Assisted Living vs. Home Health Care: What is the difference?

What is assisted living?

Assisted living facilities provide extra care and support for seniors who require a helping hand with their daily living activities. They also offer opportunities for social and wellness activities, alleviating the isolation that many seniors face. Most assisted living facilities offer medication management and help with bathing and dressing, meals, laundry, and transportation. Staff is on hand 24/7 to ensure that your loved one is well cared for and safe.

Benefits of assisted living facilities?

For the independently minded senior who needs a helping hand with their daily activities, assisted living facilities are perfect. Residents can take comfort in knowing that they are safe and well cared for. Assisted living facilities offer opportunities to participate in crafts, trips, and other social activities that can help relieve isolation and stress. Dining experiences offer wonderful social time and take away the burden of meal preparation and clean up.

Drawbacks of assisted living facilities

Assisted living facilities are not for everyone. Seniors may be reluctant to leave their homes and memories. The process of downsizing and letting go of those memories can be detrimental to the well-being of some seniors. Living in a more communal setting, while beneficial for some, may be difficult for those who need or value privacy. Security and care are there 24/7 but, there are limits to what and how staff can help.

What is the cost of assisted living?

According to the Genworth 2021 Cost of Care Survey, the average monthly charge for assisted living facilities in Florida is about $4,000. Costs include a basic residential fee for living space, round-the-clock staffing, security, and maintenance. Medical care and other therapeutic services would be additional charges to the monthly cost.

What is home health care?

Home health care is skilled care delivered within a person’s home. Licensed medical professionals such as nurses, aides or therapists provide care and treatment. Care services often include such things as occupational therapy, speech therapy, skilled nursing and may include social services or assistance with daily living activities.

Benefits of in-home care

For many seniors, being able to stay in the well-known, comfortable environment of their own home allows them to maintain a sense of dignity and grace. Home-care can be customized to fit their individualized needs – allowing the senior to still maintain some independence. For seniors who are recovering from surgery, at home health care has been shown to help them recover faster. Seniors may avoid unnecessary trips to the hospital with carefully managed one-on-one care. In addition, the burden on the family can be lessened through lower costs; aide support and being able to be a continuous part of their loved ones’ life.

Drawbacks of in-home care

There are some drawbacks to in-home care. Homes may lack medical equipment and conditions needed to support your loved one. Making the adaptations needed can become costly and complicated. Although it is easier to customize care, having full-time care around the clock can become very expensive. In addition, family members will have to be more involved in planning and managing that care.

What are home health care costs?

According to the 2022 Genworh Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of a home health aide or companion is $25 per hour in Florida or about $4,000 per month for a full-time caregiver at 40 hours per week.

Assisted living vs. home care: which is best for my loved one?

When trying to make decisions about assisted living vs. home care for your loved one, think through who they are and what specific care is needed. For someone who is very social, assisted living may be perfect.

For someone who is happy in their home but needs a bit of help with daily living activities, then home care may be best. For the senior who needs round the clock assistance or whose home needs substantial modifications to meet their needs, assisted living may be best.