When to Transition from In-Home Care to Assisted Living?

It’s not surprising that many seniors prefer to live at home. It’s a familiar space that offers the freedom and independence they’re used to. As their needs change, however, a decision has to be made about whether in-home care is sufficient, or whether to consider the more comprehensive care offered by an assisted living community. 

Like many decisions involving parental care, this is not an easy one to make. There are many different factors to consider before taking the leap into assisted living. Here are some key indicators to keep in mind that will help clarify this big decision for your senior family member.

  • Dementia conditions are worsening – One of the main benefits of in-home care is remaining in a familiar environment. However, if your senior family member suffers from dementia, you will reach  a point when even this environment is a challenge for them to navigate. If your loved one is showing significant  agitation, confusion and frustration (including wandering outside the home), it may be time to move into an assisted living community.

    Alternatively, you can hire an home health aide, who has ample training in memory care, so that they can monitor and assist your loved one with dementia properly. Your home health aide can advise you when care needs change. They also can scale up to 24 hour care in order to keep your senior family member safe in their home. 
  • You are moving out of the area – If you have an in-home care provider you trust with mom or dad, this may not be a significant issue. However, if you are the primary caregiver and have to move out of the area, you may feel more secure having your loved one live in an assisted living community nearby.  It will also give you peace of mind to know that they can access  a 24-hour care team and in a comfortable home setting specifically designed for their needs. 
  • House costs are escalating – While the wellbeing of your senior family member is the main priority, it’s also important to evaluate the costs of maintaining their home against the costs of assisted living. If the mortgage payments are significant, or if the property constantly requires costly repairs, it may be more cost-effective to move into an assisted living community where all maintenance and repairs are taken care of. Owning a home requires a lot of work, time and expense, so it’s very important to compare each option on behalf of your senior family member. 
  • In-home care vs. assisted living costs –  It’s important to regularly assess your parent’s needs against the costs of in-home care vs. assisted living care to see what makes the most sense. If your loved one requires very minimal care (help with medication, transport to appointments, and companionship), then an assisted living community may not be the answer. Instead, hiring a home health aide may be recommended. This is less disruptive, keeps your loved one in their home, and the costs directly relate to the services delivered. However, these costs will escalate as your parent’s needs increase. 

If you believe your loved one will require more advanced medical care, like 24 hour skilled nursing care, this will generally cost more at home versus an assisted living community. In this case, it’s important to do your research. Compare local assisted living costs to in-home care costs to see what option will deliver the most comprehensive care at the most affordable price.

Making the choice between HomeWorks in-home care and assisted living at UMC

This is a very personal choice with no right answer for every person. It’s really about finding the best solution for your loved one’s particular situation. In order to do this, it really comes down to one thing: quality. Who will provide the best quality of care for mom and dad? 

United Methodist Communities provides both in-home care and assisted living care with the help of full-service communities across New Jersey. At our core, we will do anything to provide our seniors with the most abundant lifestyle filled with opportunities for enrichment. To learn more about our in-home care or assisted living care options, please contact United Methodist Communities today at: https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/contact/