Apr 2015 13
In-Home Care Versus a Memory Care Facility
Posted in Comparisons
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I spent fifteen years working in senior housing, including memory care. I even named and helped open a well known memory care community in an upscale Seattle neighborhood. Through these experiences, I have developed some concrete observations about the merits of In-Home Care versus a Memory Care Community. In my opinion, in-home care is especially suited to the challenges that seniors face with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Only in-home care allows a senior to remain at home in familiar surroundings and maintain personal habits, relationships, and routines that a person has spent a lifetime building.
We are often asked, "What are the pros and cons of staying at home versus moving to a memory care facility?" Based on watching seniors choose both options over the last 20 years, here is the analysis:
Pros of choosing In-Home Care over a Memory Care Facility:
- Seniors maintain the familiar home environment, personal habits, relationships, and routines that they have spent a lifetime building.
- Seniors live at their own pace and are not rushed as they are in a facility. Dementia and time pressure do not go well together!
- Seniors live around an attentive adult for conversation and companionship. Many seniors with dementia are very functional, social, and are accustomed to elevated society and conversation. Moving into a facility with 20 strangers at varying stages of dementia is a shock to them.
- The anxiety level and chance of emotional outbursts drops dramatically when seniors stay home. Imagine taking your grandma with short term memory loss and moving her out her home of 40 years. She knew where everything is instinctively and now she doesn't. Add the time pressure and you get outbursts and anxiety that is unnecessary.
Cons of choosing In-Home Care over a Memory Care Facility:
- 24/7 Live-In Care may cost about $2000 more per month than a Memory Care Facility.
The Bottom Line
If you can afford it, in-home care is a wonderful long term solution for seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.