No matter if you are returning home after staying in a hospital or a skilled nursing facility or if you are just needing some additional assistance at home, you might find yourself looking at home care services. Home care services can be helpful for older adults who are looking to receive a bit of extra support at home, but assisted living might end up being a better long-term solution. Let’s take some time to look at the benefits and drawbacks of home care so that you can make your best decision.
What is Home Care?
It’s best to first cover what home care is, and what it isn’t. Home care services are typically divided into two categories: non-medical services and medical services, sometimes called home health. Non-medical agencies offer caregiver services that are not clinical and can include grocery shopping, meal preparation, safety checks, personal care assistance, transportation and companionship visits. Medical services are typically given by a nurse or certified nursing assistant and can include wound care, catheter care, disease management or intravenous medications.
Who Pays for Home Care Services?
Home care services, both medical and non-medical, are typically billed at an hourly rate. Some agencies require a minimum hourly commitment per week in order to take on a client. While you might be able to offset costs with Veterans Aid & Attendance benefits or a community waiver, most home care services are paid for out of pocket. Medical services can be covered by Medicare as long as the services are qualified.
Home care services can start out manageable for your financial budget. In fact, if all you need is a few hours per week, you can find that home care services are quite sustainable in the long term. However, most seniors end up needing additional care and more hours over time as their condition declines. Overnight shifts and 24-hour shifts are common and can become quite expensive after only a few months.
Is Assisted Living a Better Option?
While each case is different, assisted living is often a more realistic option for older adults in comparison to home care services. In an assisted living community, residents are not only given 24-hour caregiver oversight and support, they also enjoy 3 meals daily, a vibrant social event calendar and a low-maintenance lifestyle that includes light housekeeping. Transportation services are readily available as well, and everything is covered under a monthly fee which makes budgeting simple.
If you or your loved one is using home care for multiple hours daily, you might be surprised to see that an assisted living community could be less expensive than what you are currently paying and that your loved one would receive more support and services in an assisted living community.
Learn more about Stiles Assisted Living at The Glen by scheduling your tour. We’d be happy to talk more about our services and answer any questions you might have.