Nursing Home Services vs. Assisted Living Services

September 18, 2013 developer Comments


Are you a caregiver to a loved one in your family? Whether you are caring for your spouse, parent or even grandparent, there comes a time when many family caregivers run out of resources or do not have the medical skills to continue caring for their loved ones. While the thought of having to place your loved on in a nursing home or assisted living facility breaks your heart, knowing that they are receiving the proper care will make the process rewarding.

When choosing a senior living option, many families have a hard time knowing where to begin. Between all of the types of senior living facilities, how are you supposed to know which one is right for your loved one? Well, today I am here to help distinguish the difference between the two most common options, nursing homes and assisted livings.

Assisted living facilities are for seniors with minor disabilities and who do not need skilled nursing assistance. The facilities commonly provide help with activities of daily living, coordination of services by outside health care providers and monitor resident activities to ensure their health, safety and well-being. Assisted livings as they exist today emerged in the 1990s as an alternative senior care to nursing homes. Again the major difference is that people who live in assisted livings do not require 24 hour skilled nursing staff. The living areas in assisted living facilities normally consist of private apartments or rooms that resident can decorate with their own furnishings. The staff respect resident privacy whenever possible and try to create an atmosphere of independence. Other services commonly included are shared meals, laundry and light housekeeping. Seniors who are younger or in a more physically stable stage often do well in assisted livings. Many residents stay through the ending of life barring any serious injuries of medical problems.

On the other side of the spectrum, nursing homes provide round the clock medical care to their residents. Nursing homes are ideal for seniors who need a  good deal of help with activities of daily living, have severe cognitive impairment or suffer from serious medical issues. The majority of the same services that assisted livings offer apply in nursing homes, but a few extra make a difference. Dispersal of medications, access to physical and occupational therapists and even doctors on staff all make nursing homes ideal for those who need special medical attention.

So the question might remain, which one is best for your loved one? The answer is actually quite simple. See what amenities your loved one might require, whether that is skilled medical attention or just a little assistance. Talk to different nursing homes and assisted living facilities in your community and ask if your loved one is a good fit. No matter which option your family chooses, know that both provide a specialized assistance that your loved one needs.

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