Choosing Between At-Home Care and A Senior Care Center

An elderly woman being assisted at a senior care center

Choosing the right elder care for yourself or your aging parent is no easy task. Both the at-home and senior center care options have their benefits, but it depends on what your needs are. Luckily, it is easy to compare the pros and cons of each option before making any serious decisions. For many elderly people, the option to stay at home is the most appealing, but that is not always the best choice. The unfortunate truth is that certain patients will require care that can only be delivered at a senior care facility.

A Few Basic Questions

Before deciding on which type of care you or your loved one will benefit the most from, you need to ask a few basic questions. First of all, what are the wishes of the patient? Regardless of what the needs may be, the patient deserves to have a say in which type of care they receive. Another question to ask is whether or not at-home care is a possibility. The best at-home care depends on a few key variables. For instance, it is better that the patient not live alone, but rather lives with a family member or loved one. There are also ways to make the home safer for an aging person, so it is important to understand whether these modifications are possible.

At-Home Care

The greatest benefit of at-home care is that the patient can live in their own home. That one is pretty obvious, but it is important to consider the patient’s desire for independence. A live-in nurse can be hired to provide 24-hour care, if an adult relative is not available or willing to move in with the patient in question. However, 24 hour care is not necessary for everyone. A nurse may be hired for daily visits, which limits the available care, but is perfect for healthier patients. Part time caregivers will not only administer medical aid and treatment, but they can drive the patient to and from doctor’s appointments or even to the grocery store. What is expected of the caregiver can always be negotiated before choosing to hire one, so you can be sure to get exactly what you need for yourself or your loved one.

Senior Care Center

Though not living at home may seem like a major con, there are wonderful benefits to living in a senior care facility. A care facility will provide around the clock care, which is great for patients that should not be left alone. If any problems should arise in the middle of the night, patients at a care facility can rest assured that they will get treatment as fast as possible. This type of care has saved countless lives and must be considered thoroughly. A senior care facility also gives patients an active community to be a part of. Seniors will make new friends that they would otherwise never meet when staying at home. At home care can be lonely for some seniors, and a senior care center is a great social solution.


You don't want to think that cost would be the deciding factor between your parent continuing their life at home or moving into a senior care center, but for many families it is. Elder care is expensive, no matter which option you choose. Living facilities cost an average of about $215 a day, while round the clock at-home care can clock in at $360 a day. Long term care insurance is one option to manage the costs. Although the premiums are sometimes high, most people save money when it's all said and done. A long term care insurance policy will cover part of your elder care needs, whether at your home or at a nursing home.