On a spectrum between providing independence and assistive support, elder home care services and independent living communities lean toward independence for their patients. However, these options have key differences that make them distinctly better for seniors looking for support. Plus, just one involves top-quality senior caregivers helping elders maintain their personal lives and households.
The Coastal Home Care team is dedicated to serving the seniors and their families of Kent County, DE, through quality in-home caregiving. Our trained nurses provide personalized care for each of our patients. They are also qualified to administer specialized care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, or other chronic conditions. We help seniors live independently by ensuring they get the support they need.
Below, we discuss the key differences between elder home care and independent living communities:
What are Elder Home Care and Independent Living Communities?
An elder home care service calls for a trained nurse to assist a senior with daily living activities in their home. The level of care provided depends on the needs of a given patient. At Coastal Home Care, we ensure our caregivers cover the precise needs of each patient by performing a Plan of Care assessment before beginning our services.
On the other hand, independent living communities involve a senior moving into an assisted living facility or retirement community. There, they receive daily assistance from nurses similar to that of a home care service. However, these patients’ daily living activities are limited to what they can do within the facility.
Though independent living is far less restrictive than other forms of elder care, elder home care is far more flexible and less stringent than independent living. Below, we provide further detail on how elder home care and independent living differ.
The Main Differences Between Elder Home Care and Independent Living Communities
One major difference in elder home care from independent living is the senior’s living space.
As the name suggests, home care primarily occurs within a given senior’s residence, meaning they receive the assistance they need every day while still living in the comfort of their own home.
With this, seniors are allowed to leave things just the way they are, with exceptions to some safety installations such as ramps for wheelchair access, chair lifts for staircases, as well as railings and anti-slip mats in the bathroom.
In the case of independent living, seniors move out of their residences and into private apartment suites or townhomes within a community of seniors and assistive nursing staff.
While all areas of the facility are designed to keep seniors safe, this means certain limitations are made.
For example, some facilities may not provide apartment suites equipped with full kitchens to ensure residents are safe from any potential cooking or fire hazards.
Care Services and Other Amenities
Another big difference between home care and independent living are the levels of caregiving. As we mentioned previously, elder home care is a personal, one-to-one form of caregiving in which services are tailored to the senior who receives it. This can involve simple companion care tasks like:
- Shopping for groceries, clothing, and more.
- Accurate medication management
They can also provide more personal care services, such as:
- Assisting with bathing, dressing, and hygiene
- Helping seniors with physical movement and exercise
- Working together to prepare and cook healthy meals
On the other hand, independent living communities are less direct in assisting seniors. Rather, the staff focuses on reducing the number of responsibilities for senior residents. They take care of housekeeping, maintenance, landscaping, security, and even provide dining facilities where seniors receive their meals.
Compared to independent living, at-home care tends to provide much more independence for seniors to choose and perform their daily living tasks, albeit with some assistance from a caregiver.
Finally, among the biggest differences between elder home care and independent living is the overall cost. Each can vary greatly due to certain factors, particularly home care. Home care services are more flexible in terms of costs due to the variety of scheduling options they offer. This allows families and seniors to hire caregivers for as long as they need them, whether it’s only for a few hours each week or entire days.
In many cases, families keep costs low by using elder home care nurses as supplementary caregivers. On the other hand, independent living costs are paid as monthly rental payments, including utilities and amenities.
However, seniors would have to pay for their cable and phone costs, as well as various one-time fees upon joining. This could include a community fee, a pet fee, and if couples are joining together, a secondary fee for the additional tenant.
Coastal Home Care: Senior Caregivers in Kent County, DE
There are many differences between home care and independent living, but they both exist to cover the differing needs and preferences of each particular senior. For those seeking to continue living more independently in their Kent County, DE homes, consider working with a team of experienced senior caregivers from Coastal Home Care. Our nurses are well-trained and qualified to provide services in dementia and Alzheimer’s care, medication management, hospice support, and much more. Contact us at (302) 752-1800 to learn how we can help your senior loved one and your family through our excellent elder home care services.