Cost of Assisted Living vs In-Home Care

February 2, 2022

There are two types of costs to be considered when choosing a form of elder care. First, there are the basic financial costs. Second are the human costs, the physical and emotional cost of care. When transitioning into an out-of-home facility and a new community, the personal costs can be significant.

When possible, remaining in one’s own home to receive care is usually the better option. Most seniors want to remain in their homes, and it is generally considered to be the more graceful and dignified choice. Here, we will discuss the differences between these two forms of elder care, their costs, and their benefits.

Assisted Living vs In-Home Care: Pros & Cons

In-home and assisted living offer similar services, but services are delivered in different settings and are organized in different ways.

Assisted Living

Assisted living facilities provide living accommodations and care services to the seniors they serve. They offer a community of similarly aged individuals for social interaction and emotional support. Seniors can expect to receive:

  • Meal services
  • Medication management
  • Assistance with daily living
  • Housekeeping and laundry service
  • Social activities

They can be affordable, flexible, and offer round-the-clock care. The average cost of assisted living is approximately $4,300 a month.

In-Home Care

In-home care is essentially very similar to assisted living, except that a single caregiver, or a group of caregivers taking shifts, see to the needs of the senior in her or his own home. In-home care is often seen as less impersonal, but there are fewer opportunities for the care recipient to enjoy the company of their peers. The average cost of in-home care varies between $1,000 and $5,000 a month, depending on the needs of the care recipient.

Tips for Choosing Between Assisted Living & In-Home Care

While the choice may seem clear when first considered, the truth is that there are many factors to be considered. Will you be able to find a live-in caregiver or in-home care agency that you trust? Will a care home offer a level of care and professionalism, as well as meeting the mental and emotional needs of your elder? Only you and the person to receive care can answer these questions. But here are three key tips to help you decide.

1. Determine How Much care is Needed
Generally, the more frail, or infirm a person is, the more and higher quality of care that is needed. The right amount of care can be provided in either in-home or assisted living. But one may suit your budget and household better than the other.

2. Know the Key Difference Between Assisted Living & In-Home Care
The needs of your elder, the proximity of friends and family to her or his home, and expectations about quality of life and care are all key decision-making factors. Perhaps the most important thing to consider is the reputation of the assisted living center or the caregiver/hiring agency you are considering, as well as the total costs of each.
It is also important to consider your elder’s tolerance for social interaction. Is he or she an extrovert, or an introvert? This will be a key determining factor.

3. Understand Your Financial Limitations
Your finances and the cost of the available options are a key part of the equation. You will need to take a close look at the costs of the programs that exist in your area. Interview independent caregivers, contact local facilities and consult in-home caregiver hiring agencies. Get clear breakdowns of the costs of each so that you can budget for the future of your family’s care needs.

Looking into state and federal assistance programs is a smart option. Your elder’s retirement savings, 401k plans, medical insurance, and other assets and resources should all be considered.

Cost of Assisted Living vs In-Home Care

The price ranges of each means of senior care are similar. In-home care can be much less expensive, or slightly more expensive than assisted living. The total costs will depend more on the needs of your elder than on any other factor.

With in-home care, many people report that the costs are more manageable since the family keeps care within the home. Experiences will vary, however, interdependently minded seniors will tend to prefer to remain in their homes. Whereas more social individuals may enjoy the company of a large group of their peers.


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