A solution isn’t always obvious when an older adult needs a little extra support with daily living. In the absence of a major event like an illness or an injury, the decision about whether you or a loved one could benefit from assisted living vs. home care is a highly subjective process with many variables.
Your unique circumstances and needs will ultimately influence your final decision, but this quiz may help you organize your thoughts and determine whether home care or assisted living is best suited to your needs. For each question, choose the option that best describes you, even if some details aren’t exact.
Does your home allow you to move freely and safely from one room to the next?
A: My home has few, if any, stairs, and I am able to enter and exit easily and efficiently. There is adequate space for me to move freely with limited risk of falling. The layout allows me to travel comfortably between essential living spaces, including the living room, bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom without losing my breath or growing weak.
B: Sometimes I worry about wearing out on my way from one room to the next. If there was an emergency, like a fire, I might have trouble getting out safely without help. My living spaces are divided on separate floors, so I have to use the stairs daily to move between living spaces.
What safety measures are within your home to help you avoid injury or a fall?
A: My bathroom has grab bars that help me move safely in and out of the shower and use the toilet by myself. I have eliminated clutter and tripping hazards like rugs. I wear an emergency alert that allows me to immediately call for help if there is a problem.
B: I haven’t added many, or any, safety features, either because I am not aware of the options or don’t have the resources (financial or physical) to obtain and install things like grab bars. I have had one or more injuries in the past three months while living at home.
What kind of support system do you have to assist with your everyday needs?
A: My family and friends live nearby and drop in from time to time to help me with things like meal preparation and household chores. I have loved ones actively involved in taking care of me.
B: Over time, my social circle has grown smaller and my family lives far away (or I do not want to burden them with my care). For the most part, I take care of what I need by myself.
How would you rate your mental health?
A: I am generally in good spirits and enjoy doing many of the things I’ve always done. I feel productive and content, and I find meaningful activities to fill my days. I socialize and interact with others and make a conscious effort to keep my critical thinking skills strong.
B: Sometimes I feel lonely and down. I miss feeling like part of the community and am growing bored with days that are monotonous and dull. My social interactions aren’t as frequent as I’d like, and I don’t know if I’m doing enough to challenge my brain.
Are you financially able to get the amount of care you need at home?
A: For the most part, I’m fairly independent, but there are some things I need help with. For example, I remember to take my medications on time but having someone fill my pill box is a big help. I can handle most activities of daily living, like getting dressed, grooming, and fixing meals, on my own. Having someone come in a few hours a week is all I really need, and I can afford to pay for that level of help.
B: While I really love being in my home, there are many parts of my day that I need help with, like getting regular, healthy meals and keeping myself and the house clean and safe. Having personal assistance for several hours each day would be best, but that expense adds up quickly.
There really is no right or wrong answer when it comes to making the best decision for you. However, if you noticed a pattern in your responses to the questions above, it may point to the choice that could result in a better quality of life.
If you chose mostly A’s, you may be well-suited for home care. An option like Springpoint at Home allows you to remain in your familiar home setting while our certified care team delivers on a customized care plan designed to help you remain as independent as possible.
If you chose mostly B’s, it may behoove you personally and financially to explore assisted living, where you gain around-the-clock access to caregivers who are looking out for your safety and wellbeing. You may be surprised by the cost of assisted living vs. in-home care, which is typically provided at an hourly rate. Many residents, especially those who benefit from multiple supportive services, find a set monthly fee more practical and affordable.
Our caring team at Springpoint has more than a century of experience helping seniors age with comfort and dignity, whether it’s in their own home or by making a home within our eight continuing care retirement communities across New Jersey and Delaware. Learn more about home care services! Contact us to explore our senior living options in greater detail.