When it comes to the residential aspects of eldercare, homecare is often the most preferable option.  I was the primary caregiver to my grandmother and she-like the vast majority of older people (over 80%)-preferred to remain in her own home.  For most, this is an easy choice because they’re in close proximity to people, places, and things that are familiar to them. 

While Homecare is the “easy” choice, it may not always be the correct choice.  In fact, making the “correct” choice often means considering a complex and often shifting set of issues.  Each person and situation is unique so consequently there are no “universally correct” answers to this question.  The only universal truth is your aging loved one must be kept as safe as possible.  To help with that endeavor, please download a FREE copy of the Mr. Eldercare 101 2019 Home Safety Checklist at: http://bit.ly/2019_Home_Safety_Checklist   

Again, there are many considerations when choosing between home care and other residential options; here are a few benefits of “aging-in-place” (industry jargon for a person remaining in their or a family member’s home):

  • Price USUALLY, home care is less expensive than nursing homes or assisted living facilities-but the actual cost can vary greatly based on who provides the care and how much care is needed.  FYI, a professional/licensed home care provider typically cost between $25-$30/hour
  • Dedicated Care – home care is a 1-to-1 situation.  Nursing homes and assisted living facilities have staffing ratios that can be 8-to-1 or higher. 
  • Health Benefits – recent studies have shown people have better health outcomes when they remain in their or a family member’s home. 
  • Flexibility – eating, bathing, sleeping, outings etc. schedules can be determined based on the care recipient’s needs (assuming their safety is not compromised).  Also, when hiring professionals, the hourly commitment may be limited to only a few hours (ex: respite care). 

But, like most things in life, there are also drawbacks to providing care in the home.  Some of which are:

  • Isolation – older people sometimes need the energy and activity associated with being around other people; otherwise feelings of loneliness or depression can become overwhelming
  • Impacts To Caregivers – Caring for an aging loved one can severely impact a person’s health, finances, career, and other relationships. 
  • Less Privacy – if an aging loved one co-locates with a family member (ex: their daughter) there can be significant losses of privacy which impacts other relationships in the home (i.e. spouses or children)
  • Caregiver Abuse – caregivers will often be alone with the care recipient.  For this reason, SIGNIFICANT time and attention should be given to selecting the correct person.  PLEASE NOTE: many older people are reluctant to report caregiver abuse because they’re afraid to lose that person’s assistance-and possibly end up alone.  Learn the signs of abuse so you can keep your aging loved ones safe. 

Here are a few additional tips to help make the best decision:

  • Determine how much care is REALLY needed.  Consider things like: the care recipients age; current/expected future medical condition; lifestyle etc.
  • Consider the personalities & temperaments of BOTH the care recipient and any potential caregiver-make sure they will be able to work together
  • Understand the financial impacts of all available options and BE REALISTIC.  Also consider the “opportunity cost” of caregiving because other things will likely be forfeit (ex: quality time with children or spouses, relaxation time for oneself, and/or professional opportunities). 

For more detailed explanations and ways to mitigate many of these challenges please check out the MrEldercare101.com website, or to book Mr. Eldercare 101 to speak at an upcoming event please contact: Samantha@MrEldercare101.com

Good luck on your caregiving journeys. 

Derrick Y. McDaniel “Mr. Eldercare 101”

E-mail: Derrick@MrEldercare101.com      Twitter: Mr. Eldercare 101   Facebook: Mr. Eldercare 101