Moving to an assisted living or long-term care facility is right for some families, but for others, they choose to keep their loved one in the home for as long as possible. When making the decision for your loved one, how do you know if home care is the best fit? Even though it may be something that your parent or grandparent wants, there are certain things to think about to ensure their health and safety in the home.

The best candidates for staying in the home are elders who only require minimal care with daily activities. A ride to the grocery store, help with cooking and cleaning and assistance with paying bills are all good examples. If your loved one requires help with bathing, taking medication or moving around the home, in-home care becomes more challenging. Also, it’s ideal when there is a strong network of family, friends and neighbors nearby, as these individuals will ultimately be providing some level of support.

Here are some other things to think about.

Location and Accessibility – Where does your loved one live? In a suburban or rural area? Will it be easy to get them to doctor’s appointments, a pharmacy or grocery store? The more accessible these places are, the better chance your loved one has for living at home.

Home Modifications – Is your loved one’s home modified to meet their needs? Are there a lot of stairs? Steps to get in the home? A large yard with maintenance? An elder who lives in a single floor ranch with a small yard will have a better chance of staying in their home than someone who lives in a two-story with a large yard.

Available Support – Are there friends and family nearby that can help out with transportation, chores and checking in with your parent? Remember that people’s lives change, so just because some people are able to help today doesn’t mean they will in the future. Also consider community support available from the park district and senior center.

Finances – At first glance, it may seem that staying in the home is the most affordable option, but this isn’t necessarily true. Take a step back and think about what your loved one can do on their own. If you have to enlist help for basic needs, this can become more expensive than an assisted living facility. But, if your loved one is fairly independent and has help nearby, living in the home is most affordable.