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Assisted Living vs In-Home Care: What’s Best

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A group of independent seniors enjoy coffee and cake together with some help from an assisted living staff member

When someone you love is in need of more help at home, both in-home care and assisted living are options to keep them safe, comfortable, and enjoying a high quality of life. Both of these supportive approaches balance independence and care, but they do so in their own ways.

Assisted living refers to a community designed especially for individuals who require support, but can still live independently. At Medford Estates, for example, our residents enjoy chef-prepared daily meals, housekeeping services, and social opportunities along with medication management and enhanced care for those who need it.

In-home care, also known as home care, can include both medical and non-medical support in a person’s house. It combines the familiarity of home with help in a wide variety of areas, from housekeeping, errands, and companionship, to medication management, nursing care, and hygiene.

The right level of support for your family member will come down to their personal preferences and needs. Here are some of the key aspects to know about assisted living and in-home care.

About Assisted Living

Who is Assisted Living Best for?

While making a big move can be stressful, the shift to assisted living can provide a big boost in quality of life for older adults who need some help with daily tasks. 

Assisted living might be the right choice for someone who is mostly independent, but is:

  • Having trouble moving around the house on their own
  • Finding it tough to maintain personal hygiene, from combing their hair to bathing
  • Encountering difficulties getting groceries or cooking nutritious meals
  • Becoming exhausted easily while tidying up or doing household chores and maintenance
  • Noticing some difficulty remembering to take medication, to attend appointments, or the location of items
  • Experiencing any of the above and would appreciate living a more social, maintenance-free lifestyle 

What does Assisted Living Include?

Different assisted living communities offer their own particular programming and amenities, so it’s important to research more than one location when you’re deciding what might be the right fit for your loved one.

Typically, assisted living includes a private apartment as part of an overall homey atmosphere. At Medford Estates, all residents enjoy the meals a day, social programming, and weekly housekeeping services.

In general, assisted living residents enjoy the privacy and independence of their own suite, but also have access to communal spaces, like a dining room, salon, movie room, and outdoor lounging areas. There’s also likely to be social, spiritual, and wellness programming available for a variety of interests.

Importantly, assisted living communities can offer customized wellness programs to support each resident to be as independent as possible. This can include:

  • Help with the activities of daily living (ADLs), which are the basic tasks we all do every day, from getting in and out of bed, to showering, getting dressed, and brushing our teeth
  • Medication management 
  • Enhanced medication management, including overseeing medical changes
  • Altered diets, including pureed and soft diets as required
  • Mobility assistance
  • Access to a 24/7 nursing team

Assisted Living vs. Long-Term Care

Assisted living isn’t the same as long-term care, or what used to commonly be referred to as a nursing home. Long-term care provides a high level of nursing care for people with considerable medical needs. Assisted living is for independent adults who need just a bit of assistance with their day-to-day tasks.  

About In-Home Care

Who is In-Home Care Best for?

In-home care refers to several types of hired assistance that can help someone stay in their home longer, or continue to live at home during recovery from an illness or rehabilitation after an injury. It can be short-term or long-term care and it’s generally paid for at an hourly rate.

In-home care can benefit a lot of the same individuals who might be interested in assisted living, including those who:

  • Need help with the activities of daily living, including bathing and using the restroom
  • Require transportation to appointments and social outings
  • Have trouble staying on top of their medication needs
  • Love living in their home, but need help with housekeeping or getting around
  • Need assistance with some medical needs
  • Don’t need or want full-time care or company
A senior does paperwork while hired in-home help vacuums the living room

What does In-Home Care Include?

In-home care can include a variety of services to support someone to keep living in their own home as they age and their needs evolve. This might include personal care, such as:

  • Dressing
  • Hygiene
  • Grooming
  • Bathing
  • Fall prevention
  • Transfer in and out of a wheelchair
  • Medication reminders

It can include help around the house, like:

  • Groceries, meal prep, and cooking or delivering meals
  • Cleaning, organizing, financial management, and household maintenance
  • Transportation to and from appointments and help running errands

And nursing care, including:

  • Chronic illness support
  • Disability assistance
  • Rehabilitation from an injury
  • Administering medication

Home care can also include companionship, like enjoying hobbies, meals, and conversation together.

How to Decide Between Assisted Living and In-Home Care

If getting more support is on the table for your loved one, take some time to have a compassionate discussion with them about how they picture their future and what kind of help would make them feel the most supported.

Active individuals who love to socialize with friends, but are no longer feeling secure in their own home might love the sense of community fostered in assisted living. We offer virtual or guided tours by appointment for families to see what we’re all about and get a sense of what it’s like to live here. 

And with our respite and recovery program, we offer short-term stays to people who need the extra support of assisted living during recovery from an injury, illness, or hospital stay. We’d love to meet you, so please contact us with your questions about assisted living at Medford Estates.

Written by tealwood

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