Nearly all of us will need the help of a senior care service at some point in our lives. But selecting one can be overwhelming. How do you choose which senior care services are right for your family? With so many options to choose from, it’s difficult to know what to look for in a provider and how to evaluate them. If this sounds familiar, read on – I’ll share my own experiences and thoughts here to help you make better decisions about your own senior care needs moving forward.

Deciding how to best care for senior relatives is no easy task. It requires tough conversations about a variety of factors, including medical, personal and financial needs. There is often no clear-cut answer to all these concerns, but having a basis of information is a good place to start. Here are the basic differences between three common levels of care.

Home Care

If your senior is able to safely stay in their home but requires help with daily living tasks, then adult home care Massachusetts may be a good fit. This allows the family to interview and hire a caregiver who will come to your senior’s home and help them. The more help they require, the more expensive this option becomes. Caregivers can help prepare meals, do laundry or clean the house. They can also take care of more personal tasks such as helping with showering, dressing and using the toilet. The main benefit of this type of care is the family retains control. They can hire and fire the caregiver as they choose. They can also determine how much time and how much help the caregiver is responsible for. Seniors like this option because they can remain in their home, and often form a friendly relationship with their caregiver.

Assisted Living

Assisted living communities offer the best of both worlds. Seniors get to live together in apartments or condos, which offer lots of opportunities for social activities. These communities also provide helpful services such as meal delivery, transportation and housekeeping. For those who need 24/7 care, assisted living can be less expensive than home care. Staff at an assisted living community is equipped to handle the medical requirements of their residents as needs increase. This built-in support system means less upheaval in your loved one’s life. However, you will not have much control over the staff. A team of people will take care of your senior, instead of one person of your choosing.

Nursing Home

Nursing homes are exclusively meant for seniors who require 24-hour attention either due to mental or physical needs. Patients must have a physician’s prescription and physical exam in order to move into a nursing home. These facilities can be expensive, averaging about $250 a day. It is important to remember that residents here require a lot of care. In addition to the services mentioned in assisted living communities, nursing homes will manage and administer prescriptions, provide physical therapy and offer routine services such as dental cleanings. A nursing home provides full-time care for seniors who have progressive conditions.