Assisted Living vs. Nursing Home Care – Understanding the Options
Assisted living is typically defined as a long-term care option that combines housing, support services and health care. Assisted living is designed for individuals who require assistance with activities in daily living, for example - meals, medication management and possibly assistance with bathing, dressing and transportation. Assisted Living “bridges the gap” between Independent Living and Nursing Home care. It is important to remember that because “Assisted Living” is not a government defined term, actual services offered vary from community to community.
Assisted living is the fastest growing long-term care option for seniors - Due to the varied preferences and needs of the elderly, there are a variety of settings from which to choose. These choices range from high-rise buildings to one-story Victorian mansions to large multi-acre campuses.
Assisted Living communities differ from Nursing Homes in that they don’t offer complex medical services.
Assisted Living residents are seniors that have typically had a slight decline in health in some way. It appeals to seniors who would like to live in a social environment with few responsibilities, yet also providing easy access to non-skilled care.
Typical Services Offered in Assisted Living Communities
Assisted living communities provide more personal care services than an independent living retirement community. They offer a less-expensive, residential approach to delivering many of the same services available in skilled nursing, either by employing personal care staff or contracting with home health agencies and other outside professionals. Learn more about assisted living services and amenities.
Amenities in an assisted living community typically include
- Healthcare management and monitoring
- Three meals a day served in a common dining area
- Housekeeping and Personal Laundry services
- Available Transportation
- 24-hour security
- Exercise and wellness programs
- Social and recreational activities
What is the Cost of Assisted Living?
Assisted living costs vary with the residence, apartment size, and types of services needed. Assisted living is generally less expensive than nursing home care in the same geographic area. Fees vary across States and region to region.
Nursing Home Care
Nursing Home Care provides the highest level of care solution, outside of hospitalization. A Licensed Physician supervises each patient’s care, and a medical professional is typically always on site. Skilled Nursing care is available on site 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Nursing Homes provide “custodial care”, including transfer assistance (in and out of bed) and assistance with bathing and feeding.
Other Medical Professionals – Physical or Occupational Therapists – are also available, allowing the delivery of therapies on site that would not be possible in other housing formats.
Finding an Assisted Living Facility That’s Right for You or Your Loved One
Before you start your search for assisted living options, ask yourself a few key questions about what you are looking for, what you need to know, what your ideal outcome would be a year after move-in, how you will the evaluate the cost of living in an assisted living facility, and how you will make the distinction between price and value. And always, contact your local Choice Connections Certified Senior Housing Specialist. Our service is FREE and we will walk you through the maze of senior housing options and personally guide you every step of the way.
Click the link above to schedule your free, no obligation senior housing needs assessment. We will guide you through the maze of senior care options professionally and courteously – and always free of charge.