Making the right choice for your loved one
One of the most emotionally challenging decisions a caregiver of an aging parent can make is choosing the right long term care option. As hard as it is to give up some of the control of caring for your loved one, it’s typically the best option for both of you. Once you have decided to make a change, there are several different options to weigh when comparing the home healthcare and dedicated care facilities. Let’s break down the similarities and differences.
The home healthcare option provides seniors with the help they need while remaining in their own home. The level of assistance can range from help with basic daily living tasks and activities to skilled medical care like managing medications. Rather than paying for room and board, you can expect to pay an hourly rate that will vary depending on the level of care and services needed, as well as your location. With home healthcare, you can contract for someone to help your loved one for a few hours a day up to hiring a 24/7 live-in aide. The more hours per day a home health aide is needed, the lower the per-hour rate will typically be. According to a 2015 Cost of Care survey conducted by GenWorth, the median hourly rate of home health aide services in Florida is $18, ranging from $8 to $40.
Advantages of home healthcare
Overall, seniors typically want to stay in their homes as long as they can. Home healthcare allows your loved one to “age in place,” providing desired privacy and comfort while also receiving the care and companionship they need from a professional.
Other advantages of home health care include:
- Giving the senior or their families control over scheduling/daily routines
- Providing unmatched one-on-one time with a caregiver
- Customized care plans suited to a senior’s individual needs
- The ability to easily decrease or increase the level of service needed
- Maximizes freedom while reducing stress
Disadvantages of home health care
In addition to the varying annual costs that one could incur from home healthcare, finding the right caregiver to bond with your particular senior can sometimes be difficult, requiring careful evaluation of potential aides. Although homecare gives seniors unmatched privacy, it can be invasive if other family members are also living in the house. Additionally, if you’re not hiring 24/7 care, your loved one is only receiving the support and assistance they need during pre-determined hours.
Continuing care facilities can provide a combination of residential housing, personalized support, and healthcare services. These facilities can include retirement communities, assisted living facilities, and memory care residences that typically offer 24-hour personal care assistance as needed and requested, as well as meals, social activities, and other amenities.
Memory care is intended specifically for those with dementia. Assisted living facilities are for those who do not require skilled medical care, though access to it is available should your loved one need assistance. Features and services covered by these care facilities are typically billed at a monthly rate. Depending on where you live, how new or recently renovated the facility is, and what services you are receiving, the monthly cost can vary. According to the 2015 Cost of Care survey, monthly rate ranges in Florida can range from $200 to over $8,000, with a median rate of approximately $3,000 per month.
Advantages of care facilities
Elder care facilities often include more than home healthcare, such as daily meals and activities, as well as 24-hour supervision under one monthly fee. Beyond services like meal preparation and housekeeping, care facilities also provide social activities for residents. Other advantages include:
- Retaining a level of independence while remaining in a safe and monitored environment
- Interactions with others in the same stage of life
- Ensures three meals, daily
- Daily activities and events to stimulate the mind
Disadvantages of care facilities
Of course, there’s no place like home – and a care facility is not for every senior. Some seniors may have trouble adjusting to their new environment, especially with having less privacy, which could cause emotional distress and may lead to depression. Finding the right care facility to meet your loved one’s needs and lifestyle can be a difficult task. Also, your loved one might prefer to be around younger companions.
No matter you or your loved one’s preferences, the right senior care option does exist. It simply takes time to educate yourself on the options available and determining the right fit.
If you’re interested in learning more about home healthcare options, FirstLantic is here to help. We have been providing Medicare-certified care with various home health options for over 17 years. It is FirstLantic’s privilege to provide the highest caliber of service to our clients in Broward, Palm Beach, St. Lucie, Indian River, and Martin Counties. Whether you’re looking for hourly, daily, or overnight care, you can call us 24 hours a day at 1-877-618-3624 or fill out our contact form.