When your elderly parent can no longer live alone, you can explore in-home care or residential senior care options. In-home care is popular with seniors who want to maintain independence and stay in their homes as long as possible. This type of care can range from a few hours a day to 24/7 hands-on care. However, it’s not always safe for an elderly parent to live at home, even with in-home assistance. In this case, residential senior care provides a higher level of care and supervision in a community setting. This may include assisted living facilities or nursing homes. 

The decision ultimately depends on the specific needs and preferences of the elderly parent and their family. It’s essential to evaluate the pros and cons of each option and make an informed decision based on what’s best for everyone involved.

Senior Care Options at Home

Home care and home health care are two options for senior care at home. These services can be scheduled for a few hours a week or 24/7 depending on the needs of the senior. Home care services are provided by trained caregivers or homemakers who help seniors with household chores, such as cooking, cleaning, laundry and grocery shopping. According to Genworth’s 2021 Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of 40 hours of home care per week is $4,957 a month. 

Home health care services are medical services provided by a professional, such as a registered nurse or nurse’s assistant. These services can include managing chronic conditions, changing wound dressings, physical therapy and other treatments ordered by a doctor. The average cost of 40 hours of home health care per week is $5,148 a month. 

Assisted Living and Nursing Home Care

Assisted living communities and nursing homes, also called skilled nursing facilities, are two types of residential senior care. If an elderly parent can no longer live at home safely, moving to one of these facilities is a good option. Assisted living facilities and nursing homes are commonly grouped together, but they have several key differences. Assisted living communities are ideal for seniors who:

  • Can live semi-independently but require some help with day-to-day tasks
  • Require assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing, grooming and managing medication
  • Are in general good health and don’t require hands-on medical care

Nursing homes or skilled nursing facilities are meant for seniors who:

  • Require 24/7 care for complex medical conditions
  • Use a feeding tube or other medical device
  • Are bedridden or immobile
  • Require specialized services, such as physical therapy