When people talk about the difference between in-home care and assisted living, cost is often one of the first things mentioned. Of course cost is important, but just looking at cost implies that their services provide the same value for the same price, but that is not the case.
The costs associated with in-home care involve hiring someone to come into your home for a set number of hours and provide certain services; whereas, joining an assisted living community is a shift in lifestyle.
When making the decision to hire in-home care or move into an assisted living community, consider the following:
- The Costs of In-home Care Versus Assisted Living
- The Amount of Care Your Loved One Needs
- The Quality of Life Your Loved One Has Now
1. The Costs of In-home Care Versus Assisted Living
The average cost of in-home care in Seattle is about $28 per hour, with most home health agencies requiring clients to schedule at least four hours at a time, according to Payingforseniorcare.com. If you only need four hours of care five days a week, the annual cost for in-home care will run about $29,000. On the other hand, assisted living in Seattle costs about $69,000 per year on average. We have a cost guide that is helpful for further comparing senior living options.
If you are interested in learning more about the costs of senior living, you can also compare them with the Genworth Cost of Care Survey.
But when comparing costs, it is important to look at all the costs. The monthly fee at most assisted living communities includes apartment rental and all related living expenses, hearty meals, housekeeping, utilities, 24-hour security, frequent wellness checks, your prescribed assisted living care plan, and more. These can be valuable factors for a loved one who requires a lot of care or desires a more social lifestyle.
This brings us to the next important factor to consider when choosing a care option:
2. How Much Care Does Your Loved One Need?
As mentioned, the yearly cost of 20-hour-per-week in-home care is lower than the cost of assisted living. But if your loved one needs near-constant supervision to be safe, then you still have 148 hours each week that someone will need to be with him or her. Paying a $28 hourly rate for around-the-clock care could become much more costly than assisted living, to say the least.
If your loved one needs assistance every day, for much of the day, then in-home fees can quickly add up until you are paying as much as or more than the monthly rental fee at an assisted living community where your fees include meals and a host of amenities.
Village Green care specialists can talk through the six levels of assisted living care that can be provided for your loved one.
At Village Green Retirement Campus, we have a registered nurse on staff and 24-hour staffing to ensure that someone is always available to provide assistance. In addition, our residents have access to abundant social, educational and fitness programs geared to their interests and abilities.
3. What Kind of Life Does Your Loved One Live Now?
Beyond cost and care, there are plenty of reasons to give assisted living communities a closer look:
- A robust social calendar with many opportunities to engage with peers.
- Exercise and fitness classes just steps from your front door.
- Nutritious meals with plenty of choices served in restaurant-style dining rooms.
- A safe living environment designed to support those with reduced mobility.
- Complimentary transportation to doctor visits or other appointments.
- Residents can be fully independent or ask for assistance with activities of daily living as the need arises.
- Weekly housekeeping is provided.
Deciding Between In-Home Care and Assisted Living
Choosing the best option between in-home care and assisted living can be difficult, but is easier when you understand the ins and outs of each care type. Have a conversation with your loved one about their wants, then consider the three important factors: cost, care needs, and lifestyle needs.
Unfortunately, it is never quite as simple as picking the cheapest option or the option that provides the most care. The cheapest option may not provide seniors with the happiest lifestyle. The option that provides the most care may be more than your loved one needs, and may cost a good deal more than you should pay. Remember to weigh the pros and cons and consider each option carefully while keeping your loved one's needs in mind.
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