It’s an emotionally taxing decision no one wants to make. Move your loved one to a Memory Care community or opt for in-home care? Chances are your loved one will prefer to age in place at home. But is that the best place for them?

The cost of professional home health care and assisted living care is comparable, according to this 2018 study by Genworth, so it’s not necessarily a cut-and-dry decision from a financial perspective. But there’s so much more than cost to take into consideration when deciding whether in-home care or a senior living community is right for your loved one. Here are some pros and cons to keep in mind as you approach this important decision:

Emotional Impact

Keeping your loved one in a comfortable, familiar setting is easily the biggest draw of in-home care, but keep in mind the potential emotional toll that awaits if you or a family member choose to play the role of caregiver. Beyond the emotional strain of watching a loved one grapple with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, the time commitment can be daunting. Caregiving is a full-time job – and then some. And the stress can be downright overwhelming.

Social Benefits

Consider the social benefits of a senior living community. Your loved one will never be lacking for company – or engaging activities – if you go this route. Communities like Artis feature calendars packed with programs and events that keep your loved one active and engaged. Whether it’s a nutritious meal with peers at the dining room, an exercise class, or a spirited chat at the beauty salon, your loved one will have every opportunity to live a busy social life. And an active social life can do wonders for health.

Consistent, Nutritious Meals

Daily chef-prepared meals are another perk of a senior living community. A healthy, balanced diet goes a long way for anybody, but a nutritious diet is all the more important as you age. You will never have to worry about your loved one eating right in a senior living community.

Comprehensive Care

Last, and most important, consider your loved one’s access to care when deciding between in-home options and a senior living community. While it is possible to arrange for in-home doctor visits or shuttle your loved ones to appointments, it’s hard to rival the convenience of the readily available, cutting-edge care you’ll find in many senior living communities. Many have on-call doctors, onsite nurses, health centers available, and many are located near hospitals and/or medical facilities.