If you have an elderly relative whose health is in decline, sooner or later, you may need to arrange for them to receive some care. It’s quite possible that your family will not have the time or the emotional bandwidth to provide the complete range of assistance that your loved one needs, so putting them in the hands of trained professionals who will help them day and night is often the best thing you can do for them.
But one important question you need to ask yourself is whether to provide them with live-in or home care. Live-in care means your relative will move out of their current home to stay in an assisted living center or retirement community. They will spend their days around other people and have access to nurses and carers around the clock, as well as a range of entertainment options to keep them busy. In home care services, on the other hand, means they will continue to live at home but a carer will come in to provide them with the help they need, from providing meals to assistance with bathing and bathroom duties. Depending on the level of help required, this may take the form of regular visits or actively moving into their home.
Each option has its own pros and cons, so it’s up to you to make the decision based on a conversation with your loved ones. To help you make up your mind, here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of home care for an elderly relative.
Less disruption: An elderly relative, especially one with signs of dementia, may struggle with moving away from home. Live-in care enables them to receive all the help they require while still remaining in familiar surroundings.
Personalized care: Some people will need more care than others, and one of the many advantages of at-home assistance is that your loved one can receive a personalized care plan tailored to their needs. They may only need someone to come and help them with a few basic tasks a few times a week, or they may need a live-in carer. The plan can be continually altered and adapted according to requirements.
Dedicated care: A home care professional will be better able to provide a dedicated service to their clients, as they will not have to divide their time or attention between other people in the same location. You can be assured that your relative will receive the best help possible.
Isolation: Assisted living centers and retirement communities are usually very social places, with lots of other people around as well as plenty of entertainment and communal areas. But if your loved one lives alone and uses a home care service, they may occasionally feel isolated.
Privacy: Your loved one may feel uncomfortable with someone they don’t know coming into their house regularly, so make sure you have a frank discussion with them before making this decision.
Safety: Without someone on hand 24/7, there is always a risk that your elderly relative could have a fall or a medical emergency without anyone around.
There is no right or wrong solution when it comes to picking the right care for your loved ones. What is important is that you weigh up all the pros and cons and think carefully about your final decision.