How Do You Decide Between Assisted Living and Home Care?

Author: Lauren Thomas

Reviewed by: Brindusa Vanta

You decide between assisted living and home care by considering your care needs, budget and lifestyle preferences. While these long-term options provide a similar scope of services, key differences may make one solution a more suitable, sustainable option for managing your current and future care needs.

What Are the Differences Between Assisted Living and Home Care?

Assisted living and home care both provide nonmedical support and help with daily living activities that become challenging with advanced age. Assisted living serves as a residential option that typically includes daily meals, recreational activities and transportation services. In contrast, home care features nonmedical services in the individual’s residence, letting them hire and train their caregivers based on their needs while remaining in the comfort and privacy of their own home.

Monthly costs serve as another key difference between assisted living and home care. According to the 2024 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the statewide median assisted living rate comes to $5,350. Home care costs run several hundred dollars higher at around $5,720. In your community, rates may vary more, and in some places, such as Columbus, OH, home care may serve as the more cost-effective option.

What Should I Consider When Choosing Between Assisted Living and Home Care?

For most people, the choice between assisted living and home care depends on their lifestyle preferences and budgets. For example, you may benefit from assisted living if you risk social isolation or your home poses mobility hazards due to its layout or size. On the other hand, if you want to remain in your home for as long as possible, you have a strong support network and you want to choose your caregivers, home care may work best for you. 

Similarly, depending on your financial outlook and the cost difference between these options in your geographic region, you may find one option more sustainable for long-term care.