Home care vs assisted living facility

From home care to assisted living, there are various possibilities for Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Many factors go into determining what will work best in your situation, such as the stage of your loved one’s disease, finances and his or her medical needs.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are more than five million Americans living with Alzheimer’s and dementia, and more than 15 million providing unpaid care for loved ones. Creating a plan soon after diagnosis will allow your loved one to express his or her desires for care, and help you decide which option will best fit your family’s needs.

Though these conversations can be difficult, including the person in the early stage of the disease in this process can be empowering for everyone involved.

Talk with the doctor who provides primary care for your loved one. Asking friends and family about their firsthand experiences can also be helpful. The Alzheimer’s Association chapter in your area can provide referrals and support.

Alzheimer’s disease care and Dementia care options

In-Home Care vs Assisted Living

At home, your loved one can feel secure and benefit from being in familiar surroundings with loved ones and pets.

Being a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s and dementia can be stressful and overwhelming. It is essential to find the appropriate help for your loved one so you’re able to take care of your own health and well-being and maintain normal daily living.

Common types of in-home services:

  • Companion services provide help with supervision, recreational activities and visiting.
  • Personal care services assist with personal care such as eating, bathing, dressing, and exercising.
  • Homemaking services take care of cleaning, housekeeping, shopping, and meal preparation.
  • Skilled nursing care provides licensed health professionals such as nurses to provide medical care for your loved one, such as giving medications, injections, physical therapy, and wound care. Your doctor can recommend a home health care agency that will coordinate these services.

Adult day centers can also provide a safe environment for your loved one. Many adult day centers provide meals and transportation and stimulating and fun activities such as art therapy.

Not only do they give your loved one an opportunity to get out and socialize, but day centers can also provide caregivers with a much-needed break.

Assisted Living

Typically, assisted living facilities will often only accept people in earlier stages of Alzheimer’s. If your loved one needs help with activities such as dressing or cooking meals but doesn’t require skilled medical care, assisted living may be a good fit. Residents may have their own apartment or share a residence to help reduce the monthly cost.

Skilled nursing facilities include a 24-hour care aide, meals, medication management, recreational and social activities, housekeeping, and transportation.

Although your loved one may be resistant at first, senior care facilities can actually improve quality of life.  They provide social interaction and specialize in long-term care that is designed for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Specialized assisted living facilities for people with Alzheimer’s are often called Special Care Units, or SCU’s. In these units, people with memory problems, Alzheimer’s, or dementia are often grouped together in an area within a larger residential care facility.

SCU’s employ medical professionals.  They have specialized training in working with people who have dementia and offer important safety features such as secured exits.

In-home care vs assisted living

Even when you understand how in-home and assisted living homes work, it doesn’t mean the decision is easy. Your loved one’s quality of life hinges on you making the right choice. These tips will help guide you in the right direction.

Determine how much help your loved one requires

The first step is determining what your loved one needs. Having a firm grasp of these needs will help you compare the offers between the specialized care options. Make a list of everything they need for their monthly, weekly, and daily living to get an accurate picture of the care needed.

Next, consider how much help your family and friends can offer in the long term. While we hope things get better, there’s a possibility you’ll need help for longer, and you need to be prepared for it.

After reviewing the list, you’ll have a better idea of what care option is best.

Review the Pros and Cons

Both nursing home care and assisted living homes have pros and cons depending on your situation. Here’s a quick analysis of what to expect.


In-Home Care

  • Senior patients benefit from one-on-one care that’s tailored to meet their unique needs and preferences
  • The senior remains in their home or a home closer to a relative, so family involvement is easier
  • Seniors and their friends and family can choose who they want to provide their care
  • Instead of getting care from different individuals, seniors can get comfortable with a specific caregiver
  • Depending on the level of care and the skills needed, in-home care might be cheaper
  • Different types of care can be blended to make lower care costs

Assisted Living Community

  • 24/7 assisted living care is more affordable
  • Allows the family to focus on building their relationship with the senior
  • Senior residents can socialize with other seniors
  • Family and friends don’t have to hire, schedule, or manage caregivers
  • The level of care can be adjusted to include additional services needed


In-Home Care

  • When full-time care is needed, the cost is high
  • Managing caregivers and their backups can be challenging
  • If not done well, in-home care can lead to social isolation causing cognitive decline and depression
  • The home might require modifications for safety precautions and wheelchair accessibility

Assisted Living Community

  • Frequent changes to the staff
  • Quality of care differs depending on the health care providers on duty
  • Seniors can get kicked out of the nursing home with little to no notice and for varied reasons

Understand your Financial Capabilities

Figure out how each option will work with your budget. Remember, the care might be long-term, so you should be able to sustain the long-term care options.

In the case of Trusted Touch Cares, we’ll listen to your needs and provide a fair quotation to help you decide the best care plans. If the cost analysis gets overwhelming, our home health aide will guide you through the factors to consider. These include:

  • Groceries and meal prep
  • Medical service
  • Hours of care times the hourly rate
  • Personal care supplies
  • Laundry and housekeeping
  • Yard and home maintenance
  • Garbage, water, and utilities

Luckily, you can leverage long-time care insurance to help you pay for these costs.

Where do I begin?

Whether you are considering home care for dementia in Rockville or a nursing home for your loved one with Alzheimer’s and dementia, it is essential to educate yourself on the senior living options that are out there.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and reach out for support—knowledge is power and can put your mind at ease, knowing that your loved one is well taken care of and safe.

Feel free to contact Trusted Touch Healthcare with any questions you may have. We will be glad to help!

Sibo Ncube is an experienced health care provider who is passionate about providing dignified care for her clients, both institutional and private.