It is often difficult to chose which option may be best; facility care or in home care. I recently attended an open house at a newly opened facility in Jupiter. It was an extremely impressive full service facility with all the modern amenities, fountains, fine dining, work out rooms, lounges, community activities, even a private movie theater. It was so impressive (and I am perfectly healthy), that I even considered moving in myself. Many families mistakenly believe that by moving into such a facility, all of their health care issues will be solved. Adult children are especially vulnerable to the notion of “putting Mom or Dad somewhere that provides /takes care of/ fixes everything.” Nevertheless, if Mom or Dad suffers from cognitive impairment or other chronic, debilitating illness, then these “problems” simply go with them to the self contained facility environment. Many times, a person’s confusion and agitation can be exacerbated by the move to a strange place.

As a first step to securing help outside the family, it is always easier to have the help come to you. Forget about packing moving to access the extra assistance. A home health caregiver can come to your home on an as-needed basis or part time according to your specific needs and budget. This can be a much more affordable option than renting at a facility, or committing to a lease. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, the national average cost of a month’s stay in a facility has jumped to $3500, an increase of over 10% in the last 12 months. The rental rates, depending upon the level of care, in South Florida can be up to twice that amount.

The second important issue is the care itself. With home based care, you get one-on-one attention. You do not have to “share” your caregiver with 7-10 other facility roommates. You are also in charge of your life. In your own home, you tell the caregiver when and what you wish to eat. You wake up when you wish, go to bed in your own bed when you wish. You have your own bath or personal shower when you wish. You lounge in your favorite chair watching your own TV, and can have that midnight ice cream when you want. At a facility, there is a set schedule for everything.

Another reality is that often, even though you are in a facility, you may still require additional private duty care. This happens frequently when a resident has cognitive impairment or behavioral issues that demand more attention than the facility is willing or able to provide. By the time all these additional costs are considered it may prove more prudent to just stay at home for a while before making a feel good decision to be regretted later.

It would certainly be wise to seek the assistance of a Florida licensed Home Care Provider to help guide you through these difficult choices.

Mrs. Robson is the owner of Champion Home Health Care of Jupiter and Stuart, (NR30211392), a licensed Nurse Registry offering private, personal, care from a few hours a day up to 24/7 live in care.    772-287-5432