Navigating care options with a chronic or serious illness, including licensed home care agency, assisted living and nursing home.

When it comes to caring for yourself or a loved one living with a chronic or serious illness, it’s important to understand the differences to help you decide the optimum level of care for you or your loved one. We’ve outlined the seven major options, comparing cost, type of care, credentials and quality.

Remaining at Home Independently

Cost:

  • No additional cost

Type of Care:

  • Self-sufficient
  • Family and friends visit socially and may assist with running errands, driving to appointments and some challenging tasks and activities

Credentials:

  • Family and friends – people you trust

Quality:

  • People you trust and are comfortable with

Remaining at Home with Assistance from Family and Friends

Cost:

  • No additional cost

Type of Care:

  • Family and friends visit to help with tasks and activities

Credentials:

  • Family and friends – people you trust

Quality:

  • Based on individual’s skills and experience
  • Some training may be needed

Remaining at Home and Hiring an Aide

Cost:

  • Hourly rate less costly than Licensed Home Health Care Agency

Type of Care:

  • May have training or experience as a certified nursing assistant or home health aide to assist with daily tasks and activities such as dressing, eating, grooming, transportation, etc.
  • Consistent caregiver typically becomes a companion and develops a strong relationship
  • Concern for backup plan, if caregiver is unable to visit

Credentials:

  • Need to contact references and verify qualifications

Quality:

  • Based on individual’s skills and experience
  • Some training may be needed

Remaining at Home and Hiring a Licensed Home Care Agency

Cost:

  • Based on services provided and number of hours needed
  • Eligibility for Medicaid (may help cover costs)

Type of Care:

  • Home health aide or nurse (depending on patient’s needs) helps with daily tasks and activities such as dressing, eating, grooming, transportation, etc.
  • Variety of caregivers can be trialed to find ideal match
  • Consistent caregiver typically becomes a companion and develops a strong relationship
  • Backup plan for coverage is not a factor – agency maintains coverage of care

Credentials:

  • Staff hired by Licensed Home Care Agencies are screened prior to employment (i.e., licensing, criminal background, clean driving record, immigration status, medical certifications, training, insurance and references)

Quality:

  • People are hired based on skill and professionally trained to meet patient needs
  • Patient care is supervised by the Licensed Home Care Agency and will address any concerns
  • If the patient needs additional help/higher level of care, services can be provided without iterupption

Remaining at Home with Assistance from a Managed Long-Term Care (MLTC) Agency by Applying for Medicaid

Cost:

  • Income-based (eligibility for Medicaid assistance)

Type of Care:

  • Daily tasks and activities are provided by individual and certified/licensed caregiver(s) selected by agency
  • Number of hours per day/week are determined by the MLTC agency

Credentials:

  • Staff hired by MLTC agencies are screened prior to employment (i.e., licensing, criminal background, clean driving record, immigration status, medical certifications, training, insurance and references)

Quality:

  • People are hired based on skill and professionally trained to meet patient needs
  • Patient care is supervised by the agency and a point-person is assigned to address any concerns
  • If the patient needs higher level of care, services can be provided, but patient needs to be reassessed to determine how many hours will be approved

Assisted Living

Cost:

  • $3,735* is the average cost per month in Erie County, NY
  • Cost can fluctuate based on the type of facility chosen and the amenities offered

Type of Care:

  • Trained health care professionals to assist with daily tasks and activities such as dressing, eating, grooming, transportation, etc.
  • An evaluation is required to determine eligibility for admission

Credentials:

  • Staff hired by assisted living facilities are screened prior to employment (i.e., licensing, criminal background, clean driving record, immigration status, medical certifications, training, insurance and references)

Quality:

  • People are hired based on skill and professionally trained to meet needs of residents
  • Patient care is supervised by the agency and typically a point-person is assigned to address any concerns
  • For seniors who wish to remain independent, but need a little help

Nursing Home

Cost:

  • $10,200** is the average cost per month in Erie County, NY
  • Can be paid privately or with long-term care insurance (Medicare/Medicaid)

Type of Care:

  • A team of licensed health care professionals provide care and assist with all activities of daily living

Credentials:

  • 24/7 care for individuals requiring medical support due to chronic medical conditions or serious illness

Quality:

  • Highly regulated, licensed and inspected by state and federal agencies

*Caring.com, 2019

**SeniorAdvice.com, 2019

You May Also Be Interested In:
Hospice vs. Palliative Care»
The key differences between hospice and palliative care include payment and when and where the support is provided.
Hospice Myths and Facts»
Hospice is often feared because of misconceptions. Learn the facts and benefits here.
When Is It Time to Get Help in the Home?»
Warning signs that you or a loved one may need in-home assistance.

The Conversation Starter Kit

Discussing your health care wishes with your provider.