Assisted Living Vs Nursing Home: Living Accommodations
While both options provide older adults with secure environments, a majority of the skilled nursing homes present residents with bedrooms that they share. Their structures usually mirror the ones that hospitals use, and residents of nursing homes generally do not have any privacy.
Assisted living facilities, on the other hand, typically take on more of a senior housing approach with most residents having their own dedicated apartments. Residents in assisted living communities have the opportunity of choosing the living quarters that suit them best. Most homes allow occupants to determine whether they will stay in a studio apartment or one that has one bedroom or even several.
Most of the assisted living facilities also allow couples to stay together. New homeowners in the facilities also have the choice of decorating and furnishing their new living space as they wish to make it feel more homely and comfortable. Living quarters in assisted living can come with kitchenettes and private bathrooms if an individual is looking for such an environment.
Main Differences Between Assisted Living And Nursing Home
Other Reasons To Consider Assisted Living
While you might not need assisted living yet, there are still a few reasons it might benefit you, such as:
- Safety: Daily activities are getting more challenging to manage, but you don’t need full-time care. Assisted living facilities can offer as little or as much help as you need with basic tasks of daily life.
- Community and socialization: Good facilities provide a rich social fabric that can improve life and connection immensely for isolated older adults. Even if you’re not isolated, becoming part of a supportive community can significantly enhance your quality of life as you age.
- Maximizing independence: Assisted living aims to help people live as independently as possible. If you need some help but don’t need 24/7 care, assisted living can actually foster more independence than living at home.
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What Is The Difference Between Assisted Living And A Nursing Home A Guide To Help Decide Between A Nursing Home Vs Assisted Living
What is assisted living?
What is a nursing home?
Is there anything that differentiates the two?
These are common questions and, luckily, we have the answer.
Knowing the difference between assisted living and nursing home facilities is an incredibly important step in choosing the right care for you or your loved one.
Here at Senior Services of America, we know quite a bit about what makes these services unique and different.
This guide will help you understand the difference between assisted living and nursing home care and which one might be the best fit for you or your loved one.
Differences Between Assisted Living And Nursing Homes
Exploring your senior living options can feel overwhelming. You may feel a wash of emotions: excitement, anxiety, uncertainty about your future. If you dont know much about senior living communities, you might think theyre all the same or that assisted living is just a glorified nursing home. But assisted living offers key benefits compared to nursing homes and is an exceptionally good option for older adults who desire maximum independence, quality programming and exceptional nutrition alongside a sense of community and support with activities of daily living.
Knowing the difference between assisted living and a nursing home, as well as when each is appropriate, can help you find a community youll love that caters to your needs without compromising your lifestyle.
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Who Can Benefit From A Nursing Home
A nursing home can be the right choice for someone whose medical needs require full-time care and access to services that are more similar to a hospital than a home. Some families choose to transition to a nursing home after a serious infection, or when a senior is continually in and out of the hospital.
Because skilled nursing facilities offer extensive care, they can provide more stability to seniors who might otherwise spend extended periods of time in the hospital. Some nursing homes also deliver hospice services, providing palliative care to seniors who are nearing the end of their senior living journey.
However, if a seniors needs are more minimal such as assistance with ADLs like bathing, dressing, or toileting or if a senior needs simple care such as physical therapy and medication management a nursing home may be too restrictive and needlessly add costs.
Assistance With Daily Activities
If residents of an assisted living facility need help with daily activities, such as bathing or getting dressed, those services are provided.
Laundry, housekeeping, and meal preparation services are available to residents who need them.
In a nursing home, most people need more extensive help caring for their daily needs.
Staff members help residents bathe, dress, use the restroom, and take their medications. Meals are prepared by a kitchen staff, and the staff take care of laundry and cleaning for the residents.
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Assisted Living Vs Nursing Home Care: How They Differ
Are you attempting to weigh assisted living versus nursing home care as an option for yourself or a family member? Many Americans just like you are doing exactly that. They’re looking for clear answers about senior living possibilities and the differences between them. Thankfully, you’re in the right spot to find some of those answers.
With help from this article, you can start making informed decisions that result in a comfortable, connected, and care-focused quality of life for you or your loved one. After all, a lot of today’s nursing homes and assisted living facilities are warm, homelike communities where older adults enjoy kindness and respect, make new friends, entertain visitors, and pursue satisfying leisure activities.
As you’ll soon discover, there isn’t just one main difference between assisted living and nursing home care. Rather, each type of senior care community has several special and defining characteristics. In this article, you’ll learn more about those differences as they relate to the following aspects:
Other Kinds Of Services
Beyond care-based assistance, senior living facilities also usually provide a nice variety of other support services. They are all intended to help seniors minimize their daily responsibilities while maximizing their sense of well-being. In fact, assisted living facilities and nursing homes often share a lot of similarities in this regard. For example, both options usually provide:
- Regular, nutritious meals
- Local-area transportation
- Opportunities for social interaction
The main difference is that assisted living facilities generally offer many more recreational activities and local excursions. As an assisted living resident, you may get more chances to take classes related to art, exercise, or other fun areas of interest. Or if you have existing hobbies, you may get to use on-site facilities that allow you to keep pursuing them.
Level Of Personal Care
Review your loved ones personal or custodial-care needs. If they need help in only a few areas, such as household chores, cooking, and bathing, then an assisted living community will likely fit their needs. If they need assistance with multiple activities of daily living , it may be time to consider a nursing home even if they dont have additional medical conditions. Assisted living staff can help with medication management, so missing a couple doses here and there doesnt automatically qualify your loved one for nursing home residency.
Difference Between Assisted Living And Nursing Homes
When it comes to finding senior care, todays options are limitless. From independent living to skilled nursing care, todays senior living industry offers a plethora of lifestyles. We are here to help you sort through the options and find the best community for you and your loved one.
Two of the most common types of senior living are assisted living communities and nursing homes, also known as skilled nursing facilities. At first glance, these two options may appear to have a lot in common but with differences in payment options, level of care, and amenities offered, the two care options are very different. We invite you to take a second look at how the two differ while thinking through which one suits your needs best.
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When Is It Time For Assisted Living
Assisted living comes in a broad spectrum of forms designed to help seniors age in place for longer. For some, it’s a way to downsize into a new home for the long term. For others, it’s a way to maintain independence, even though they need some help with daily self-care. Ultimately, focus your decision on the priority needs. Below are six signs that it might be time to consider assisted living:
- Increase in injuries: You or your loved one is falling or sustaining injuries more frequently.
- Worsening health conditions: The person has diabetes, arthritis, or macular degeneration.
- Cleanliness: The individual is experiencing difficulty keeping the house clean or maintaining personal hygiene
- Depression and loneliness: You or your loved one is experiencing increasing feelings of sadness or isolation.
- Withdrawal: The senior’s engagement with people or activities is declining.
What Services Do Nursing Homes Provide
The goal of a nursing home is to ensure the safety and comfort of older adults who need round-the-clock care. In addition to the services provided by assisted living communities, nursing homes offer a variety of medically related options:
- Ongoing palliative and preventative long-term care
- Prescription medication administration, including injections
- Specialized rehabilitative services, such as speech, occupational, physical, respiratory, cognitive, and vocational therapy
- Emergency and routine dental services
- Meal options that must meet the daily nutritional requirements and the unique dietary needs of each resident, including pureed and liquid diets
- Increased safety features and security benefits, including grab bars, ADA-accessible spaces, and alarmed doorways
Skilled nursing care is a key feature of many nursing homes. That means trained medical professionals are available at all times to assist your loved one. If your family member is gravely ill or has a serious, progressive medical condition, they may need specialized care from the licensed health care professionals at a skilled nursing facility, versus assisted livings senior care aides, who are highly trained but may not be medically certified.
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What Is Assisted Living
Assisted living consists of a residential community equipped to help people with daily life and routine self-maintenance when needed. Ranging in size from a few dozen to a few hundred residents, they often run like retirement communities with added healthcare support however, they don’t always provide extensive or round-the-clock medical care.
In assisted living, people typically have their own rooms or apartments. They can gather in common areas for dining or recreation. Most facilities include room and board, medication management, and housekeeping. They also provide bathing and bathroom help as needed, social and leisure activities, and emergency care. Different facilities offer different levels of service, benefits, and expertise. Some even combine with independent living residences to form hybrid communities, so you can move from one to the other more easily when needed.
Want to learn more about assisted living? Watch the video below. Jeff Hoyt, our editor-in-chief, will walk you through everything you need to know.
Assisted Living Vs Nursing Homes: Costs And Types Of Care
Assisted living offers extra help to largely independent residents in an apartment-like setting. In contrast, nursing homes provide both medical and intensive custodial care dressing, bathing, eating, and housekeeping in a more clinical environment.
Assisted Living and Nursing Homes Compared
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What Are Assisted Living Communities
Assisted living communities are a more recent option for seniors, making their first appearances in the senior living scene in the early 1990s as more seniors wanted gentle assistance with activities of daily living in a comfortable and more home-like setting. Seniors in assisted living often live in private apartment homes that they can decorate themselves, even bringing furniture and decor from home. Independence is encouraged in assisted living and many communities offer kitchen and laundry facilities for residents to prepare their own meals and handle their own laundry needs while also providing meal services and housekeeping.
Many assisted living communities offer an activity schedule to encourage resident interaction with regular happy hours, meals, and outings. Additionally, residents in assisted living receive assistance with activities of daily living, such as dressing, grooming, and hygiene. Assistance is available to help when needed.
Assisted Living At A Glance
- Price: $4,500
- Does Medicare pay for it: No
- Does Medicaid pay for it: Sometimes
- Services: Assistance with daily activities, housekeeping, arranging recreational activities, respite care
- For: Seniors who need help with ADLs, family members needing a break from caregiving duties
- Also known as: Assisted living facilities, ALFs
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Cost And Payment Methods
According to Genworth, in 2016, the national median cost was $6,844 per month for a shared room in a nursing home . For a private room in a nursing home, the cost was $7,698 per month. So, although costs vary from facility to facility, assisted living usually costs quite a bit less than nursing home care.
But looking at cost alone doesn’t provide the full picture. That’s because how you pay for services may play a larger role in determining your options. For example, many seniors rely on Medicare and Medicaid, but those government programs don’t always provide the necessary coverage.
When it comes to assisted living:
- Most residents pay out of their own pockets.
- Some people are covered through private long-term care insurance.
- Many former military members are able to pay using veterans benefits.
- Some states provide Medicaid coverage if you meet certain eligibility criteria.
When it comes to nursing home care:
- Most residents, if they are eligible, pay for it with Medicaid.
- Some people pay for it out of pocket or with private long-term care insurance.
- Under certain conditions, some patients receive temporary coverage through Medicare.
In contrast, Medicaid is often used to pay for extended stays in nursing homes . Medicaid is a joint program of the federal government and individual state governments. Each state gets to set its own eligibility criteria for Medicaid benefits. As a result, the rules about long-term care coverage vary from state to state.
What Care Will I Receive In A Nursing Home
Nursing homes provide a higher level of care than assisted living communities, which makes it a great choice for someone who cannot get the medical care they need at home, and do not need hospital treatment. You might also hear these units referred to as skilled nursing homes due to the higher level of care offered for residents.
At a nursing home, you will receive the highest level of care possible outside of a hospital setting. In addition to helping with ADLs, similar to assisted living homes, nursing homes also offer skilled nursing care from registered nurses . This extra layer of care includes frequent medical check-ins and treatments.
Many nursing homes offer specialized long-term services, such as memory-related care for individuals with dementia, speech therapy or physical therapy. On the other hand, people can stay in nursing homes for a short amount of time for example, after a surgery an individual may need a higher level of care as they work towards full recovery.
As these examples demonstrate, skilled nursing communities are ideal for individuals who need significant assistance or even 24/7 care. Similar to a hospital setting, many residents have roommates during their stay to facilitate nurses and other staff members. Private rooms are an option however, it is likely that you will have to pay a premium for them.
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Want To Know More About The Differences Between Assisted Living And Nursing Homes The Compassionate Team Members At Senior Services Of America Communities Can Help You Make The Best Choice For Your Needs
We know that selecting the best care for you can be a daunting task.
Countless options can leave your head spinning.
If you are still wondering more about the difference between assisted living and nursing home care, our incredible team members at Senior Services of America communities are here to help.
We would love to walk you through your options and help you make the best decision for you.