Costs and benefits of home care vs senior living

Over the last decade, the market for senior living facilities has spuriously churned out a complex plethora of new products and services under lucrative labels such as independent living communities, continuing care communities, residential care homes and assisted living facilities.

While there has been an expanding list of living options for seniors, it’s a no-brainer that “Home is where the heart is”. After all, you already have everything you need at home, right? There are a number of reasons why home care fares well economically and functionally for your loved ones over competing senior living options.

The Economics of Care

The cost of in-home care and senior living facilities varies depending on several factors, primarily location, amount of care, and the level of care that is required.

According to a national survey conducted by NPR, the average cost of home care per month in the United States is roughly $3477, while the average cost of availing a basic single room package in a senior living facility is $4027 per month and upwards. Alzheimer’s and Dementia care can cost an additional charge of $1,150 per month or more. The price for assisted living facilities also varies sharply across the spectrum, mainly based on location, and charges for additional on-site services. They also often require a security deposit to cover for unprecedented expenses, and emergency services at the time of admission.

Meanwhile the cost for in-home care can also vary based on services requested and the training of the caregiver. However, it is not so precipitous. The average hourly cost of home care ranges from approximately $20/ hour in some states to $30/ hour. A simple estimation of the number of hours of potential care per month multiplied by the average cost of home care in your state is bound to bring you to the conclusion that home care is more than just a personal preference but an informed choice. For instance, in Illinois, the average hourly rate for home care is $22.00 per hour in 2019. Considering that your loved requires an average of 4 hours of care per day, the average daily rate for adult day care is only $88 statewide.

Wholesome Care at Home

There are several other factors which must tally into your decision to choose either home care or an assisted living service for your loved one; it is not strictly an economic decision.

There is more to in-home care than comfort and convenience. Homecare care allows the aging to maintain independence and control over their routine; it adds to the delight of being surrounded by one’s possession and sleeping in one’s own bed. Home care providers are trained to help the elderly with the activities of daily living (ADLs) which typically include services such as hygiene assistance, meal prep, medication reminders, companionship, transportation, emergency medical care, and more.

The elderly is bound to feel happier and at peace with in-home care because you’re doing what you want, and age is no longer preventing you from living the life you have crafted for yourself. This feeling of reassurance and engagement with the environment is scientifically proven to help seniors to cope with illness and recover faster. For instance, elders receiving In-home care for Dementia and Alzheimer’s have been reported to take almost 50% fewer trips to their doctors. Living at home eases their stress and anxieties and help the healing processes.

Another thing to consider is the personality of your loved one. While some enjoy or even thrive in social settings, to some others, this can be an exhaustive and challenging process. Transfer to assisted living facilities have been proven to ameliorate the health and wellbeing of the elderly since it can cause them undue stress and anxiety to meet new people, adjust to a new routine and adapt to community life.

Physical space requirements are another commonly expressed concern with seniors living in communities. Downsizing from your own home to a single bare room or a studio apartment can create a feeling of frustration and abandonment and have been reported to be a common cause of depression experienced with such transitions. Few have been reported to suffer psychological setbacks and nutrition deficiencies from an evasive sense of loneliness and isolation that they can suffer in a community away from home. Today, many assisted living facilities have begun to offer companionship services within their facilities at an additional cost to simulate a sense of fellowship and provide healthier environment for seniors.

Is the cost of long-term care at home more or less expensive than assisted living?

If your loved one requires attention for a specific period of time, there is very little incentive to consider senior living care options. For example, if he/she requires six weeks of rest to recover from knee surgery, the most convenient option for all is to avail a caregiver service from a reputable provider for in-home care for the period.

However, there is more to consider when it comes to long-term care, either at home or in a living facility. There are expenses besides the hourly caregiver rate or the monthly payment for a senior living community, since your adult care budget does not exist in a vacuum.

There are several costs that would continue to exist even if you decide to move the elderly from home to an assisted living community. For example, if the senior’s spouse and family continue to live at home, there are expenses that cannot be eliminated. Other expenses that are often overlooked include payments on the mortgage on their residence, household maintenance and repair expenses, lawn care, and/or snow removal in addition to travel expenses to the facility, and other personal care costs. On the other hand, there is a lot that comes without a price tag while you are at home. It is perfectly conceivable that your loved one is bound to receive unaccounted personal care from friends, family, and other care providers at home for no cost.

It is true that at first glance, deciding between home care and assisted living might seem like a confusing, stressful, and time-consuming process with no right or wrong answers. But now you got the facts.

The price and value of home care outweigh senior living options; “Aging in place” is prescient of long-term health care needs as well as the preferences of the senior. The decision to provide home care to your loved one is not just about convenience and cost; actual benefits of home-care thwarts assisted living in almost all accounts. Hence, if you believe that your loved one deserves the best care at home, contact us today by phone (708) 535-4300 or request a free in-home consultation today to learn more about our services.