The choice is obvious right? Maybe not. Yes, in-home care typically gets the resounding vote with nearly 90 percent of seniors wanting to stay in their own homes as they age according to AARP (American Association of Retired Persons). But, if you look a little deeper you’ll find when it comes to in-home care versus a senior living community each option has some distinct pros and cons.

Why Stay Home?

It’s simple; because it’s home. The place where you’ve built a lifetime of memories, where you’re comfortable and for many, where you feel you belong.

Beyond how your heart feels, there are also a number of upsides to in-home care:

  • Caregiving can be provided by a loved one, a home-care professional or a combination of both.
  • It may cost less than assisted living or memory care and you have the choice of care on an hourly, as needed or a 24/7 live-in basis.
  • There are a range of service options from personal care to household chores, cooking and transportation to even occupational, physical and/or speech therapy.
  • You or your loved one can avoid the stress that may come with a move to an unfamiliar place.
  • You can stay with family members who don’t yet need the same level of care.
  • The feeling you’re maintaining a sense of independence and control.

There are also downsides to in-home care:

  • The strain on your loved one(s) as they manage caregiving responsibilities with their own.
  • The hourly cost of in-home care may be feasible for a handful of hours a day, but costs can spiral quickly as needs increase.
  • While you may think you have more privacy with in-home care, it can actually feel more intrusive for some, particularly others living in the home.
  • Often, safety and accessibility updates become necessary such as wheelchair ramps, bathroom handrails and an emergency response system which create additional costs.
  • Isolation, lack of exercise and lack of proper nutrition are common problems for seniors living at home with intermittent assistance.

Benefits of Assisted Living

Assisted living includes housing, onsite care and support with daily activities while promoting independence and a full life. And once you realize assisted living communities today are nothing like the nursing homes of the past, it becomes apparent that there are, in fact, a number of benefits to this type of senior living.

  • You no longer have to worry about yard work, home maintenance, housekeeping, laundry, transportation or nutrition as three delicious, well-balanced meals a day are provided.
  • From nurses and doctors to any number of caring associates; help is available 24-hours a day.
  • Designed specifically for those with limited mobility, an assisted living community may be more safe and secure than home.
  • When care is needed more often than not, assisted living costs may be lower than in-home care.
  • Often, multiple levels of care in addition to assisted living are on the same campus making it easier to transition as health needs evolve.
  • Social opportunities and wellness are an integral part of life in assisted living with activities, events, outings, fitness classes and amenities such as a pool, walking paths and more.

The biggest downside of assisted living is often the exact reason you don’t want to leave home; that you’ll miss the familiarity, the independence and may have trouble adapting to a group environment where you may even share a room. However, those hesitations may well pale in comparison to the overall improvement in quality of life and the invaluable peace of mind assisted living provides.

Benefits of Memory Care

Memory care is specifically designed to nurture and support those with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia with 24-hour supervised care. You’ll find all the benefits assisted living provides; memory care may even be on the same campus.

Memory care benefits beyond what you’ll find in assisted living:

  • The staff is specifically trained in providing individualized care and managing behaviors associated with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
  • The layout is easier to navigate and more secure to help prevent wandering.
  • The environment is soothing often with specific color and lighting usage.
  • Memory care communities provide cognitive therapies, structured activities and even sensory programs to help cognitive function and give residents purpose.
  • Social engagement is key to memory care programs with numerous opportunities to interact.
  • Dining also offers easy to chew options and finger foods to promote independence and comfort.

Limited availability can be a downside of memory care as it’s one of the fastest growing types of senior living. It can also be one of the most expensive care options. Yet, given the expertise, specialized programs and environment dedicated only to helping those with Alzheimer’sthrive, the cost is well worth it.

For more information on the assisted living and memory care options you’ll find at Sonata, call a community near you today or schedule a visit →

Guide to Finding the Right Memory Care Community for Your Loved One


Looking for the right memory care community can be challenging. You want to make sure you find the best place for your loved one, while dealing with a range of emotions. The entire family feels the impact when a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer's or a related form of dementia.

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