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Help Choosing Between Assisted Living and In Home Care

When a senior loved one needs daily assistance, many families will need to make a choice between assisted living and in home care. It’s a complex decision where the answer will depend on your specific situation. Here are some key factors to consider.

Determine how much help is needed

Elderly Assistance

Before making any decisions, it’s necessary to find out how much help your loved one needs, compared with how much help is currently available. 

Knowing the facts will help you make the best choice for your loved one and everyone involved. 

Start by making a list of everything you need help with on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Being able to see the whole picture will help you choose the correct level of care. Next, be realistic about how much help you, your family, or friends can provide. It’s important to think about this in terms of long-term ongoing care, not just the next few months. Doing this will help you make a clear choice between in home care or making the move to an assisted living facility.

In Home Care – Pros and Cons

In home care is when a caregiver is hired to come into the home to help with activities of daily living. It allows your loved one to continue living at home, have daily companionship, and may include help with meal preparation, transportation, bathing, dressing, and using the toilet, etc.


  • Senior gets one-on-one care tailored to their individual needs
  • Senior can stay in their home or the home of a relative
  • Costs may be lower depending on hours of care needed and caregiver skill level
  • Family gets to choose the specific caregiver
  • Senior gets to know one caregiver, rather than being cared for by a staff of people


  • High costs if round the clock care is needed
  • Requires ongoing family involvement for hiring and managing the caregiver(s)
  • Developing an emergency plan for backup care options
  • Potential social isolation, which can contribute to depression, cognitive decline, or developing additional health problems
  • The home may need modifications for safety or wheelchair accessibility
  • Ongoing housekeeping, home maintenance and weekly grocery and supply shopping

Assisted Living – Pros and Cons

An assisted living community is a place where seniors live, in rooms or small apartments. Most communities offer a wide range of care options, for residents who are still able to be independent – to those who need a high level of care. Daily services like meals, personal hygiene, medication management, transportation, group activities, socialization and housekeeping are typically included in the monthly fee.


  • A more affordable way to get round the clock supervision and care
  • Your family can focus more on the relationship rather than on care needs
  • Senior has daily opportunities for social interaction with other residents
  • Families don’t need to worry about hiring, scheduling, or managing caregivers
  • Level of care can be ramped up as needed because staff is already in place


  • One-on-one care won’t be as personal as it is at home
  • Quality of care may vary depending on the level of staff training
  • Unruly residents could be asked to leave the community with little advanced notice
  • Senior may not enjoy being in a group living environment


View In Home Care providers and Assisted Living facilities in Jacksonville, Orange Park and St. Augustine

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