Assisted living may offer more care services than independent living, but some residents require more help than the staff can provide in a 24-hour period. For this reason, many allow residents and their families to bring in home care or private duty nursing to fill in the gaps.
Since most assisted living providers do not offer home healthcare, they generally permit families to choose an agency or individual caregiver. However, some communities are affiliated with a larger health system that has a home care branch; in those cases, it may be required that additional services are contracted through this agency. In other communities, families may have to select from an approved list of home care providers designated by the assisted living home.
Why would families and individuals choose assisted living knowing a loved one would require more services than the community could provide? Sometimes it is the result of an issue that surfaces weeks or even months after move-in day, or because of a condition that worsens over time. For example, individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia may need more supervision and care overnight, when there may be fewer assisted living staff on duty.
It is difficult, if not impossible, to know how a person’s needs may change over time. If your family chooses assisted living, filling in the gaps with home care may be a desirable short- or longer-term option.