Nursing home vs assisted living facility—they’re practically the same thing, right? Wrong! Although they share similar goals and often have services in common, these two senior living options are very different. Depending on a person’s medical needs, mental state, and personal requirements, they might enjoy the independence of assisted living or the constant care of a nursing home. So if your loved one is no longer safe or comfortable living alone, now is the time to research the two top contenders for your loved one’s new home: a nursing home vs assisted living.
Nursing Home vs Assisted Living
The primary differences in the nursing home vs assisted living facility debate are the level of medical care offered by the staff and the independence of the resident. Nursing homes offer more medical care and personal assistance but less freedom. Assisted living facilities, on the other hand, offer less medical care but emphasize residents’ independence. So before you make your choice, you need to figure out which services your loved one will need in their new residence, such as the following:
- Bathing assistance
- Grooming assistance
- Dressing assistance
- Toilet assistance
- Laundry services
- Housekeeping services
- Prepared meals
- Medication management
- Complex medical care
- 24-hour supervision
As you can probably guess, the more difficult and time-intensive services like complex medical care and 24-hour supervision are offered by nursing homes. Similar to a hospital, your loved one will receive a lot of one-on-one attention but won’t have as much privacy or independence. This is a very effective system for residents who have dibilitating medical issues or cognitive impairment and need a lot of help to make it through their daily lives comfortably and healthily.
Assisted living facilities usually offer some of the same services as nursing homes, like personal care assistance, laundry service, and prepared meals. However, the assisted living lifestyle is much more flexible and depends on the wants and needs of the resident. For example, dressing assistance might be available, but many residents will choose not to use it. Most importantly, residents have a lot of freedom. They aren’t closely monitored, but assistance is generally close by. These facilities tend to feel more home-like and less institutional.
Also, remember that it’s possible that your loved one will need both facilities as the years go by. They might start out in an assisted living facility but transition to a nursing home when their physical or mental health suffers.
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Nursing Home vs Assisted Living: The Conclusion
If you closely analyze your loved one’s current and future health needs, you should be able to come to a decision regarding the nursing home vs assisted living debate. However, it is important to remember that these services and general guidelines vary from facility to facility.
If you’re having trouble deciding between the two options, consider calling or visiting a local nursing home and assisted living facility. The staff members should be able to help you by offering specific information regarding the services they offer, their flexibility, and details about the average daily lives of residents. Ask detailed questions and talk about your loved one’s specific needs. With your personal research, your loved one’s opinion, and help from senior living professionals, you should be able to make a choice regarding the nursing home vs assisted living debate. Good luck!
Did you know that Hearthside Senior Living Place has eight locations across three states? Click here to learn more.