It is no secret that seniors prefer to stay in their homes as they age. Most families want to respect that choice. When your aging loved one starts needing assistance, however, you may face a tough choice: home care or assisted living.

Know the Facts

Choosing between home care and assisted living involves many factors. It is a complex decision, and what is right for your loved one will depend on your family’s unique needs, values, and preferences.

“Home care and assisted living are two different tools to do two different jobs,” says Brian Kraft, Executive Director at Highgate at Billings. “If you’re doing a project around the home, you’re going to take an inventory and figure out what tools you need for that job so you don't wind up using a hammer when you need a screwdriver. It's the same with home care and assisted living. They are two tools that should be used for two different sets of needs.”

Knowing the facts will help you and your loved ones make the best choice.


Ask the Right Questions

“It's super important for a family, and as many family members as possible, to sit down together and asses what the primary needs are,” Kraft says.

What type of help does your loved one need now to live as independently as possible? What is it that makes staying home possible? What types of help might be needed in the future? At what point will the cost of home care meet or exceed the cost of assisted living?

With so many services available to caregivers, you will ask some tough questions and weigh your options. It can be a time-consuming experience; however, proactively helping your loved one plan ahead for long-term care can avoid the stress and regret of hasty decisions and instead support them in living a meaningful and fulfilling life.

How to Decide

Although deciding between home care and assisted living can be difficult, you have already taken a big step toward making the right decision by educating yourself and your family about your options. In this guide, you will learn about:

  • How to assess your loved one’s needs, values, and preferences
  • The key differences between home care and assisted living
  • Little-known safety hazards that could be in your senior’s home
  • Ways assisted living communities promote a culture of safety
  • How to compare home care and assisted living costs
How to Decide Home Care or Assisted Living

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