Many people think that assisted living facilities (ALFs) and home care agencies provide the same services just in different locations and compete for the same clients. The reality is that although families compare the two when looking at care options, they really can offer complementary services.
Here is an explanation of the differences between the two as well as how home care agencies and ALFs partner to provide a client with a complete set of services tailored to suit their needs.
An ALF is a community of older adults that require some assistance to enjoy day-to-day activities. The facility encourages residents to mingle, partake in activities, and enjoy the amenities that are available. Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) or Home Health Aides (HHAs) are available to provide some services to residents.
Home care agencies provide CNAs or HHAs in a senior’s home (whether it be a nursing home, rehab facility, assisted living or private residence) to help them with activities of daily living for one hour, up to 24/7, allowing a senior to live safely and as independently as possible in their own home.
Families believe that if loved ones are going to be living in an ALF, all needs will be handled, which is not necessarily the case. With assisted living, you are paying for room and board, meals, activities and a small amount of care per day. This is where the partnership between ALFs and home care agencies can help to provide your loved one with the best of both worlds.
When ALFs partner with a home care agency, their aides can provide companion and personal care services on a one-on-one basis to supplement the ALF’s staff, whose resources can be very stretched at times.
For someone who has had home care services but has decided to move to an ALF, the home care agency and the ALF can make the transition seamless. If the agency’s caregiver has become a “member of the family”, then the ALF can work with the home care agency to figure out where the caregiver can provide the most help in coordination with the ALF.