Which Care Option is For You: In-Home Care or Senior Housing

by Sue Lanza

Understanding the service variations between In-Home Care and Senior Housing can help you make the most informed decision for yourself or a loved one. Take a moment to learn the simple differences and see which alternative is right for your circumstance.

Planning ahead is the best strategy for situations when seniors may need health care. Unfortunately, many of face these decisions before they are prepared. How do you sort out the maze of choices quickly yet effectively? First, you should look at whether you want to use In-Home Care or Senior Housing.

Defining In-Home Care

Receiving assistance in your home setting for a variety of services and functions is the simple definition of in-home care. The types of service you might find available in your home range from housekeeping tasks such as cooking and cleaning through more complicated or medically-related jobs, like assistance with bathing or help in taking medications.

Advantages of In-Home Care

The biggest selling point of having in-home care is the fact that you are remaining in the most comfortable place you know: your own home. The care comes right to your door in the form of a home health aide (someone trained to usually assist you with personal care duties) or a companion (a person who may keep you company or do light housekeeping tasks).

Costs are variable based on the duties you need performed but it can be more reasonable to have this limited help and remain in your own place. Some insurance plans may cover aspects of in-home care so be sure to check with your provider.

The range of services available is diverse and you don't have to find help alone. There are many agencies that specialize in matching in-home care services to senior clients in need.

Disadvantages of In-Home Care

What is Senior Housing?

Options in senior accommodations that are permanent living quarters outside the home include those that are based on a lifestyle model and those that include medical services as well as housing. Here are some of the categories of senior housing.

Advantages of Senior Housing

There is a housing option to fit almost every situation and need. The different levels of care allow a person to come directly into the stage they need and therefore maintain their independence.

Disadvantages of Senior Housing

In-Home Care vs. Senior Housing: Making a Decision

To begin the process of deciding whether in-home care or senior housing is right for you, the first step is to determine if the services you require allow you to remain in your own home. If yes, contact your area Office on Aging or Senior Center to get a list of reputable agencies and start calling.

If you need more advanced care, enlist a family member or friend to help you make some visits to check out facilities. Be sure to measure "apples to apples" when you review costs and services provided by each level of care. Once you've made your choice, breathe a sigh of relief for you have made an informed decision.