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Assisted Living vs. Private Duty Care: How to Make the Most of your Money

There comes a time during the aging process where normal daily activities become more difficult and require more assistance. This often requires older adults and their families to make a decision about where they should be living and how to receive the appropriate care. However, many seniors fear losing their independence and are hesitant about leaving their homes. Often, seniors are faced with deciding whether to move to assisted living or pay for private care in their home. This situation can be a sensitive matter for many older adults, and one that involves many different factors.

Difference between Senior Home Care and Assisted Living

Senior home care is a popular option for older adults who need more assistance but don’t want to leave their homes. Depending on the company, most senior home care services offer assistance with daily living such as bathing, getting dressed, toileting, medication management and household tasks like meal preparation, cleaning and transportation to medical appointments. Many senior home care companies have minimum hour requirements for the week and minimum hour blocks for the day. Depending on the needs of the senior, these hourly rates can become quite costly. However, for those who require small amounts of assistance, home care companies might be a better financial option. Generally, home care companies charge between $25 and $30 an hour, with 3-4 hour daily minimums and a minimum of 8 hours per week.

Assisted living generally offers the same services as senior home care, but requires an individual to move from their homes. At The Knolls of Oxford, Assisted Living offers 1-2 bedroom apartments that are attached to the main building. Assisted Living services include three meals daily, full time activity staff, medication assistance, daily help with bathing, dressing, toileting, and bed making. AL staff also complete reassurance and spot checks every 2 hours even during the nighttime. In addition, weekly housekeeping and laundry services are included in the monthly rent. Most importantly, and unlike many home care companies, Assisted Living residents have access to a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, and state tested nursing assistants at all times.

Which Option is Right for You?

There is not a “one size fits all” solution to senior care. Each family and each resident have their own values and non-negotiables when it comes to deciding which type of care is the best fit. However, there are a few factors that should be carefully considered throughout the decision-making process. These include safety, access to care, ability to manage activities of daily living, financial resources and connections to other people and socialization.

Safety is a key element in deciding whether a resident should bring in home care or make the transition to assisted living. Some questions to consider include: Can I bathe, dress, and take care of my daily needs in a timely and safe manner? Does my loved one have the cognitive capacity to make sound decisions? Is my loved one at high-risk of falling?

While maintaining independence is an important part of healthy aging, it can also be misunderstood. If a senior lives independently at home, but is isolated and lacks daily socialization, it can have a profoundly negative impact on both their mental and physical health. In fact, according to the National Institute on Aging, isolation and loneliness are linked to higher risks of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a weakened immune system, anxiety, depression, and even death.

Cost Comparison

It’s no surprise: Aging is expensive. Unexpected health needs can deplete financial assets very quickly. That’s why it’s important to know your options as you decide which healthcare situation best suits your needs. At The Knolls of Oxford, the following services are included with Assisted Living:

  • 3 meals daily
  • Full time activity staff
  • Assistance with medications
  • Assistance with meal set up
  • Assistance with bathing twice a week and as needed
  • Daily dressing and grooming assistance
  • Assistance with incontinence care
  • Reassurance and spot checks 24 hours
  • Bed making, doing dishes, tidy-up, taking trash out
  • Reminders for meals, activities and personal care
  • Personal laundry weekly and as needed
  • Social and recreational programming
  • Weekly housekeeping
  • Assistance with arranging off-campus transportation
  • 24 hour emergency response by licensed nurses
  • Complete maintenance
  • Wheel chair escort throughout the building

While the cost of Assisted Living is higher than living independently, it’s important to consider your quality of life and the financial resources needed to fund private duty home care. As your need for care increases, the cost to provide at-home care can quickly surpass the cost of Assisted Living, which can often provide more comprehensive services.

Assisted Living at The Knolls of Oxford

While we want all residents to live independently for as long as possible, Assisted Living can offer peace of mind for many residents and their families, in terms of finances, physical safety, and overall well-being. If you’re interested in learning more about Assisted Living or private duty care, please contact The Knolls of Oxford at 513-524-7990.

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