Nursing Home vs Assisted Living

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The main distinction between a Nursing Home and an Assisted Living is the level of care that is provided to the elderly resident. A Nursing Home provides a round the clock medical care to a resident with chronical medical condition. An Assisted Living, on the other hand, is a senior housing facility that offers support services with much more limited medical care. There are other significant differences between Assisted Living and Nursing Home. Seniors as well as their families who are exploring various senior living options have many factors to take into consideration. What is Assisted Living? Assisted Living is a senior housing community that provides some help with daily living. What is a Nursing Home? A nursing home provides housing to senior residents as well as round the clock skilled nursing care to elderly people who are no longer able to live independently. In comparison to Assisted Living facilities, Nursing Home environment is suitable for people who may have various health issues or even aging related memory problems that make it difficult for them to perform important daily functions such as taking a shower, dressing up, oral care and so on. Nursing Homes provide help to people with mobility issues who need assistance with moving around, getting out of bed and using the restroom.

What’s the difference between Assisted Living and Nursing Home? When choosing between a Nursing Home and an Assisted Living Facility, seniors need to consider some important differences between these senior living options. The main differences between Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Centers include not only the level of medical care offered to residents, but also costs, amount of help with personal care as well as level of privacy are among some of the important factors to take into consideration. Let’s explore the differences and similarities between Assisted Living Facilities and Nursing Home Facilities.

Nursing Home vs Assisted Living: Comparing costs

Assisted Living is a more affordable option in comparison to a Nursing Home. For example, during the year 2018, the average national cost of Assisted Senior Living is around $4,000 per year. During the same year, national Nursing Home care prices are considerably higher, averaging from $7,441 per year for a Semi-Private room to $8,365 for a Private room. Shared rooms in Nursing Homes are less expensive but provide less privacy to elderly residents.

Assisted Living versus Nursing Home: Medical care

Since Nursing Homes are often called Skilled Nursing Care Centers that provide a wider array of medical services when compared to Assisted Living Facilities. Senior residents with serious medical issues who are not capable of living independently are suitable candidates for Nursing Home type of living arrangement while healthier seniors who need help with some daily tasks can have a comfortable life in an Assisted Living community where medical services may be more limited, making this senior living option more affordable than living in a Nursing Home. Although both, Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Centers provide senior housing, there is significantly more medical support offered in Nursing Homes in comparison to Assisted Living Facilities where medical services are limited.

Assisted Living compared to Nursing Home: Medication Management

There is a difference between Assisted Living Facilities and Nursing Homes when it comes to daily medication management. While seniors who live in an Assisted Living typically manage their own medication unless a senior resident requires help with remembering and managing their medication, then it is possible to have assistance with getting medication but this service usually comes with an extra charge. In a Nursing Home environment, residents have their medication managed for them by a skilled nurse. Many of the Nursing Home residents have various memory problems that may include Alzheimer’s or Dementia and need medications managed for them to prevent overmedication or forgetting to take medication on time types of situations that can be dangerous for senior’s health.

Assisted Living and Nursing Home compared: Living arrangements

Nursing Homes provide a more hospital-like environment for residents, where rooms can be shared or single while Assisted Living Facilities offer a more customizable approach and more overall privacy to their residents. For example, in most Assisted Living Centers residents can use their own furniture and room decorations while in Nursing Homes rooms are equipped with the facility’s furniture. Assisted Living Facilities offer rooms that can range in size from Studio to one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartments. Nursing Homes, in comparison, offer a private or shared room to their residents.

Nursing Home compared to Assisted Living Facilities: Eating

In Assisted Living centers many residents can eat themselves but if necessary, assistance with eating can be arranged. Assisted Living residents have an option to cook for themselves in their own kitchen or to have a prepared meal in a dining area. In comparison, Nursing Home residents get more help with eating their meals and food is prepared for them. Nursing Home residents can choose to eat in a dining area or to have a meal in their own room. When shopping around for a Nursing Home or for an Assisted Living Center for yourself or your loved one, be sure to check the menu and look for a variety of options as well as flexibility with offered meals. Ask the senior living facility that you are considering if you can have a sample meal to get the full dining experience. Find out whether amenities are offered for special events or gatherings.

Assisted Living Facilities vs Nursing Homes: Help with Personal Care

Nursing Home residents get more help with personal care that may include showering, brushing teeth and getting dressed. As a result, Nursing Home environment is suitable for seniors who are no longer safe living on their own. For example, an elderly person who is starting to experience memory issues may be wondering, getting lost even in a familiar area, leaving the stove on, there may be the bath water running, or water in the sink is left running. Forgetting to take medication on time or taking the medication too often may cause a safety issue for the senior who is experiencing memory problems. These issues may be detrimental to the elderly person’s health. These forgetful behaviors may be an indicator that the elderly person is not safe living alone and may be a good candidate for a Nursing Home or Memory Care environment. Dementia, for example, is a condition that is very difficult to manage in a home environment without the proper help. Seniors suffering from Dementia may require a caregiver to be present 24/7 in order to keep the elderly person safe. In such case, unless there’s someone who can be with the elderly man or woman at all times, the senior suffering from Dementia is a suitable candidate for a Nursing Home. In comparison to Nursing Homes, Assisted Living facilities provide assistance with various daily tasks such as personal care, but these services may be at an additional charge. There may be significant differences between different Assisted Living Facilities, with some offering services up through hospice care. At other Assisted Living Facilities, senior residents get a more limited medical help and residents may be asked to leave if the Assisted Living Center is unable to provide the necessary level of care. For example, if a senior resident’s health reaches a point where a 24-hour supervision is necessary. Residents of Nursing Homes usually have more serious health issues that may include mobility issues or memory issues and may require a higher level of assistance with daily tasks on average than Assisted Living residents. In comparison to most Assisted Living Facilities, Nursing Homes provide skilled nursing services and are more suitable for seniors with serious health issues that may include mobility or memory issues.

Nursing Home versus Assisted Living: Help with using the restroom

Residents of Assisted Living Facilities who have difficulties using a restroom and need assistance can arrange for this service. Additional charges may apply. In Nursing Homes, assistance with using the restroom, changing sheets and incontinence products is included in the services provided to residents.

Difference between Nursing Home and Assisted Living: Help with mobility issues

People with serious mobility issues that have difficulties with getting out of bed or with walking and moving around may find that Nursing Homes are able to provide residents with more mobility help. In assisted Living Facilities, in comparison, there are lower numbers of people with serious mobility issues. Assistance can be arranged for those residents requiring help with moving around.

Assisted Living vs Nursing Home: Pet friendly

Nursing Homes do not allow residents to keep any pets. Most residents of Nursing Homes are physically unable to care for a pet and that is one of the reasons for this restriction. In comparison, many Assisted Living Facilities are pet friendly and allow residents to keep a cat or a dog in their residence. Help with taking care of the pet may be provided by some Assisted Living facilities at an additional cost. For example, pet sitting or dog walking services may be arranged. Assisted Living Centers that are cat friendly or dog friendly or both, may have pet grooming salons as well as veterinary clinics conveniently located to help senior residents who own pets easily access pet services they may need.

Assisted Living compared to Nursing Home: Services provided

When comparing Assisted Living to Nursing Home, it is important to note the benefits that each of these senior housing facilities is offering to their residents. Most Assisted Living Facilities offer benefits that include proximity to family and friends. Finding an Assisted Living Center nearby can save on a commute time and help relatives and makes visiting your loved ones much easier. Assisted Living residents can count on dining services, help with housekeeping and laundry. Medication assistance is another important service that can be provided to residents of Assisted Living Communities. Other services include transportation, exercise facility for residents, an in-house pharmacy with comparable market prices, programs to stimulate the brain that may include various games and fun activities, social programs and personalized activities in which residents could engage. Find out whether all of these services are included in the monthly fees. Assisted Living Centers may differ significantly and it is important to ask questions in regards to which services are included in the monthly fees and which will cost extra.

In comparison to Assisted Living, Nursing Homes provide the following services that include 24-hour skilled level care. Nursing Homes often feature a separate unit for older people with memory issues that may include different forms of dementia. Nursing Homes offer private and shared rooms to their residents. Assistance with bathing and personal hygiene, on-site medical treatment, activities and entertainment that may include movie theaters as well as salons and spas.

For someone who is considering moving into a senior living community, finding the right level of care is very important. Seniors suffering from progressive conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or heart conditions may require a higher level of medical assistance while relatively healthy seniors may need a light support in some areas with little medical help needed on a daily basis. If you are not sure which type of senior living is most suitable for your situation or for your loved one, checking with a physician may help to make the best decision. After an evaluation or a check-up, a physician can recommend an assisted living or a nursing home environment, depending on the patient’s state of health.

When you are selecting the best Nursing Home or Assisted Living Facility in your area, be sure to visit several Elderly Care Facilities in your area and as you are learning about a specific Senior Living Facility, write down the positives and negatives that you are noticing. Talk to staff members who have worked in the Facility for a long time and ask them what they like and dislike about working in that specific Senior Living Center. Talk to residents of Nursing Homes or Assisted Living Facilities and ask them to tell you what they like or don’t like about the facility that you are considering. Talk to different staff members as you may gain important knowledge and hear from different perspectives of people who will be taking care of you or your loved one. If you have friends with loved ones who are living in Nursing Homes or in Assisted Living Facilities, talk to them and learn as much as you can before making the final decision. If you are looking for a Nursing Home for a senior that requires specialized medical equipment, check with the Nursing Homes that you are considering whether they have the necessary equipment. Think twice before moving into a Nursing Home that doesn’t have the equipment you or your loved needs but promises to get the equipment soon. Can you negotiate Assisted Living or Nursing Home costs? Find out about all the services that are being offered and see whether these services are included in the final cost. Then, cross out the services that you won’t need and see talk to the manager. Assisted Living Centers can lower the price by removing the services that you or loved one don’t require.

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