Assisted Living vs Nursing Home

One question we get asked a lot at Assisted Living Made Simple is, What is the difference between assisted living vs nursing home? Let me try to clear up the differences for you.

Assisted Living vs Nursing Home

Assisted living is great for seniors who no longer want to live alone and maintain a home, but want to live an active, social lifestyle. Seniors in assisted living are usually active, but may need assistance with activities of daily living, such as, bathing, dressing, medication management and meal preparation.

Communities do have nursing available should you require it and some have it available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Assisted Living vs Memory Care Communities: What's the Difference?

Some of the amenities of an assisted living community are:

  • Three meals a day, in a restaurant-style atmosphere
  • Transportation to and from doctor’s appointments
  • Happy hours
  • Activities based on holidays and residents interests
  • Laundry, housekeeping, maintenance
  • Spacious apartments (some with small kitchenettes)
  • Wider doorways and ramps to allow easier access for wheelchairs and walkers

Assisted living is private-pay, but once you factor in everything you receive, it costs about the same as living in your house. To find out more, check out my other blog, Aging in Place.

What is the next level of care after assisted living?

The next level of care after assisted living really depends on the level of care you require. There are assisted living communities where you can age in place and never leave. There are also those who cannot handle serious conditions and you will have to be moved to a nursing home. So, it really just depends on what has happened to you and your condition.

Nursing Homes

Nursing homes are also referred to as skilled nursing facilities and are for those who require full-time medical assistance and around-the-clock monitoring. Nursing homes are for those who need a higher level of care but do not require hospitalization.

Residents in nursing homes do need advanced medical care in addition to their activities of daily living, such as, diabetic or other injections, catheter care, cognitive declination, advanced stages of Parkinson’s, impaired judgement and behavioral issues.

Services a nursing home provides:

  • Palliative and preventative long-term care
  • Dental services
  • Nutritional meal preparation
  • Prescription medicine administration, injections as well
  • Increased safety features
  • Rehabilitative services, such as speech, occupational, physical, and cognitive therapy

The cost of a nursing home is usually covered by insurance; it will depend on your specific plan. Medicaid is another way to pay for a nursing home, if you qualify.

When should you move from assisted living to nursing home?

The time to move from an assisted living community to a nursing home depends on your or the community’s doctor’s assessment as your health declines.

Should they determine you need more care than the community can handle, ex. Injections, catheter care, in-depth therapy, palliative care or long-term care, they will recommend you be moved to a nursing home.

Still wondering?

Are you still questioning if assisted living is better than a nursing home? Well, if you are still an active senior, but no longer want to live alone or maintain your home, assisted living is the choice for you; it is so much better than waiting until it’s too late and then having to live in a nursing home.

Be sure to enjoy your golden years while you can!!

If you’re looking for other senior living articles and resources then click here.

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