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After spending long years in the workforce, the time will come when seniors look forward to the day they retire from the daily grind. They want to be free from morning commutes, they want to hang out with their friends and spend more time with family.

However, with age, their physical health and mental acuity start to decline. They may require help with daily care.

Some families start looking into getting in-home care for their older loved ones, while others prefer to move to a larger assisted living community.

Is care at home better than moving to a senior living community?

In-home care and Assisted living care have different benefits.

According to a national community preferences survey by AARP, three out of four adults aged 50 and older would rather age at home.

But there are multiple factors to consider when deciding to stay at home or deciding to move into an assisted living community. And yes, the cost is perhaps the most important.

Seniors who prefer to stay in their homes may find it difficult to continue to have to pay for a mortgage, medical care, groceries, and other housekeeping bills.

These costs eventually begin to burden them, not only financially but the upkeep of a home at a time when they already have health issues could be overbearing for them.

So with multiple bills to juggle, they may decide to move into a senior living community.

The lifestyle in this type of senior housing arrangement is different if not better.

In a senior living community (also called assisted living community), they can remain active with plenty of socialization opportunities on top of receiving caregiving services as a resident.

group of seniors - senior living community

But is the cost of living in these communities lower? Not really.

The comparison between staying at home and moving into assisted living is more on the lifestyle convenience rather than on the dollar amount.

In the following section, we break down the costs for each to help those comparing the finances between receiving in-home care vs assisted living.

Home Care Vs. Community Care Cost In Los Angeles

Let’s try to understand in-home care VS assisted living costs, particularly in Los Angeles, one of the most expensive counties to live in Southern California.

Below is an outline of the average cost of in-home care in Los Angeles. To choose between these and the program that best fits your needs and circumstances, take a look at this guide.

In-Home Care Costs

According to AARP reports, more than 77% of seniors want to remain living at home for as long as they are able.

These seniors prefer to hire someone like a family caregiver or a professional caregiver for them if they’re no longer able to live on their own.

Obtaining in-home senior care services allow older adults to have daily help with their personal care, housekeeping, and specialized care (if they are dealing with health issues such as Alzheimer’s/Dementia, or Cancer) in the familiar surroundings of their own home.

an elderly couple happy at home

Should they need a nurse or doctor visits for their medical concerns, their health insurance would be able to cover those visits.

Home care services can be quite expensive compared to residential care.

According to Genworth Financials’ Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of home health care in the USA is $4,290 a month.

Generally, home care costs depend on the location, level of care required, caregivers’ experience & qualification, reviews, and budget constraints.

According to Genworth Financial, home care costs an average of approximately $24 an hour.

If the senior only needs home caregiving for 20 hours a week, they will spend an average of $1,950 a month.

For seniors who require hourly care, they have to pay on an hourly basis.

And the average hourly cost of in-home care services ranges from $18 to $35, depending upon the geographical location. And this cost will range from $2,700 to $5,000 at 20 hours a week (four hours a day).

Hence, the overall average cost of home health care in California becomes more than $8000 per month.

Home caregivers give hands-on personal care and handle different household tasks, including cooking, cleaning, or running errands.

The average cost of 20-44 hours of one-to-one care per week is $2,037 – $4,576.

However, these estimations depend on various factors, including health conditions, size of the home, location, caregiver’s experience, and services you’re obtaining.

Here are the services included when hiring in-home care:

  • Assist in bathing. grooming, meal preparation, grocery shopping, and others
  • Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care
  • Provide companionship
  • Full-time supervision to provide safety and comfort
  • Promotion of physical activity
  • Transportation to doctor’s appointments or social events
  • Reminders to take medication and to make appointments
  • Respite care
  • Hospice care

In simple terms, in-home care services are effective options for seniors who prefer to stay home and can’t move much due to their health conditions.

Assisted Living/Senior Living Community Costs

As we discussed above, a senior living community is another good option for the elderly or older adults.

These communities offer lifestyle conveniences such as luxurious dining, a fitness gym, a library, a social hall, and a theater room, on top of caregiving services if and when needed.

Moreover, a senior living community can provide medical healthcare services.

It’s a burden removed when the senior knows every detail of their care is taken care of by the wellness department at a community where they are a resident, compared to having to deal with scheduling and driving to doctor appointments if they were living in their own homes.

But what’s the cost?

According to Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey 2019, the average monthly cost for assisted living in 2020 is $4,500.

And, based on the geographic region of the state, the average monthly cost ranges from $3,000 to $6,000.

However, this cost depends on various factors, including the level of care, location, services requirement, and others.

The average cost of living in an assisted living in California ranges between $4,000 and $9,000.

There is one more benefit associated with senior living communities, known as financial assistance programs, which help in handling the expenses.

However, we suggest that you consider all the benefits, services, and amenities included in the monthly budget when considering a senior living community. Will your senior enjoy the lifestyle?

True, senior living communities provide more than just housing, food, and health care. They offer “add-ons” that can make retirement even more enjoyable.

group of seniors enjoying watermelon in the pool

Senior housing features include:

  • Housing
  • Dining
  • Personalized care services
  • Community living may offer the following amenities and programs:
  • Pools and spas
  • Fitness clubs
  • Social and recreational events
  • Cooking classes
  • Gardening
  • Health and wellness programs
  • Art and music classes

Keep in mind that each community has a variety of levels of care and programs. So, get specific information about amenities and services in a community near you.

Final thoughts:

Deciding between in-home care and community living can be difficult for both seniors and their families. The choice may depend on a person’s health and finances.

Additionally, various other factors also matter when it comes to determining the costs. It includes taking care of a home, getting quality health care, and remaining active can have an impact when comparing costs.

Many seniors prefer in-home care services as they want to live in the comfort and familiarity of their homes.

We, at 1st Call Home Care, provide in-home care services to seniors in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Our professional caregivers accomplish and complete every task so you seniors can live a healthy lifestyle. To know more about our in-home senior care costs, ask for our community representative. We’re available 24/7.