Home Care Vs. The Alternatives: How To Choose?
Many older Americans choose to move into some form of senior housing. But each year more and more choose to stay in their homes. It’s not a black-and-white choice, and whatever arrangement you choose, home care can dramatically expand your options.
For many these days, the ideal approach to aging involves aging in place—staying in your home and taking the steps necessary to remain independent for as long as possible. Many are still choosing the better-known options: retirement communities, assisted living facilities, and other institutions designed to care for older people. But an increasing number of seniors are choosing to stay at home and get whatever help they need to remain there.
Aging at home comes with all the same challenges: Health and mobility issues present threats to independence wherever you live. But home care agencies—which provide all the services that come with an assisted living facility, but do so in the client’s own home—can enable a senior to remain at home throughout the aging process, and at a cost comparable to other options.
Because many seniors choose to age in place because of their emotional attachment to a particular home or community, home care can also give loved ones the reassurance that their family members are being well cared for without forcing seniors into an unfamiliar, and possibly distressing, environment—and home care can, if needed, keep seniors at home all the way through the end of life. What’s more, home care can also expand the range of options available to any senior, allowing them to choose to stay at home—or seek care outside of it—as best suits their situation.
Kinds of Care
Before we talk about choosing between home care and out-of-home care, we should probably talk about the types of care available to people looking for help as they age. Roughly speaking, they fall into two main categories: the types of care you can receive in your home, and the types you can only receive by leaving home.
There are various kinds of help that someone can receive at home: