Is it getting harder for you or an older loved one to do the things you used to do, like grocery shopping, driving, or self-care? If so, this is a normal part of aging, and it doesn’t mean that the days of living independently are over. With a thriving senior population in the U.S., there’s a high availability of senior living and assistance services designed to keep older adults safe, healthy, and independent. Two of the more popular options are in-home care and assisted living. What follows are ways that they differ.   

What is Home Care?

According to a 2018 AARP survey, three-in-four Americans over the age of 50 want to stay in their current homes indefinitely. Realistically, most seniors will eventually require at least some assistance to remain independent. In-home care allows you to stay at home by bringing professional caregivers to you.

How long they stay and how they help depends on your specific needs. While there, home care aides can assist with non-medical activities of daily living (ADLs), like hygiene assistance, meal preparation, medication reminders, companionship, transportation, and more.

If you require medical attention like therapy, shots, or wound dressing changes, your doctor may order home healthcare services provided by healthcare professionals with advanced training and education.

What is Assisted Living?

With assisted living, you go to the caregiver. An assisted living facility (ALF), or residential care facility, provides shared or private rooms in a community of seniors. Although there’s no constant supervision or medical treatment, 24-hour assistance is available.

On-site caregivers can help with bathing, dressing, medication management, meal services, and transportation, as needed. Services like housekeeping, laundry, physical therapy, and memory care might cost you extra.

How Much Does Each Option Cost?

When family members and friends act as informal caregivers, home care is always the cheapest option. According to the 2020 Cost of Care Survey from Genworth Financial, the median monthly cost of in-home care delivered by a home health aide in the U.S. is $4,576. The median price of assisted living runs about $4,300 per month, although both figures depend on variables like the care recipient’s geographic location.

Other Considerations

Other factors to consider when choosing between assisted living and home care include:

Social opportunities

Being social is essential for good health at any age, especially for seniors. In-home caregivers offer companionship, including conversation, playing cards together, watching movies, or reminiscing old photos. Staying in the same neighborhood keeps friends and regular activities close by, and you can still host family get-togethers in an environment where everyone feels comfortable.

In an ALF, you live near your peers while having access to activities like bingo, holiday parties, and group outings. There are shared meals, organized social events, arts and craft classes, and group trips.


No matter where you live, you want to be safe. Assisted living communities are designed to keep seniors safe, with elderly-accessible housing, security, and 24-hour personal care services. Aging at home is safe too, but it might take some home modifications, like widening doorways, installing a walk-in shower or grab bars, or using a medical alert system.

Quality of life

For most seniors, home is where the heart is. Nothing can duplicate the ability to spend one’s golden years surrounded by family and friends without any rules and routines to follow. No matter where you are going, moving is a significant inconvenience. Plus, your home is yours. It’s comfortable and familiar. Familiar surroundings also help speed up the recovery process after an illness or surgery.

How to Make the Right Choice Between Assisted Living and Home Care

Assisted living and home care have similar goals — helping seniors age with dignity while staying as independent as possible. The most important thing for you is choosing which option will keep everyone involved happy, healthy, and safe without “breaking the bank.”

An Extended Family in Your Loved One’s Home

When you or your loved one want to stay at home, contact us. We are a fully licensed and insured home care provider with highly trained professionals who are experts at delivering the nurturing that your loved one deserves. While serving as an extended family in your senior’s home, our compassionate caregivers can perform duties like light housekeeping, personal care, dementia care, companionship care, medication reminders, and even live-in and 24-hour care.

Our agency’s focus is maintaining your loved one’s quality of life, along with their dignity, self-esteem, and independence. For your added convenience, all our in-home services can be individually personalized into an affordable package when and where you need them! Please visit us online now to learn more about us or schedule a FREE initial consultation for a senior in our service area.