Living independently. It’s a quality of life we all hope to maintain. But as we age, daily household tasks, such as cooking, cleaning, mowing the lawn, or even bathing can become more difficult. Having someone close by to lend a helping hand or be on alert, should you need support, will eventually become a necessity, but that doesn’t mean it has to cost you your independence.  

If you’re weighing the pros and cons of hiring an at-home caregiver vs. moving to a senior living facility, you might be wondering which option provides you more independence, health safety, and overall wellness.  

To help you make this important decision, we’ll break down the differences between hiring a caregiver vs. moving to an assisted living community.  

Choosing a Caregiver vs. Senior Living 

The rise of family caregivers and Personal Care Assistants (PCAs) has allowed many seniors to still live at home. For some, the ability to remain at your current residence is a primary source of your independence, which is why this is often considered a more attractive option. In many states, seniors also have the advantage of hiring a relative or close friend to provide support for their daily needs.  

Depending on the level of care you require, this individual can assist you with a range of activities, from household chores and running errands to personal needs, including bathing, dressing, and cooking.  

Though this is a popular choice among seniors, it does require a strong reliance on others, as well as extra time spent planning and scheduling out your day. What we mean is having a PCA or family caregiver may take up more of your free time than you think.  

Let’s consider the example of driving. If you are relying on someone else to take you to the grocery store or visit friends for lunch, you first need to check your caregiver’s schedule before you plan out the details. So, rather than moving from one activity to the next with ease, you now need to take into account the time and availability of others.  

Let’s also consider that though you are living at home, your world might become much smaller. Depending on your location, you might be farther away from close friends, family, your salon or barber, or church group. And if your caregiver has more than one client, you may not be getting the full attention you deserve. Caregiver burnout is a common phenomenon, and it can take a real toll on both you and your caregiver’s relationship, especially if you’re receiving at-home care from a family member.  

Let’s step back and review the pros and cons of hiring a caregiver: 

Pros:
●  Able to still live at home
●  Hire a relative or friend to provide home care

Cons: 
●  Reliant on the availability of others 
●  Unable to make your own schedule 

Choosing Assisted Living vs. a Caregiver 

When seniors hear the phrase “assisted living”, it may lead some to assume that they’re handing over a preferred way of living. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.  

In fact, assisted living facilities like Sweetwater offer more independence and freedom to pursue hobbies and activities that interest you. It also provides a much bigger circle of friends and neighbors to socialize and engage with whenever you choose. 

When you move into an assisted living community, you immediately get to enjoy the privacy of having your own apartment home with the security of 24-hour nursing care and service. In addition, you have instant access to other amenities that are just within walking distance, such as wellness programs, a theater, a library, a billiards room, a chapel, an ice cream parlor, and so much more!   

Pros: 
●   More freedom and opportunities to plan your own schedule
●   Access to 24/7 nursing care and services  

Cons: 
●   Need to move from your current residence 

So, Is It Time for Assisted Living? 

The answer will depend on your wants, needs, and lifestyle goals. However, we encourage you to take a look at our assisted living apartment homes to get a genuine feel for the type of independence you can enjoy at Sweetwater.

We offer both virtual and in-person tours, so you can discover what life would be like living in our exciting community. And if you have questions, we’re always here to help. Give us a call at (406) 534-0355 or send us a note, and we’ll be sure to get back to you shortly.