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Understanding Home Care Alternatives

When discussing senior caregiving options, a whole host of options, possibilities and jargon comes into play. The terms used today are different than in previous generations, largely because of the wide variety of options older adults have that were not previously available. Topics like aging in place, home care versus a nursing home, the continuum of care and community-based care are all part of conversations about aging in America, and each topic brings its own questions and opportunities. Often, care options for seniors are driven by factors such as health, mobility, finances and senior safety.

While aging in place is a choice for senior care, each family must decide for themselves what choice fits their needs. It is important to consider the cost of the services, the risks to safety for seniors living alone, how seniors living alone will maintain social connections and what exactly the options are for in-home care.

Home Care Alternatives

Receiving care and support at home may seem like a great choice for aging loved ones when considering senior caregiving options. There are many types of home health services, such as:

  • Doctor checkups or postsurgical care
  • Nursing care
  • Occupational, physical or speech therapy
  • Medical social services
  • Care provided by home health aides
  • Basic care assistance
  • Hospice care

Care provided in the home allows the senior to set their own schedule and maintain the independence of their own living space. However, home health often comes with a high price tag that can be a burden for some families. Additionally, home health programs may or may not address needs for daily living, such as companionship for seniors, home maintenance and meal preparation. Some other concerns regarding home health services include:

  • Families may appreciate the convenience of a senior aging in place, or they may find that, if the senior should keep living at home, additional care duties will be assumed by family members.
  • Seniors may become friends with home health workers, making them reluctant to report concerns or problems.
  • Home health care workers and service companies have different standards of care. There is no guarantee that the company chosen will treat your loved one’s unique circumstances with the best possible techniques.
  • Home health workers are often unsupervised and are alone with the seniors under their care. Few checks and balances are in place, unless a family member has time to continuously check on the quality of care and that the proper attention is provided (e.g., The care worker is not ignoring the senior and spending the day texting on the phone).

Benefits of Senior Living Communities

Many seniors and their families prefer senior living communities to the home care alternatives. Today’s assisted living communities are always evolving, offering new and better services to an active generation of seniors. For many older adults, there is security in knowing that the community provides support across the continuum of care, so there will be help and resources at every age, every stage. When considering assisted living vs home care, here are five benefits of assisted living to contemplate:

  1. No more concerns about home maintenance. From cleaning out the gutters to taking out the trash, raking leaves to replacing furnace filters – all that work is now behind you! Keeping older adults off slippery driveways and off tall ladders adds to the senior safety aspects of senior living communities.
  2. Bills are consolidated. Rather than paying one bill for home health nursing care, one for yard work, one for rent or a mortgage, one for electricity and many others, one payment covers all living expenses.
  3. Create a lifestyle you love. In retirement, older adults have more time to pursue interests, new and old. From learning a new language to taking art classes or beginning a fitness program, senior living communities have lots of options to fill their days and to help seniors connect!
  4. Make new friends. Keeping seniors socially connected is an important part of keeping seniors healthy. In a senior living community, residents interact with friends, neighbors and staff daily, decreasing their isolation and reducing feelings of loneliness. At Mount Prospect Senior Living, the Vibrant Life® program creates a vibrant senior living environment by allowing residents to create their own calendar full of innovative and creative activities, hobbies and programs.
  5. The sooner, the better. Selecting the right senior living environment early in your golden years brings many additional benefits, including:
    • More time to enjoy the amenities and activities
    • Ability to take a more active role in making decisions and making a plan for senior care
    • Avoiding the pressure of making an emergency move when an urgent need arises
    • Staying social, active and engaged helps to maintain a healthy lifestyle for longer

For families considering home care vs memory care, not only are the amenities and medical support provided on-site at memory care communities, but senior safety is always a top priority.

About Mount Prospect Senior Living

Offering both assisted living and memory care services, Mount Prospect Senior Living in Mount Prospect, Ill. is committed to creating the optimal lifestyle to fit each resident’s unique needs and preferences. We combine our knowledge of care and support with our vast amenities and social opportunities to keep everyone busy and having fun! Amenities at Mount Prospect include:

  • Restaurant-style dining
  • Spacious common areas
  • Beauty salon
  • 24/7 care
  • Spacious apartments
  • Bus service for local transportation
  • Cadillac movie theater
  • Spacious dog park
  • Music, art and pet therapy
  • Outdoor spaces that are safe and secure
  • Wellness center
  • Wrigley’s Bistro
  • Weekly laundry, linen and housekeeping services
  • Private gardens and walking paths
  • Vibrant Life® activity schedule

Want to learn more about life at Mount Prospect Senior Living? Contact us today to discuss our services and our care or to set up an on-site tour!