Where you live matters, especially as you get older. Unfortunately, as much as individuals would love to be able to stay in their homes as they age, there are often circumstances that prevent them from doing so. Declining health, loneliness and finances are among the top reasons why senior loved ones may consider moving into an assisted living community.

Though most seniors would prefer to age in place at home with the growing popularity of in-home care, the truth is, the cost can be prohibitive.

If you or a loved one is considering assisted living or in-home care, we want to provide a comparison of the two options to help you make an informed decision to best meet your needs.

What is in-home care?

In-home health provides care and/or treatment for individuals recovering from illness, injury or who are progressing away from independence but want to remain in the comfort of their home. There are a variety of services provided by in-home care depending on what you need. 

In-home care health representative

These are professionals who can help with senior care and daily living tasks such as dressing, bathing or using the restroom. 

Skilled nurses

Licensed practical nurses and registered nurses are available to come to the home and administer care, including the coordination of IVs, injections, tube feedings and/or dressing wounds and bandages. 

Occupational, speech or physical therapy

Health therapists are able to provide rehabilitative services within the home to help you improve your mobility, speech or ability to perform daily tasks. 

Home health care can provide many services offered at hospitals, but the question remains whether the costs are affordable. Medicare may cover some costs, but coverage will vary depending on a variety of factors. Checking with your insurance provider is an important, necessary step to discover what’s covered and what’s not when it comes to in-home care.

What is assisted living?

When a loved one is in need of more care as they age, whether it’s due to age, injury or illness, most families consider assisted living. At assisted living communities, seniors can live more independently if they are able or have access to around-the-clock assistance and care should they need it. 

Assisted living is appealing to many families because of the ability to socialize with others along with the various types of care and amenities available in one location.

Skilled nursing

Assisted living communities will have caregivers on staff should residents need access to a professional to administer care, help with medication and more. Beyond the day-to-day needs, many will also be licensed for skilled nursing. This type of care is usually located in the same building or campus as the assisted living facilities and includes more advanced medical care.

Memory care

Seniors suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s can receive great care at some assisted living communities. Not every community provides memory care, but those that do aim to help residents maintain the highest cognitive function possible.  


Residents in assisted living will often need to access a physical or occupational therapist to help with regaining mobility or to relearn how to perform everyday tasks. Professionals such as physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and even mental health counselors are available, depending on the needs of each individual.


Most assisted living communities offer certain amenities for their residents including transportation for appointments, housekeeping and laundry services, meals, medication management, care planning, beauty or barber services and more.

Social activities

Engaging social programs are planned daily for resident participation. This gives them the opportunity to connect with other residents and have fun in the process.  

Assisted living can provide a lot of freedom for residents who wish to maintain their independence. Private apartments are often available and the level of services at an assisted living community can vary to provide the comfort residents seek as they age where they live. 

Each assisted living community is different, so it’s important to research the benefits, costs and any potential insurance coverage before making a final decision. 

What’s the difference between assisted living and in-home care?

Whenever it becomes clear that a senior loved one requires assistance in everyday living, it can be overwhelming to decide what to do next. Assisted living and home care are both options to consider for your loved one, but what separates the two? Variables including the level of personal care, cost and even personal preference will likely impact your final decision.

Assisted living is an all-inclusive option 

Communities that provide assisted living options for senior residents are popular because everything is under one roof for a set program cost. Most assisted living communities can also add amenities or services as needed for an additional cost. 

It’s a turnkey way to provide a safe, comfortable and social environment for seniors, including the medical care they need, when they need it. 

In-home care is an opportunity for seniors to remain where they’re comfortable

The comforts of home cannot be duplicated, and most seniors would prefer to age within their own home. Having the health professionals you need come to you makes in-home care a convenient option for seniors. Whether it’s full time or only a few times a week, professional caregivers are able to provide you with care you need where you’re most comfortable. 

Similar to being a resident of an assisted living community, aging in place can also provide nursing support and caregivers to help with tasks like laundry or housekeeping when needed. Some even provide the option of a live-in, 24-hour caregiver.

The key difference between assisted living and in-home care

Many families consider both in-home care and assisted living as they or their loved ones age, but one key difference is that you still have additional expenses if you choose to stay at home. The everyday costs of living are still there, then you are adding the cost of necessary in-home care. There are also home maintenance items that possibly need tending to – and if you don’t have support from family members, one would need to pay extra for it. These expenses can add up quickly.

While both assisted living and home care have pros and cons, the benefits depend on the needs of each individual. One big question remains: Can you financially afford your preferred senior care option? 

What does it cost for assisted living compared to in-home care? 

There are so many variables involved when deciding what kind of care is needed for a loved one. A top consideration is budget. What are the costs associated with an assisted living community compared to staying at home and receiving care? 

Assisted living costs

Each assisted living community is different, with varying levels of care and services. The fee will depend on the provider, their services and amenities and the level of care required by your loved one.

It’s best to speak directly to an associate of the assisted living community you wish to visit to get an idea of the average cost of care. The big question will ultimately be, “Do the benefits justify the costs?” 

There are many benefits to assisted living communities for everyone involved. Below is a list of some of the typical amenities associated with an assisted living community: 

Benefits of assisted living 

  • Skilled nursing care
  • Help with personal care and hygiene
  • Medication management 
  • Nutritious meals
  • Laundry service
  • Daily social and recreational activities
  • Transportation services to and from appointments
  • Housekeeping 
  • Home maintenance 
  • Physical mobility assistance 
  • Social and emotional connections 
  • Wellness programs
  • Non-medical care services
  • Private apartments with more independence (if desired)
  • Indoor and outdoor community areas 
  • Friendly and professional staff on call 
  • Medicare and other insurance may pay for some services 
  • No need for grocery shopping
  • Familiar support network

In-home care costs

Similar to assisted living, in-home care costs really depend on the type of services required for each individual. Most comprehensive home care services, however, have proven to be more expensive than a senior living community.

The assisted living cost is more all-inclusive while home care may include the possibility of round-the- clock care plus normal everyday living expenses. You may also have to factor in mortgage payments, repair costs and home maintenance. These types of expenses can add up quickly. 

Benefits of in-home care 

  • Home health aide present when scheduled
  • Possible help with housekeeping services
  • Meals prepared if needed
  • Laundry and housekeeping if needed 
  • Professional health workers when needed 
  • Possible in-home 24/7 care
  • Convenience of staying in home 
  • Medicare and other insurance may pay for some services 
  • More one-on-one care

Each choice has its advantages, but doing your research is extremely important when it comes to any major life decision.

AARP released data indicating that three out of four people aged 60 and older prefer aging at home. For many, however, assistance is required at some point. In the United States, there is a high demand for in-home care and assisted living communities because of the need for senior living support.

StoneBridge assisted living options 

With locations across the midwest, StoneBridge is proud to offer a wide range of care, long and short-term, to support our senior population. A popular choice for many families is our assisted living program. This allows aging loved ones to maintain their independence while also providing peace of mind to family members that their loved one is in good hands.

The decision to move a family member into a senior living community can be stressful. We want to help alleviate that stress and answer any questions you have about assisted living and how our family can help care for the older adults in your life.

Seniors deserve quality and compassionate care as they age. We treat our residents like family and care for them with dignity and respect. So, if you’re looking for an assisted living option for yourself or your loved one, please contact us. Let our family care for yours.