Many seniors and the children of seniors are faced with hard and emotional decision of needing help for themselves or their parents. In many cases this means looking at in-home care or going into an assisted living facility. Each have their pluses and minus.
Home care is usually provided by agencies from mom & pop or caregiver owned, professionally owned and operated agencies to large franchises where owners come from many background and in some cases, are more marketing based than care based. Although many franchises are professionally run and do have owners that want to put care above huge profits. However, It’s the whole selection process as to who gets a franchise that may be faulty in assuring quality care agencies. But more on that in a later article. You want to be careful with real small agencies as they may only work in a small area and not use w-2 employees, carrying insurance or workers comp on their caregivers. Be assured at About Care Home Care all our caregivers are our employees, well screened, insured and covered by workers comp.
In general, Home Care provides one on one care you schedule into your home. You get to review the type of caregiver you would like. Your caregiver can help you with meal preparation, laundry, light housekeeping, transportation to doctors and shopping or even a movie. But it can go beyond just day to day help. It can also be personal care in which I discuss later. They can be there for 1 hour or 24 hours and up to 7 days a week depending on your needs and of course what your budget allows.
Assisted Living in Arizona can range from small private houses for 2 to 6 people up to huge complexes that serve hundreds. Often seniors will move into Independent Living first. This is much like living in an apartment but with communal meals and possibly some security/safety checks. This does ensure a greater level of safety because nutrition will be assured and someone will be monitoring for safety at least occasionally. Cost for this can vary from $2500 a month to $6000 or more depending on luxuries or amenities provided. For those that are social and can adapt well to living with large groups of people, there are many benefits to this type of living arrangement.
But as seniors age they will need more and more personal care. This type of care is always extra and is often more than what a private agency will charge. Many residents will not ask for outside services and end up paying for the high cost in-house services. Note: Many Independent livings facilities will allow private agencies into service their residents. You should ask other residents about this policy prior to signing up.
Is Assisted Living or Home Care Less Expensive (The Short Answer) – The general rule of thumb is that if 40 hours or less per week of paid home care is required, then home care is a less expensive option than assisted living. However, there are many factors that can easily change this equation such as one’s state, whether they rent or own their home or if they require additional services in assisted living such as Alzheimer’s care.
You may wonder what is personal care? Personal care is generally non-medical care above general housekeeping, cooking or transportation. It includes showers, help with toileting or changing adult diapers and/or bedding as needed. Its helping clients to stand and ensure no falls by constantly assessing that possibility and acting accordingly. This may mean watching their clients so they won’t fall, to using a gate belt or other method to help clients walk. It can be ensuring oxygen tubes are flowing freely to peg tube feedings and colostomy bag changes. It’s essentially helping to ensure quality of life is as high as it can be for the caregiver’s clients.
But personal care can be different for those in assisted living to those receiving home care. When receiving personal care in your own home you have a dedicated caregiver there to help just you. Within an assisted living that same caregiver may have from 4 to 13 different clients to help each day. But you may be paying the same or more hourly rate! It’s not a matter of dedication but is span of control of juggling several clients and giving the correct amount of attention when needed. Very difficult when being pulled from over 10 clients/patients at once!
Now Home Care or Independent/Assisted living is all paid through private funds. There is some help from the Veterans Administration but there are strict income restrictions. You will hear companies proposing reverse mortgages or even selling your life insurance policy. However, these should be looked at very carefully within a review of anyone’s net worth and future needs.
It’s really a matter of preference. Assisted Living can appear less expensive until you are inside and need additional care. Than costs can go up tremendously. But for those who like social living Assisted Living is certainly a good option.
With home care, you will be comfortable in your own home, can pick your favorite caregiver and receive one-on-one care! But the cost for 24 hour awake care even at our affordable rates is $20 per hour or $3360 a week. But many don’t need this amount of care. You can choose just 4 hours a day and much of your or your loved one’s daily needs can be taken care of and you would be safe and remain comfortably in your own home! All for less than the cost of Assisted Living!