When people get old or sick, they often require care. They need the support of people around them for basic tasks, such as washing, eating, and tidying the home.
When this happens, families face some tough financial decisions. No matter how you slice it, providing care is expensive. If you opt for assisted living, you need to pay carer fees. If you go for family care, then you often have to give up time that you could have spent working, cutting into your long-term wealth and prospects.
In most countries, there are laws preventing employers from taking punitive action against employees who leave their posts to look after family members. However, such episodes can still affect their long-term prospects.
What Do Assisted Living Services Provide?
Assisted living services typically set up communities designed to assist elderly, disabled or sick people with their daily lives. They provide the support they need.
What you get for the money varies considerably from facility to facility. Generally, they offer:
- Hobbies and leisure activities
- Tidying and cleaning of rooms or households
- A limited range of medical services
- Emergency medical assistance
- Locations close to hospitals
- Bathing, toileting and personal care services
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Medication monitoring
In essence, assisted living services attempt to recreate patients’ regular lives while also providing all the support they need. People who live in these environments typically feel safer and better looked after compared to if they’d gone elsewhere.
What Does Family Care Provide?
If you decide to provide care yourself, you’ll need to provide all of these services. You’ll also need to make links with clinics and other medical facilities, just in case you require assistance.
Benefits Of Assisted Living Services
Assisted living services offer a host of benefits for families who use them. These include:
- Taking care of all your relative’s needs
- Freeing up your time to work or look after children
- Reducing the time that you need to dedicate to care work
Disadvantages Of Assisted Living Services
Unfortunately, assisted living services also come with a range of disadvantages.
The first is the cost. Accommodation isn’t cheap. In fact, the average family pays around $100,000 per year for assisted living accommodation. In return, they get a lot of services, but it is still expensive.
The second is safety. According to the Nursing Home Law Center, around two-thirds of elders experience abuse while in nursing homes. That’s a shocking statistic and should remind families that the risks of sending vulnerable members of their family to an institution are high.
The disadvantage is the often negative impact on the quality of life of the elderly relative. Most would much prefer to remain living in their current home or, alternatively, stay with you.
Of course, if they do stay, you’ll need to take on more responsibility and dedicate more time to care work. That is a disadvantage in itself. But your elderly relative may prefer things that way.
So, in summary, the best option is the one that best fits your family circumstances. There are costs and benefits of each.