Where Do Seniors Live Better? Comparing Home Care to Community Living

Posted by David L Reibstein on Wednesday, August 30th, 2017 at 8:40am.

Home Care vs. CommunityIf given the choice, most of us would prefer to stay in our homes as long as possible. We typically associate living in our own home as seniors with more freedom, independence and resiliency. Many seniors believe these characteristics go away with a move to a senior living community. However, many seniors experience the social life, stress relief and optional support to be well worth trading in their homeownership.

To give a single answer to where seniors live better would be impossible. Everyone’s needs and desires are unique, and only you and your loved ones can answer that question for yourself. Nonetheless, we hope to help seniors explore every option available to them when it comes to needing the best support for their lifestyle.

While most of us can imagine what it would be like to receive care in the comfort of our own homes, it’s not as easy to imagine what it’s like to be a resident in a senior living community. In this article, we’ll help you compare home care and assisted living through some of the most common topics in senior living support.

5 Comparisons for Support

Assisted living gives seniors and their families a wide array of services and amenities to meet their comprehensive health needs while enhancing their lifestyle. Every assisted living community is different, but leading certified communities will offer support for daily living tasks, dining, recreational programs, medical support and more. 

Let’s consider five important components to senior support – amount of care, security, access to care, social opportunities and cost – and see how home care and assisted living compare: 

  1. Amount of Care

Assisted Living – Offers 24-hour care, seven days a week. You receive the professional care they need, whenever you need it.

Home Care – Provides a set number of hours to perform the necessary health care or custodial tasks. You are dependent on the home care worker’s schedule.

Around-the-clock support with assisted living allows you the freedom to determine your own schedule and the confidence to do what you want, knowing that if you need some assistance, someone is always nearby. Families benefit from no longer worrying about their loved one during the hours a home care worker isn’t around.

2. Security

Assisted Living – Communities are architecturally designed to benefit older adults, well equipped with ramps, handrails, other safety features and emergency response systems. 

Home Care – Most family homes are not built to support the physical mobility needs of seniors. Isolation leaves seniors vulnerable should an emergency occur.

Assisted living communities are purpose-built for their residents, which helps to prevent falls and injuries from happening. Twenty-four hour staffing also ensures that someone is available to help should a medical emergency occur.

3. Access to Care

Assisted Living – On-site care professionals help with daily tasks, medication reminders and basic medical care. Most communities offer scheduled transportation to doctor’s appointments, on-site wellness programs and convenient proximity to hospitals and health care centers.

Home Care – Especially for senior adults unable to drive, getting to appointments requires extra coordination from friends and family. Seniors can only receive care and assistance during their caretaker’s schedule. 

The convenience of easy access to care at an assisted living community eliminates stress for seniors and their families. Additionally, seniors are more likely to stay active if they have access to an on-site fitness center, and are more likely to eat regularly with three meals prepared daily.

4. Social Opportunities 

Assisted Living – Offers a variety of activities, events and outings to engage the interests of each resident. Seniors can interact with their peers whenever they desire company. 

Home Care – Seniors are often limited to what they can do and who they can see in the home. Even if they go to an adult day center, their opportunities and choices are limited.

Community life provides seniors with an incomparable social life. Many leading communities get to know their residents personally and tailor activities to their preferences. Assisted living helps seniors avoid isolation, which can lead to depression and poor health. Seniors can effortlessly engage socially with friends and neighbors for a fuller, more enriching quality of life.

5. Cost

Assisted Living – Provides all-inclusive pricing for living accommodations, health care, meals and programming.

Home Care – Seniors pay separately for home care services, custodial assistance and adult day care, in addition to groceries, utility bills and upkeep on the home.

While the monthly price of assisted living can seem high, the total cost is often comparable to – and often even lower than – the monthly costs of receiving the same services from home. 

The Choice Is Yours 

As you can see, community living can offer seniors a well-rounded lifestyle focused on total well-being. While it is possible to receive comparable health care services and support in the home, seniors tend to live with more limitations alone at home. Whether you or a loved one choose to stay home as long as possible or make the change to a community lifestyle is up to you. If or when you’re ready to dive into the possibilities available at a senior living community, we’re ready to help connect you to the best options around.

Connect with Us!

55Living is your resource for retirement lifestyles and care. Contact us today to learn how we can connect you to the region’s best senior living experiences. Call 866-846-6272.


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