Dear Donna,

My mother lives on her own, and her arthritis is making it difficult for her to keep up with a few basic tasks. She says she could use some assistance. We have narrowed down our options to home care and assisted living, but we are having trouble deciding between the two.

What are the differences between home care and assisted living?

Jill from Saline, MI

Understanding the Differences between Home Care and Assisted Living

Dear Jill,

When an aging parent needs assistance, it can be tough to know where to turn. It’s not uncommon for seniors and family members to be torn between receiving care at home or in an assisted living community. Both options provide many benefits, but your decision will depend on your family’s unique needs.

Here are a few of the main differences between home care and assisted living.

Understanding Home Care

Home care, more specifically private duty home care, is a type of support provided to seniors in their house. Its purpose is to enable older adults to remain living in their homes safely. Depending on the person’s needs, professional caregivers can help with anything from light housekeeping to preparing meals and running errands.

Your loved one may benefit from home care if:

  • They need minimal to moderate assistance.
  • They need help with nonmedical activities for a few hours a day.
  • Their home is senior-friendly and safe.
  • They have an active social life.

Private duty home care is usually a short-term solution. If their care needs extend beyond a few hours a day or what a home caregiver can provide, they may find an assisted living community better meets their needs.

Assisted Living Explained

Like home care, assisted living supports seniors with the activities they need to remain independent, but in a community setting. Residents live in a home-like environment, but have access to caregivers around the clock. This service alone can bring seniors and their families peace of mind.

Assisted living may be best for your loved one if:

  • They have mobility challenges.
  • They have Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.
  • Their home is an unsafe place to live.
  • They don’t have many opportunities to socialize.
  • They require moderate to extensive assistance to remain independent.

Deciding between Home Care and Assisted Living

When it comes to choosing between home care and assisted living, the answer is rarely easy. Both home care and assisted living come with many benefits. By assessing your loved one’s needs and understanding your options, you are more likely to find a solution that benefits your family.

I hope this helps you better understand the differences between home care and assisted living.



Heritage Senior Communities

At Heritage Senior Communities, including our Linden Square location, we encourage seniors and their families to visit our community. Contact us today to find out if our senior living options are a good fit for you or your senior loved one.