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What Are Your Options If a Loved One With Dementia Needs Care?

Dementia isn’t easy for anyone – it’s frustrating and stressful for both the person who is experiencing the condition and their family. If you’re looking for long-term care for a loved one, you’re probably facing difficult decisions. You want to make sure that they can live the best life possible but you also have to take personal and financial factors into consideration. Knowing the following facts might make finding a helping hand easier for you.

What are the key differences between in-home care and assisted living or memory care?

In-home care is when a caregiver is hired to come into the home to help an individual with activities of daily living such as meal preparation, getting around the house, bathing, dressing, using the toilet, shopping, and more. The specific help provided depends on the individual’s needs.

Pros and cons of in-home care:


  • Patients get one-on-one care tailored to their needs and preferences.
  • Patients can stay in their home or a relative’s home as they age.
  • Costs can be lower depending on the hours of care needed.


  • Social isolation can potentially be an issue.
  • The home may need some modifications for safety.
  • Housekeeping and home maintenance still need to be done.

An assisted living community is a facility where many seniors live together, in rooms or small apartments. Most communities offer a wide range of care options for both those who are mostly independent and those who need a high level of care. Memory care is a specialized form of congregate care that focuses specifically on those with dementia or other forms of memory impairment Services like meals, group activities, and housekeeping are typically included in the monthly fee for these two types of care.

Pros and cons of assisted living:


  • The family can focus more on the relationship with their loved one rather than on organizing care needs.
  • Residents have an opportunity to socialize with other residents.
  • The family only needs to choose the facility and doesn’t have to worry about hiring and overseeing caregivers.


  • One-on-one care may not be as personal as it is at home, and frequent changes in staff are common.
  • The quality of care can vary depending on the staff and the location chosen.
  • If significant one-on-one care is needed, hiring a private caregiver may also become necessary.

When choosing assisted living or memory care, the family needs to find the residence they like the most and that provides the required level of care for their loved one – although, at some communities long waiting lists may also be a factor. In-home care offers more flexibility in this regard, as families have various ways to source and hire a caregiver. This, combined with the ability of individuals to keep living in the comfort of their own home, makes in-home care the preferred choice of many families.

How to choose the right in-home care?

Although families can go through a placement agency or hire privately, a full-service, licensed, and fully-bonded home care agency like Open Arms Solutions offers the most reliable and comprehensive approach to providing in-home care. There is a lot to consider when hiring in-home care, so here are some benefits that Open Arms can offer over a placement agency or private caregivers.

Open Arms does the following:

  • Pre-screens (including drug screen and extensive background check) candidates, checks references, verifies U.S. work authorization and negotiates salary. Placement agencies only offer limited pre-screening, while with private carers, pre-screens are the family’s responsibility.
  • Requires no up-front fees as opposed to placement agencies.
  • Is responsible for paying and managing all payroll and related taxes. With placement agencies and private carers, this is the family’s responsibility.
  • Caregivers are bonded and insured. With placement agencies, liability insurance is typically not available, while private caregivers come with no theft protection or insurance of any kind.
  • Provides orientation and ongoing training for caregiving staff. The same high-level and regular training are typically not available for agency or private caregivers.
  • Offers contingency and back-up plans for caregiver vacations, holidays and sick days. Placement agencies generally cannot provide the same, while working with a private caregiver means no backup.
  • Schedules and supervises caregiving staff, provides overall care management and offers 24-hour access to management for clients. With both a placement agency and a private caregiver, this is the family’s responsibility.
  • Provides ongoing, in-home monitoring and proactive case management. This is typically not the case with either a placement agency or a private caregiver.
  • Offers specialized services including dementia and transitional care which not every placement agency or private caregiver can meet.

Embrace, Memory Care At Home

Our unique program, Embrace, Memory Care At Home, is carefully designed to help families embark on a challenging journey with confidence, knowing that their loved one is living the best life possible. Every person with dementia’s situation and needs are unique. We go beyond basic care, focusing on providing the individual with opportunities to enjoy activities and engagements that have previously brought them joy in their lives.

Each member of our team is trained, informed, and supported and our program incorporates the latest and most innovative research on memory care, dementia care models, program leadership, and caregiver training.

If you’re not sure whether your loved one is at a stage where you might benefit from extra help, start by taking our 5 Minute Home Care Quiz, which will help you score your loved one’s well-being on 6 different parameters and make a recommendation on their care needs.

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