Why Seniors Prefer Living Assistance to Assisted Living
Recently, we discussed the distinction between living assistance vs. assisted living. In that article, we also talked about how living assistance and assisted living each come with their own pros and cons.
Given their respective advantages and disadvantages, you might think that seniors would have trouble deciding between these two options.
Yet when you ask seniors, the vast majority express a preference for living assistance. Rather than move to an assisted living facility, most would prefer to receive in-home assistance, allowing them to age in place.
For confirmation look no further than the AARP which conducts regular surveys on aging and housing preferences. In these surveys, the vast majority of respondents express a preference for aging in place — even if this means hiring an in-home care service.
What leads so many seniors to this preference? We have a pretty good idea at Visiting Angels®. Below are 7 of the biggest reasons why our clients choose living assistance instead of assisted living.
7 Reasons Seniors Prefer In-Home Living Assistance
#1. Health Outcomes
One of the best arguments for living assistance is the improved health outcomes of seniors who age in place. Numerous studies have found that seniors who receive care at home live longer than those who move to care facilities. In addition to greater life expectancy, seniors who age in place also enjoy fewer physical, mental, and emotional health challenges.
#2. Affordable Care
When you move to an assisted living facility, you’re spending tens of thousands of dollars each year. In certain cases — namely those where full-time care or 24/7 monitoring is necessary — this can be cheaper than receiving care at home. But in cases where seniors need less intensive care, it’s typically much less expensive to hire an in-home caregiver.
#3. Greater Independence
Age-related difficulties can rob elderly adults of total independence. But that doesn’t mean that seniors need to sacrifice their independence completely! By continuing to live at home, seniors can maintain as much independence and autonomy as possible. In a similar vein, they can preserve their privacy in a way that isn’t possible with assisted living.
#4. Caregiver Relationships
At an assisted living facility, care is delivered by a staff of several caregivers. At any given time, care is provided by whoever happens to be on duty. But with in-home living assistance, care is provided by the same caregiver or caregivers on each visit. As a result, caregivers can develop close relationships with clients. This allows for great comfort, increased trust, and a more personal (and more personalized!) approach to caregiving.
#5. Personal Routines
When seniors move to a care facility, they don’t just experience a change of environment. They also undergo a major change in routine. This is partly due to a new and unfamiliar space, which impacts how seniors live day-to-day. But it also stems from how the facility schedules mealtimes, group activities, and caregiving administration which can differ greatly from at home routines.
#6. Familiar Surroundings
After a move, you need to adapt to new living quarters. You also need to adapt to a new neighborhood. This can be more jarring than you might expect, especially for seniors who’ve lived in the same area for a significant period of time. Losing nearby amenities, favorite shops, and cherished neighbors can prove just as alienating, if not more, as the loss of one’s home.
#7. Home Sweet Home
The main reason why seniors prefer living assistance over assisted living should be obvious: they feel most comfortable at home. While some seniors don’t feel strongly about aging in place, they tend to be the exception, not the rule. The vast majority express a clear preference for living at home, the place where they feel the most safe, the most secure, and the most content. That’s not possible with assisted living. But with living assistance, it is.