Seniors who prefer to age at home and opt for homecare can often choose between live-in vs live-out care. Each option has its own merits. In this article, we explore when a senior may need professional care, the various available options and the differences between live-in and live-out care.
Why do seniors need care?
With age, seniors tend to get weaker, their cognition decreases, their mobility is impaired and they become more prone to falling ill. Tasks and daily activities, such as dressing, bathing, gardening and exercising, which were easy when they were younger, become difficult. Age-related diseases require regular doctors visits and keeping on top of a plethora of prescribed medicines that need to be taken daily. Falls and minor accidents can be dangerous, even fatal, as bones become frail and our bodies heal more slowly with age.
Many seniors, worried about compromising their dignity, will not reach out to their families for help. That is why the families should be diligent and look out for signs, such as a messy home, unpaid bills, poor personal hygiene, anxiety & depression, mood swings, weight loss or gain, forgetfulness and incontinence, which indicate that their loved ones need help.
Not all families have the capacity or capabilities to take care of their loved ones themselves. This is where professional care comes in.
What are the types of professional care available for seniors?
In Canada, there are a number of care options available for seniors. Their availability may vary by location. Some of these options include:
1) Residential Care Homes
A retirement home, often referred to as a residential care home, is a self-contained residential facility for the elderly. It can provide a safe and supportive atmosphere where the elderly who can no longer live independently can spend their final years. Retirement homes can provide many services, e.g. help with the activities of daily living, medication management, 24-hour on-call staff, and healthy meals.
Retirement homes can also provide residents with social engagement opportunities by organizing outings, events, and other communal activities. Residents can have their own or shared rooms, complete with linens, bedding, towels, and toiletries; meals are served three times daily, with dietary restrictions taken into account. Facilities such as washrooms and dining halls may be shared.
For seniors, the key shortcomings of retirement homes include :
- Lack of independence and privacy
- Limitations on socializing, family visits and meals
- Poor service due to high client to caregiver ratios, driven by the facilities’ need to lower operating expenses
- Infection risks due to communal environment
- Excessive costs, especially if a resident is looking for full-service
2) Nursing Home Care
A nursing home is a type of care facility that provides nursing care under the supervision of licensed nurses to seniors who are unable to live independently but do not require extensive medical treatment. It provides more intensive levels of care than a retirement home.
Nursing homes employ qualified nurses and caregivers who provide the same services as residential care homes, such as meals and personal assistance with daily routines such as bathing and dressing. Furthermore, having qualified nurses on hand allows the medication to be provided, wounds to be dressed, and residents to be under professional medical supervision 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The shortcomings of nursing homes are the same as those of retirement homes.
3) Assisted Living Facilities
Individuals who live in assisted living have more independence than those who live in residential care facilities because they live in their own private apartments but in a communal atmosphere. Staff is available at all times to provide assistance based on their need. There is a minimum age requirement, usually 55 or 60 to reside in this type of retirement community, and units can be rented or owned. Assisted living facilities can become prohibitively expensive as the care needs arise as the residents have to pay for full-time care and other add-on services in addition to the lease/rent for their apartments.
4) Home Care
Home Care is a broad term that refers to care provided to persons in their own homes. It can include unpaid assistance from family members or friends or a combination of family care and paid assistance. It can also include assistance from personal support workers provided by a government agency for a few hours a week based on the care needs of the senior. It can also include paid care provided by an independent or agency employed caregiver
What is Live-out Care?
Live-out care is a type of paid home care provided by an independent caregiver or an agency-employed caregiver. Caregivers tend to be qualified professionals, e.g. nursing students or personal support workers, who come to a senior’s home at set times and for a specified number of hours per week. Their duties can include companionship, cooking, cleaning, medication reminders, laundry, grocery shopping and assistance with bathing, grooming and dressing. Care agencies screen, insure and match the caregiver to the seniors’ needs, and prepare a care plan and a list of tasks for the caregivers to deliver during their shifts and maintain quality control. Independent caregivers usually don’t do this.
Although live-out care is superior to facilities-based care, as it allows seniors to age in the independence, dignity and familiarity of their own homes, it has a few shortcomings. It can be expensive if the senior requires more than a couple of hours of care. Agencies cannot guarantee the same caregiver for every shift. Weather and traffic can cause caregivers to be late which can add a layer of unreliability to the service.
What is Live-in Care ?
Live-in care is a type of paid home care that is provided by an independent or a live-in care agency-employed caregiver, living in the home of the senior throughout the week.
The caregiver is provided with a private room in the home where care is provided. Sometimes meals are also included. The live-in caregiver provides the same services as a live-out caregiver, however, because there is no urgency, care is provided at a time and at a pace that is convenient for the senior. As the live-in caregivers live with seniors, they can respond quickly to emergencies and situations such as falls, injuries and wandering. It can be cost-effective also if the caregivers are employed directly by the families. Under this scenario, an agency may charge a finders fee for matching the caregiver to the senior and for additional services such as care planning, payroll and more. 24-hour live-in care may require multiple caregivers.
Live-in care is the best option for seniors requiring more than a few hours of care per day. It is personalized, cost-effective, delivered by the same caregiver every day who forms a strong bond with the senior, and allows seniors to maintain their independence and activities within their own homes.
How does ConsidraCare’s live-in care work?
ConsidraCare provides care for seniors by placing dedicated live-in care professionals in their homes and by providing their families and caregivers with a state-of-the art-platform to support collaboration, increase visibility and improve the delivery of senior in-home care.
We follow a four-step process to help you find the right caregiver:
We start with a discussion of your loved one’s history, conditions, interests, needs and preferences so we can build a detailed senior care plan.
2) Caregiver Match
We then find the best-matched caregivers from our pool of approved caregivers and arrange their interviews with you.
We help you set up the contract with the caregiver of your choice, payroll, taxes and WSIB registration for you. Families and caregivers get access to our state-of-the-art ConsidraCare platform to set the senior care tasks and coordinate.
4) Ongoing Support
We process payroll and remittances, monitor and update the senior care plan and support the families and the approved ConsidraCare live-in caregivers on an ongoing basis.
By making the families the employers and enabling care management through our state-of-the-art platform, we can deliver high-quality care at significantly below the market rates while ensuring that the caregivers are fairly compensated.
You can get a more detailed overview of what hiring and managing live-in caregivers entails from our clients’ standards booklet here.
As seniors age, they may require professional care. Many options are available for families for both facilities-based and in-home care for their loved ones. In-home care allows seniors to age with independence and dignity in their own homes and is their preferred choice. In-home care can either be live-in care or live-out care. When it comes to live-in care vs live-out care, live-in care is more personalized, affordable and of better quality and maybe the best option for seniors requiring more than a few hours of care and companionship per day.
ConsidraCare delivers high-quality and affordable live-in care, powered by its best-in-class platform. You can find out more about what employing a live-in caregiver entails by downloading our client standards brochure from here
Want to Learn More?
Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at 1-855-410-7971, and we will be happy to understand and help you with the care needs of a loved one.