A lot of people think that nursing homes and assisted living facilities are the same, but they aren’t. Even if they share some similarities, they have very important differences, and you must know what these differences are before you start looking at senior living options. Your choice here will largely depend on your condition and how much assistance you need. Let’s take a look at some of the differences between nursing homes and assisted living facilities so you can make the right decision.
Nursing Homes are Medical Institutions First
The main difference between a nursing home and an assisted living facility is that a nursing home’s first goal is to provide 24/7 medical assistance to residents. They are for patients who have severe conditions that require them to be bedridden or use a wheelchair. Residents in nursing homes are monitored more closely and cannot move around like they do in an assisted living facility.
So, if the person needs to be constantly monitored and has a serious condition that requires them to stay in bed and take a wide variety of medication, then a nursing facility is the way to go.
Assisted Living Facilities are for Active Seniors Who Need Assistance
While you can expect to get help with things like medication when you look at assisted living facilities, the main purpose of assisted living is to provide an environment where residents can feel a sense of community while getting help with certain tasks.
Things like laundry, cleaning, and cooking, for instance, will all be taken care of in an assisted facility. Some assisted living facilities will also offer memory care. The level of monitoring in these facilities will be higher with more medical staff, but it won’t be as heavy as in a nursing home.
Which Option is the Best for You?
If the person this is for has a very serious condition that requires close monitoring, then the only option is to go for a nursing home. But, if they can still move or they have a medical condition that requires them to take medication, but they don’t need to stay in bed or have a nurse constantly on their side, then assisted living is the way to go.
If the person has special needs but you don’t think that they need constant monitoring, it would be a good idea to start looking for senior assisted living facilities near you and ask them what you can expect from them in terms of service. If this is for someone with dementia, for instance, then ask what measures the facility has in place to protect residents, what type of nurses they have on the floor, whether they have a medical director on board, and how many nurses are on the floor per shift, among other things.
Nursing homes can work in certain cases, but they’re not the default choice for senior living. So, before you start looking at nursing homes, know what they are and what they aren’t, and consider all possible senior living options.