Posted: July 28, 2020
Health & Wellness
There are so many options out there when it comes to senior living, it can often seem overwhelming. The fact that there can be many different names for one senior living option can add to this fact.
Because of all the names, terms, and synonyms concerning senior living options, it is extremely important that you know what is what!
The following will address one common area of confusion and misunderstanding: the differences between assisted living and nursing homes.
One of the biggest differences between assisted living and a nursing home involves the reason why someone will seek out those options.
People in nursing homes require around the clock care from specialized, trained medical staff. Complex medical conditions are the primary reasons people seek out a good nursing home. For this reason, nursing home stays are often shorter than stays in assisted living. Residents in a nursing home will stay until they no longer need that round the clock care.
People who seek out an assisted living community are more concerned with finding a good place to live that fits their stage in life. Residents of assisted living do not need round the clock care, but may require some help with everyday concerns such as hygiene or mobility. Because assisted living is sought out as a new home, resident’s stays are much longer.
Because the circumstances that prompt people to seek out these two options are very different, the physical plant of nursing homes and assisted living differ significantly as well.
Nursing homes do their best to make things look homie, but because the core focus is on medical care, the environment will look much more clinical, similar to a hospital setting. Rooms are often shared and feature medical equipment. Nursing homes give residents opportunities to move around and get active, but most of their time is devoted to addressing their medical condition
Assisted living, on the other hand, offers as many options as it can to residents to ensure they feel a sense of being at home. Residents can choose to live alone or with a spouse or roommate. The grounds of the community feature communal spaces such as libraries, social rooms, and activity spaces. Assisted living communities also hold events and activities open to residents and their families. A good assisted living community will focus on what is possible and create an environment for residents to thrive.
Cost of any type of senior living varies significantly from state to state, but there are a few standard differences across the board. With assisted living being more like a move to a new home, and a nursing home resembling an extended hospital or clinical stay, expect the cost and methods of payment to differ accordingly.
For instance, a nursing home will cost more but also is more likely to accept insurance, medicare, and medicaid. Assisted living, on the other hand, will be less expensive but will often require one to pay out of pocket. However, some states, such as Indiana, allow Medicaid to cover the cost of assisted living.
As you can now see, there is no “best” option here. Assisted living and nursing homes are only good so long as they fit the needs of the person seeking them out!
If you or your loved one are looking for a new home to enjoy a new stage in life with peers, a quality assisted living is the best option. If you or your loved one has recently had a fall, or been diagnosed with a more complex medical condition that will require round the clock care and monitoring, consider looking at nursing homes near you.
If you are struggling to understand the level of care you or your loved one will need, consider talking with a doctor! As you seek out expert opinions and educate yourself, you will be more and more likely to find the perfect senior living option for you and your loved one. You can also contact our community with any questions.