Posted on Dec 19, 2019 in Assisted Living
If you or a senior loved one are getting to that stage in life where you need a helping hand, you have more options than a regular nursing home. With more than 30,000 assisted living facilities and 15,000 nursing homes in America according to CDC, there’s no shortage of choice either.
Choosing the right type of senior living community is an important decision and it starts with getting the category of care right.
Unfortunately, nursing homes and assisted living facilities are often incorrectly used interchangeably. This confuses many people. We’re here today to set the record straight and to make that tough decision just a little bit easier.
We’ll kick off with a brief snapshot of nursing homes and assisted living facilities before highlighting the main similarities and differences between them. By the end of today, you’ll have no doubt about which would make the best fit for you or your elderly loved one.
A nursing home is required if you are fully dependent on others for most or all of your day-to-day living and domestic tasks.
ADL (activities of daily living) include:
Domestic tasks include but are not limited to the following:
You’ll get a high level of daily care in a nursing home with help in all of the above areas as needed. Nursing homes make a neat fit if you need frequent, daily medical care on a daily basis or if you simply feel unsafe alone.
The flipside, of course, is a significant loss of independence.
Nursing homes are invaluable if you or your loved one are suffering from any serious memory problems unless you’re lucky enough to find a facility offering a designated memory care program.
Fees for nursing homes typically include full-time care. Additional fees might apply if you’ve got specific requirements requiring extra equipment. You could also pay a surcharge if you’re entirely bed-bound or unable to get out of a wheelchair. Fees don’t include medication.
Some senior living communities offer progressive levels of care culminating in full nursing home care at the upper end.
How about if you don’t need quite so much help?
Well, an assisted living facility is worth exploring…
If you or your elderly loved one can still mainly take care of yourself, assisted living communities allow you to retain your independence while enjoying help at hand when you need it.
Perhaps you need a little help with cooking and cleaning? Maybe laundry is too much for you to handle or you could use some assistance when you’re bathing. The benefit of assisted living is that you can pick and choose the care you need. Pricing reflects this.
Most assisted living communities offer you a private, self-contained living space much like an apartment. You won’t need to share a bathroom or a kitchen.
You’ll normally have meals in a central dining room. Various meal plans cater to a range of dietary requirements.
You might be independent enough that you’re still driving. If so, you’ll be able to bring your car. If you need transport provided, that’s no problem either.
Assisted living communities can be a great way to socialize more. A good facility will organize plenty of trips and ensure there are ample activities in-house, too.
So, if you’re semi-autonomous but you need some help with daily living and domestic chores, assisted living is the obvious choice. You’ll pay a rate reflecting the number of services you need.
Now that you’ve got an overview of each of these differing forms of senior care, we’ll underscore a few ways in which the facilities are similar.
The core focus of both these types of senior community is on keeping you safe, happy, and healthy.
Both assisted living facilities and nursing homes provide help with ADL (activities of daily living), and also with domestic tasks.
Beyond these basics, there are several more commonalities including:
Despite sharing some common ground, an assisted living facility and a nursing home have some key differences.
If you have decided that an assisted living facility in New Mexico or Massachusetts is ideal for you or a loved one, we have five active retirement communities. We’re proud of our assisted living program and you can also opt for memory care if that is more suited to your needs.
If you’re now confident you don’t need a nursing home, get in touch and we’ll be delighted to arrange a free tour of one of our five senior living communities.