Many aging New Yorkers have home health aides, who provide them with the care they need in the comfort of their own home. But maybe you’ve considered moving to an assisted living community and are wondering when the right time is. Or maybe you think there’s no point to moving since you already have all the help you need at home.
What many don’t know, however, is that while home health aides are great for in-home care, assisted living offers what living in your home cannot. Assisted living gives you more than just help with your activities of daily living, such as medical and social resources. The best part is that it can accommodate you no matter how much or how little help you need. Here are some things to consider before making the transition from your home health aide to assisted living.
- Money Matters
Many are reluctant to move to an assisted living community because of its high cost. However, assisted living might actually end up saving you more money in the long run compared to living with an aide. If you pay for your aide out-of-pocket for multiple hours a day seven days a week, think about how much per week that is! The cost piles up very high very quickly. If you have a nurse taking care of you, or need skilled level support (such as wound care, medication management, etc.) the hourly cost becomes even heftier. These expenses are added on top of all of your other ones: utilities, rent, food, and the like.
The benefit of living in an assisted living community is that there is no extra hourly cost for the care you receive. There are people to help you 24/7. This is considered a cluster care model, where the cost of an aide is shared amongst residents, therefore reducing the hourly expense.
To add onto the cost-effectiveness, assisted living is special in New York in its range of options—there are affordable, Medicaid-based communities, ultra-luxury homes with abundant amenities, and everything in between.
- Accessibility and Safety
Home health aides are great for helping you with your activities of daily living (ADLs), including dressing, bathing, grooming, toileting, and eating. They can even help one transfer from the bed to a chair or alongside you with walking assistance.
However, a major issue is making sure the home itself is safe. Homes with steps, or limited access and walkways become more hazardous for an older adult to navigate. Senior living communities are designed to accommodate older adults’ needs with tools including elevators, wheelchair-accessible hallways, walk-in showers, and more. Most homes do not have these features, and it would be astronomically expensive to reconstruct your home to accommodate you. Reconstruction may not even be a possibility if you rent your apartment! Life in an assisted living community grants you the freedom to move around more safely and easily compared to your current home.
We can’t forget that some assisted living communities also offer transportation services, which you might not have access to at home. If you struggle to get from place to place, assisted living can facilitate that. Wherever you have to go, you can be dropped off and picked up conveniently and safely.
- Opportunities to Socialize
Home health aides can be great companions, but maybe you wish you could get out there and make more friends with people your age. Maybe you would like to attend fitness classes, play games with others, or take up a new hobby. Even just having someone to eat meals with can make a difference in your social and mental well-being. Assisted living communities are the perfect place to find these kinds of opportunities.
Assisted living communities are just that—communities. There are dozens of adults your age in a single building, and plenty of chances to socialize and connect with them. The benefits of living among other people is not to be underestimated—seniors who live at home alone are especially prone to becoming isolated and lonely, and assisted living is meant to prevent that. Socialization can be transformative for your mental health, and its benefits can even trickle down to your physical health.