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Understanding the Difference Between Assisted Living and Nursing HomesMarch 12, 2020 0 Comment Category: Assisted Living
There are numerous senior care options these days, which may make it a bit confusing for families to choose the best one for their elderly family member. However, it is very important to understand the difference between the various types of senior care so that your loved one can get the right services for their requirements. Below is a quick look at two of the most common options in senior care these days – assisted living and nursing homes.
Most people who have not navigated through senior care options may presume that assisted living is just an upscale version of a nursing home. However, there are many things that differentiate an assisted living facility from a nursing home. Simply put, assisted living communities are a type of senior housing option, in which professional caregivers offer all kinds of personal assistance to the residents. At the same time, assisted living allows seniors to live their independent lives in a private apartment.
Assisted living facilities have caregivers at the site round-the-clock to provide help with medications, meals, housekeeping, daily hygiene, personal care, etc. Apart from that, assisted living communities also offer many other services and amenities, such as transportation services for visits to the dentist/doctor, wellness programs, healthy diet plans, and recreational activities. The most prominent part of an assisted living community is that it allows seniors to socialize with other people and stay physically and mentally active.
Many assisted living facilities organize activities and events for their senior residents regularly, both on and off the community grounds. These may be different from community to community, but usually include programs like art workshops, movie nights, book clubs, shopping trips, cultural outings, card games, etc. Some assisted living communities also offer dance classes, yoga sessions, and martial arts programs for their seniors.
Nursing homes mainly focus on attending to the medical needs of seniors. They have skilled professionals on the site 24-hours a day to manage the complex health issues of their residents. Nursing homes also have visiting occupational and physical therapists to take care of the needs of seniors. Generally, a Medical Director will oversee all the clinical care provided to the elders in the nursing home.
Staffs at nursing homes also provide daily care for their senior residents just like that offered by assisted living communities. This includes assistance with basic day-to-day tasks, such as dressing, bathing, eating, and taking medications. Residents will usually have a private or semiprivate room in a nursing home with bathroom facilities, but no living room or cooking area. Similar to assisted living, the meal plans are based on the health conditions of the seniors in nursing homes. Besides, they also provide laundry and housekeeping services, life-enrichment activities, and transportation options.
Most of the nursing homes will also have a special program for short-term rehabilitation. This allows seniors to come to the nursing home for a short-term stay. This is generally seen with seniors who were hospitalized recently and need specialized care to recover from their illness or injury. After they meet their rehabilitation objectives, such seniors return to their homes or move to an assisted living community.
Which is Better: Assisted Living or Nursing Home?
Choosing between an assisted living and a nursing home should be based on the personal needs and health condition of your loved one. You should talk to your senior family members to understand what their expectations are and weigh them against the services offered by the senior living facility. In general, nursing homes will be ideal for those who need dedicated medical care, while assisted living will suit those who want to live an independent life with some amount of support. If you still have doubts, consult with a senior care expert to know your options.