When considering care for a loved one, it helps to compare the different options available.

When a loved one’s health begins to decline, it can be extremely stressful and difficult to figure out where to turn to for help. There are so many options available for support that it might be overwhelming. Choosing between at-home care or relocating to an assisted living community is a big decision. How do you know if home care or assisted living is the right choice for a loved one? For some families moving to a senior living facility may be best, but for others, staying at home as long as they can is more preferable. 

How do I decide which services are best for me?

Communicate with your family and caregivers about which services might be needed. Keep in mind which services are most important to you, and make a list. Some questions to keep in mind:

  • Why do I need to change my living arrangements?
  • How often do I need help?
  • Which daily activities do I need help with (dressing, remembering medications, meal prep, bathing, laundry)?

In-Home Care 

Home care, also classified as in-home care or private duty care, provides services seniors need in the privacy of their own home. Professional caregivers provide a range of different services from light housekeeping and laundry to prepping healthy meals and personal care. Home care allows individuals to stay at home and receive ongoing care that they are unable to receive from family members and friends. These services enable older adults to age comfortably in their own homes.

Some Services Include:

  • Transportation to appointments or for fun outings
  • Personal care, including assistance with bathing and personal hygiene
  • Light housekeeping
  • Errands
  • Meal preparation and planning
  • Companionship for socialization and a richer life 
  • Exercise 

In-Home Care: Pros and Cons


  • Seniors can stay in their own home or family member’s home
  • Seniors receive one-on-one care
  • Senior gets to know a few caregivers rather than many different people 
  • Cost may be lower depending on hours of care and caregiver skill level
  • Family can focus on the relationship more rather than on the care needs


  • Home may need modifications for safety 
  • High cost if 24/7 care is needed
  • Possible less chance for social engagement with other seniors

Assisted Living 

An assisted living facility is a housing facility for people with disabilities or for older adults who can’t live independently or don’t want to live alone. Assisted living residents are provided with their own rooms, apartments, or shared quarters as well as caregivers around the clock to offer help and support. Services are offered to help residents with their daily living. 

Some Services Include:

  • Housekeeping
  • Wellness programs 
  • Religious activities
  • Transportation services
  • Dining 
  • Exercise programs 

Assisted Living: Pros and Cons


  • More affordable way to receive 24/7 care 
  • Seniors have opportunities for social interaction with other residents
  • Group activities available


  • Quality of care may vary depending on the staff
  • Seniors may not enjoy living in a group environment
  • One-on-one care wouldn’t be consistent or as personal (frequent changes in staff are very common) 
  • If one-on-one care is needed, paying out of pocket for a private aide may be needed

Both services offer outstanding benefits, but it’s up to you to choose the right one based on your specific situation. Keep in mind that each individual’s case should be evaluated independently. Figure out the exact wants and needs of the person you love before you make any decisions. Compare your options to get an idea of the right level of care needed and to see which choice may be a better fit. Choosing home care or assisted living is not an easy decision. This is an important step for you as well, so take the time to make sure you make the right choice. The above tips should allow you to feel less overwhelmed and more confident about making your decision.

AnswerCare is available for more assistance in understanding the care options available for a loved one. Contact our compassionate care team at 855.213.1511 to learn how our exceptional home care in Youngstown and the surrounding areas can help the senior you love remain independently and comfortably at home. Our caregivers provide professional home care services ranging from personal care and transportation services to specialized Alzheimer’s and dementia care. We would be happy to schedule a free, in-home consultation to discuss your unique situation and the care needs for the person you love.