assisted living facilities are often not the first choice for seniors. Here are some of the reasons why:
- Assisted living facilities take away a lot of independence and autonomy. Your loved one may not be allowed to cook their own meals, leave when they want to, and even sleep in (at the risk of missing breakfast). They are confined to the structure of the assisted living facility.
- Some adults also feel they’ve lost their sense of privacy. Constantly surrounded by others all day can be overwhelming for some seniors.
- In some facilities, seniors must share a room. This can be a challenge for adults who are used to living on their own.
- The assisted facility may not allow pets. If your parent is attached to their dog or cat, you’ll want to consider this.
- Traditional assisted living facilities may have a nurse on staff, but they generally can’t provide the same level of medical care as a nursing home or an at-home nurse.
- Adults with cognitive decline may struggle at an assisted living facility where surroundings, faces, and routines are unfamiliar.
- Assisted living facilities can be costly. (Read on.)
How much does assisted living cost?
Assisted living costs vary greatly depending on where you live, your insurance, the type of facility, the services available, and any add-ons. The average cost of assisted living communities runs between $1,000 and $9,000 monthly, not including medical care costs. However, that’s just an average. Some nursing homes with medical care can be upwards of $8,000 to $15,000 a month. For high-end assisted living centers with rooms that could rival your loved one’s current home, it can be in the tens of thousands of dollars each month.
Before feeling overwhelmed about deciding, we recommend finding out the cost of assisted living facilities in your area. Conduct an analysis of the services, preferences, and costs of an assisted living facility versus home care services.
Will Medicare cover home care or assisted living facilities costs?
Medicare usually will not pay for any “custodial care.” This refers to daily tasks like eating, cooking, bathing, or dressing. That means Medicare usually won’t cover companion care or GoGoGrandparent. It may, however, cover any nursing or therapist costs for your at-home care. Medicare may also cover expenses related to healthcare, such as transportation to doctors’ appointments, prescription delivery, and other health services.
This also means that Medicare won’t cover assisted living facilities, which are primarily considered custodial care. However, like with home care, Medicare may cover some health-related expenses incurred while at the assisted living facility.
It’s best to chat with a Medicare representative to get more information about your Medicare plan’s benefits.
How does GoGoGrandparent help?
When Dr. Wilson invented Assisted Living for her mom, she created a system that would split the cost of a driver, a chef and care aids between the residents of her mom’s building. This made sense at the time, but today smartphones make it a 100x easier to split the cost of a driver, a chef and care aids between people that are choosing to continue living in their own homes, removing the need for people to moving into a shared assisted living facility. Research shows hospitalization and acute illnesses have also been associated with a decline in ADLs. In general, if a senior adult cannot do at least two of the following things by themselves, they are likely to end up in an assisted living facility within six months: transportation, meal curation, grocery management, medication management, home maintenance, finances/bills, and social life.
That’s why GoGoGrandparent’s mission is to make these tasks easier for senior adults. GoGoGrandparent offers services for those critical tasks that ensure seniors maintain their autonomy while still having safe, reliable help.
How can you use GoGoGrandparent to supplement your home care?
- Catch a ride with GoGoRides. Your parent can go anywhere at any time, giving freedom of movement similar to a rideshare but without needing a smartphone. Our GoGoGuardians are constantly vetting drivers and monitoring requests to ensure safety and accessibility.
- Does your loved one like to cook but hate grocery shopping? Get groceries delivered right to their door with GoGoGrocery. Our GoGoGuardians track your order, communicate with your shopper, and ensure you get everything you need. We even save their shopping lists, so they can reorder easily and never be without food in the house.
- If your loved one doesn’t want to cook every night, our GoGoGourmet services deliver takeout right to their door. While they have access to hundreds of chains and local restaurants, GoGoGrandparent is different because our Guardians work directly with the restaurant to confirm dietary preferences and track meal delivery (so the food arrives hot).
- Make sure your loved one never forgets to fill their prescription with GoGo’s prescription delivery service. Our GoGo drivers help ensure your loved one can always have their medicine on hand – without having to deal with the headaches of a pharmacy.
- Regular home maintenance is one of the biggest struggles for seniors living at home. GoGoGrandparent connects you to thousands of local home professionals who have been vetted by our GoGoGuardians for safety, reliability, and kindness. You can find everything from landscapers and dog walkers to housekeepers and caregivers. You can even hire someone to clean the house, do the laundry, or hairstyle right in the home!
- Family Features give you, the caretaker, to peace of mind about your loved one’s care. You can even set up safety controls and book and pay for services on your loved one’s behalf.
Best of all, seniors love that they don’t need an app to use GoGoGrandparent. Our telephone dial-in service makes it easy to use all these services with just the push of a button.
Learn more about how to use GoGoGrandparent as an extension of your care team here.
Which option is right for my loved one?
Choosing between home care and assisted living depends on your loved one’s needs and preferences. Make sure you chat with them before making a decision. They will want to be included in the decision-making process, and they will want to understand why you ultimately select one over the other.
We also recommend you check out our guide on independent living. Independent living is a great in-between option for those senior adults who want the community feel of an assisted living center while still retaining the independence and privacy of living in their own space.
Register for GoGoGrandparent. If you can’t decide if home care is the right option for your loved one, do a trial run to see how GoGo’s services can help aid and enhance their life. Many seniors find that with GoGo’s rides, meals, prescriptions, and home care, they may not even need to consider an assisted living facility.