Watching your parent age and no longer being able to care for themselves isn’t easy. You never imagined that you’d be their caregiver. From helping them bathe every day, make their meals or checking on them every night after you get off work. You always pictured them as your “mom” or “dad” who cared for you — but now you’re taking care of them. And it can take a toll on you, both emotionally and physically.
From the extra trips to the store and going over to their house multiple times a week – you simply just run out of energy and time for caring for you and your own family. Friends and family have offered to help, but you want to “do it yourself and care for your parents like they did for you.” Although you want to provide care for your parents, it may be in their (and your) best interest to get outside help. But, where do you start? How do you know which option is best? Hire in-home care or find an assisted living community? There are pros and cons for both options, but it comes down to what’s the best care situation for you and your parent. Let’s break down what types of services you can expect from home care and assisted living.
Home Care Services
In-home care provides a wide range of services depending on your loved one’s needs. Caregivers would provide your parent with support in their own home, such as helping them take their medications, bathing, cleaning, grooming or meal preparation. Home care allows your loved one to remain in their home, while getting help with every day activities they’re no longer able to do on their own.
Services Provided at Assisted Living Communities
There are a variety of services offered at assisted living communities. Assisted living provides a way for senior adults to remain independent while receiving care when needed. Your loved one can receive help with bathing, cleaning, taking their medications, having meals provided to them and participate in a number of social activities and programs. It’s a community designed with the safety in mind for senior adults.
Weighing the Pros and Cons
While home care may be the best option for your neighbor’s parent, it may not be the best option for your own parent. Every family’s situation is different. Their mom might be able to still drive on their own while you drive your mom to every appointment, outing or grocery store run. Take the time to make a list of the pros and cons of home care and assisted living. Remember to think about the overall picture when making your decision. Just because your parent is able to live on their own today, doesn’t mean a year or month from now something will happen to change that. Also, keep in mind the cost of each service.
To help you figure out what’s the best option for your parent, answer these questions:
- Does your parent need occasional or constant help with daily needs, such as bathing, cooking, cleaning, etc.?
- Are there family members that live near your loved one that can also help? Or are you the only one who lives near them?
- Is there a way to improve the safety of their home?
- Which options make financial sense for you and your loved one?
- What does your loved one want?
Hiring someone to help take care of your loved one is a big decision. You want them to get the quality care they deserve while allowing them to be independent as much as they can be. Include your parent in the conversation as much as possible, and listen to what they want, too. It’s their life that will be changing.
Don’t rush your decision. It will take research, time and patience to figure out what’s the best care situation for you and your loved one. Understanding the benefits of each option and finding a place for your parent to thrive and flourish will help give you the peace of mind knowing you made the right decision. Whether that’s staying in their home with one on one care or moving to an assisted living community.
Do you still have more questions about assisted living? Check out our eBook, “Assisted Living │Frequently Asked Questions and Answers.”