Learn the Differences

You might think “nursing home” is a catch-all phrase for all different types of senior living, but in reality, it’s actually a separate form of senior care. Assisted living‘s main goal is housing that provides certain care assistance; nursing homes, on the other hand, focus on providing skilled nursing care while also providing housing.

Keep reading to learn how assisted living communities differ from nursing homes, what they have in common, and which type of senior living facility is right for you or your loved one.

What is Assisted Living?

Assisted living is a form of residential care that provides help for seniors who require assistance with personal care, socialization, and more.

Assisted living facilities sometimes have a registered nurse or health clinic onsite, but medical care is not the focus of the facility. Instead, staff are there to assist residents with instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), which include managing money, medication management, shopping, and more.

Assisted living communities typically offer a full schedule of recreational activities and a wide array of amenities to make residents feel at home. Additionally, there are typically several living options available, from senior apartments to shared or private rooms.

Assisted Living Residents

Assisted living residents require some assistance with personal care and the instrumental activities of daily living, but are mostly mobile on their own. Additionally, they are open to receiving help.

Some assisted living residents have Alzheimer‘s disease or dementia and require memory care services.

What is a Nursing Home?

Nursing homes offer a higher level of care than assisted living and the focus is on providing medical care. Also known as skilled nursing care centers, nursing homes care for residents with more serious issues who require routine medical services.

Nursing home residents have care needs that require full-time, round-the-clock medical supervision and attention. These needs can range from physical ailments and diseases to mental health or cognitive concerns.

Nursing homes have private or shared rooms and typically small common areas and limited recreational activities.

Nursing Home Residents

Nursing home residents require more complex health care, skilled nursing services from medical professionals, and assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), including eating, hygiene, and mobility. Some nursing home residents are resistant to help due to behavioral or cognitive difficulties.

Similarities of Assisted Living and Nursing Homes

Assisted living communities and nursing homes have several things in common:

  • Both provide senior housing.
  • Both provide assistance with activities of daily living.
  • Both assist with medication management.
  • Both offer meals, laundry, housekeeping, and maintenance.
  • Both have various living options for residents.
  • Both offer long-term care.

Differences Between Assisted Living and Nursing Homes

Nursing home care and assisted living care are two very distinct care options for older adults.

An assisted living community focuses on assistance with personal care, socialization with other residents through a variety of recreational activities, and have large common areas and outdoor spaces. An assisted living care facility is an ideal choice for older adults who would normally require specialized home care or other regular assistance and supervision, but who want to live in a community of other seniors.

On the other hand, nursing home care is a type of care that focuses on residents’ medical needs through skilled nursing care. There are fewer recreational activities and smaller common spaces, as the typical nursing home resident would not be capable of interacting with more varied amenities.

Monthly costs and payment options for the two care options also differ. Typically, the resident and/or their family members will pay out of pocket for assisted living; additionally, they may utilize long-term care insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, or other forms of financial assistance. Nursing home care is typically paid for by Medicaid because it is a medical necessity.

Do you or your loved one experience any memory loss? Read up here on what makes assisted living and memory care facilities different choices as the aging process diminishes cognitive ability.

Choosing Assisted Living or Nursing Home

When you or your family member are no longer capable of independent living, choosing the right care option can become overwhelming. That’s why Select Senior Communities representatives are here to answer all of your questions and guide you on this journey. To learn more about our many different communities and the care options we offer, contact Select Senior Communities today.

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