Live-in Caregiver or Nursing Home: Which Is Better?
We barely give a second thought to getting older when young. But the reality sinks in once a person crosses their 60s.
In the USA alone, more than 16.9% of the population comprises seniors who require constant care and support to live independent lives. Consequently, it puts the responsibility on family members to decide the best solution.
And yet, you might find yourself in a fix between choosing a live-in caregiver or placing your loved one in a nursing home.
What Is Live-in Care?
Live-in care means hiring an individual for 24/7 care of your loved one. Live-in caregivers are professionally trained to meet the unique needs of the person they care for. The general assistance these individuals provide includes Activities of Daily Living. These are:
- Meal preparation & eating
- Medication reminders & administration
What Is Nursing Care?
Nursing homes are assisted facilities with professional staff to care for the residents. These are secure places that cater to old individuals who can’t be cared for at home.
How to Decide if You Need Live-in Care or Nursing Home?
Despite the differences, both live-in care and nursing homes have their advantages and disadvantages. But several factors can help you decide which to choose.
Understand the Level of Care Required
Understanding the care level your loved one needs requires thorough scrutiny. Start by observing if:
- Your loved one requires assistance to perform acts of daily living.
- You can’t leave your loved one unattended for a day or two.
- The medical condition of your loved one needs 24/7 care.
- Your loved one needs help with medication reminders.
If any of the above statements ring true, then live-in care is the best option. On the other hand, a nursing home is critical if a senior needs advanced medical treatment and therapies.
Consider Your Budget
Your budget is a significant contributor to forming a decision. So, once you’ve concluded the care your beloved family member requires, you can choose between either of the two.
If the level of care is considerably low and does not need a skilled caregiver, live-in care is a perfect choice. But the cost of live-in care can surge if you hire a professional nurse for 24/7 care.
In comparison, nursing homes charge monthly, which can be an added financial strain for some families.
Determine Social Factors
Studies show that older adults live longer and with an improved life quality at home. Most seniors prefer staying at home to moving to a strange place. However, the social factors vary based on the needed assistance and care.
Live-in caregivers are said to form long-term bonds with the people they care for. Since they stay round-the-clock with a person, it becomes an excellent opportunity to share stories and memories, provide companionship, and accompany them in their times of need.
Nursing homes, too, have socializing elements, with several seniors residing in one place. Although strangers initially, older adults are known to socialize with others, which negates depression and loneliness.
Despite all these facts, your loved one’s unique requirements and preferences play a pivotal role in deciding what to choose.
We’ll let you be the judge by stating the white, black, and gray in plain sight.
Pros & Cons of Nursing Homes
Immediate Medical Attention – Nursing homes have medical professionals. These include highly qualified doctors and trained nurses to look after your loved ones’ medical conditions. It’s especially helpful if your family member has dementia or Alzheimer’s, as these chronic conditions demand additional care.
Less Stress for Family Members – As a family member you might feel guilty about not giving time to your aging loved one. Whether it’s due to career or family, the stress is real.
Placing your beloved family member can lift some guilt off your shoulders. Besides, it gives the peace of mind that your loved one is well cared for.
Safe & Secure Surroundings – Nursing home facilities are the safest option to choose if your loved one is diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s. The buildings are secure and guarded by efficient individuals who prevent older adults from wandering away
Less Independence – The rules and regulations in a nursing home can feel too binding to a senior. Since they’ve spent all their lives living freely, being told when to eat, sleep, or socialize can be demeaning.
Feeling of Abandonment – One of the worst fears of older adults is dying in their old age, abandoned by family and friends. Nursing homes transform this fear into reality. With several strange faces surrounding them, adjusting to a new place can be jarring. It’s one of the reasons for the high rise of depression and mental disorders in nursing home residents.
Expensive – As mentioned earlier, nursing homes charge at a monthly rate. This might be impossible for families to manage, even if their loved one needs constant medical care.
Pros & Cons of Hiring a Live-in Caregiver
Aging in Place – If there is a gift you can give to an older family member, it’s helping them age in place. And live-in care provides that chance. When a live-in caregiver assists your loved one in their activities of daily living, it improves the quality of life and physical health.
Sense of Freedom – Older adults prefer sticking to their schedule or doing whatever they like without being told. And when you help them age in place, it opens the doors to freedom and independence. For example, they can decide when they want to eat, sleep, bathe, or enjoy social gatherings.
Affordable – Live-in care is cost-effective and affordable if your loved one doesn’t need medical help. You may hire live-in caregivers in shifts, with one replacing the other after the day ends.
Background Check – The burden of responsibility lies on your shoulder to check the background of the person you’re hiring. Besides, you must ask for their training certificate, skillset, and experience.
Less Privacy – Having a live-in caregiver at home impacts your privacy. You might feel like you’re constantly being watched or that you can’t do your daily routine as you like. It’s also uneasy for couples who prefer family time above anything else.
Home Modifications – One of the pros of live-in care is the specific modifications you must make to your home. These include:
- Ensuring you have a spare room for the caregiver to stay
- Making your home fall-proof for your loved one’s safety
- Installing security cameras to keep an eye on things (optional)
No matter what you decide, know that Top Faith has its clients’ best interests at heart. We have qualified and trained live-in caregivers to help your aging loved ones enjoy their lives to the fullest.
So, reach out to us to discuss your unique needs, and we’ll see how we can help.