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At Home Care or a Senior Community? Pros and Cons

Choosing a professional facility or in-home care for your loved one is a big decision. Both options have their own pros and cons, but what it really comes down to is the needs and desires of your senior parent, and how one option or the other can best meet those needs. Here are a few factors to consider, and the benefits and disadvantages of in-home senior care and assisted living communities.

Independence and Independent LivingAt Home Care or a Care Facility? Pros and Cons

In both situations, your loved one will be free to come and go (health permitting), to pursue hobbies and favorite activities, to meet new friends and spend time with old ones, and to maintain the same lifestyle he or she always did.

Pros and Cons: In-home care allows your parent to stay at home, which is what a lot of older adults prefer simply because they're unaware of options. While an assisted living community will still afford all the same freedoms and independence, your loved one may at first feel like he or she is having to give something up - like independence.

Giving Your Family Peace of Mind

With both in-home care and senior living communities, you know your loved one will be safe, will receive medical and personal attention, and will have all needs met. You won’t have to worry about the safety, health, and security of your senior parent at a care facility, and your loved one will have a support team to help with everything, including:

  • Getting proper nutrition with delicious and balanced meals
  • Laundry and housekeeping
  • Therapy and medical care
  • Shopping and transportation
  • Medication management
  • The benefit of socialization

Pros and Cons: Your loved one will always have access to staff and neighbors in a senior living environment. If they stay at home and receive care, there may be times when nobody is immediately available if there's an emergency, or simply to connect with to avoid isolation and loneliness. 

Finding a Normal Routine

During the first few weeks with in-home care, your loved one and the care staff will take the time to get to know each other and find a routine that works for them, but it will take some time for them to get comfortable with each other.

In an assisted living community, your loved one will need a few weeks to a couple months to get used to the new environment and the new faces. The first few days may be a little intimidating, but your loved one will settle into a comfortable routine and feel right at home soon enough.

Pros and Cons: Settling in with home care might be faster than moving to transitional care or a living community. However, your loved one may still need to move to an assisted living community later, so the length of the transition shouldn’t hold too much weight.

Easing the Transition: Provide reassurance that your loved one will still have all the same freedom and independence as always, that family and friends will still be around to visit, and overall, life won’t change much. Be there on moving day and for first introductions, make sure your loved one knows what's going on, and ensure they feel comfortable and at home.  

Weighing Financial Considerations and Needs

Walker Methodist offers a variety of care and living options, including assisted living and long-term care living communities. We provide all the care, attention, and medical services your loved one may need, and do everything we can to ensure smooth transitional care.

If you're considering a senior living community for your loved one, contact Walker Methodist today to request information about our TCU, rehab programs, and senior living options.

Receive personalized care designed to help you maintain maximum independence  and achieve your goals. Request Transitional Care/Rehab

Topics: Care and Programs

Janet Gonnella

Written by Janet Gonnella

Janet started working with us in February 2015. She attended the University of Minnesota School of Nursing and double majored in nursing and biology. Previous to joining our team, Janet worked at two other senior living communities as a floor nurse, nursing supervisor, MDS coordinator, Director of Resident Assessment, transition nurse, and TCU Clinical Manager. Janet’s road to her current position started back in 1993 when she graduated from nursing school. At the time there was a surplus of nurses in the Twin Cities, and she was not willing to move far away from her family. Because of this she took a job at a nursing home, just until hospitals started hiring again. However, once she began working in long-term care, she was hooked and never looked back. She loves seeing, talking, and laughing with the elderly and to hear their stories. On a day-to-day basis, Janet works with Nurse Managers to monitor patient care. She also works with managers, floor staff, DNS, and administrators to identify system issues or breakdowns and to come up with solutions. She believes in the old adage “Work smarter, not harder” and is known to play around with new programs to see if it will make the job more efficient. In Janet’s downtime, she enjoys reading and can be found with her nose in a book. She also likes to spend time working in her perennial gardens. Sundays are usually reserved to spend time with and assisting her 89-year-old father who has moderate Alzheimer’s and lives in an assisted living facility north of the Twin Cities. Because of her involvement with those with Alzheimer’s, Janet is very passionate about the Alzheimer’s Association. She also is passionate about Special Olympics, MN because her youngest sister has Down’s Syndrome and Janet loves to see how she blossoms when she takes part in the events.

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