Assisted Living vs Nursing Home: Which Is Right for Your Loved Ones?

You have a choice to make, and for most, one you’d hoped you’d never have to make. But when the time comes, you will have to determine whether your loved one would be better in assisted living vs nursing home care.

There are differences between the two. Read on to learn the difference and when it’s time to ensure your loved one receives the appropriate level of care, so they experience the best quality of life.

Both assisted living facilities and nursing homes offer services to your loved ones; however, making the right decision makes all the difference.

Key Differences Between Assisted Living vs. Nursing Home

Assisted living provides the highest quality of care. The number one difference between assisted living and nursing homes is the day-to-day activities and level of medical care that is provided.

Let’s compare the two:

Elder Exercising at Assisted Living FacilityAssisted Living:

  • Three meals a day are prepared for you should you want them and don’t want to cook yourself
  • There are ongoing exercise and wellness programs offered every week
  • You can have some clean and provide maintenance on a regular basis
  • Any additional social service programs you wish to facilitate are offered
  • Your medicines and wellness treatments are available with assistance or through self-administration
  • There is twenty-four-hour supervision available at all times

Many assisted living homes offer recreational and spiritual activities through faith-based missions.

Nursing Home:

At the core, nursing homes offer experienced and committed staff to help you with self-care, activities, and medical treatment.

Nursing care is one of the most expensive forms of housing for the elderly there is.  You want to weigh carefully what your loved ones will gain and lose by going into a nursing home.

  • You are provided room and board sometimes with a roommate and sometimes by yourself depending on the nursing home
  • There is continual personal care available that includes but isn’t limited to dressing, bathing and toilet assistance
  • There is also 24-emergency care available for any medical emergencies
  • Social and recreational programs are offered if you choose to participate

You are provided with skilled nursing care and they are the medical professionals that monitor your medication and treatment. You are usually offered physical, respiratory, and occupational therapy when in need of their services.

Assisted Living Mixed with Memory and Respite Care

Sometimes you can mix a specific need your loved one has like memory care with assisted living services. In other words, if you place your loved one in an assisted living facility, you can add in a mix of memory care or even respite care depending on their need.

Both memory care and respite care fall under the category of assisted living.

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How To Decide Between Assisted Living vs Nursing Home?

The National Council for Aging suggests that when you see signs in your loved one’s day-to-day living – it may be time to consider assisted living.

  • Keeping themselves clean due to a lack of physical strength needed for bathing or showering.
  • Quit paying bills which may mean they are having trouble with their cognitive abilities.
  • Isolate themselves which means they quit participating in hobbies or interactions that used to bring them a lot of joy.
  • Signs of depression, addiction disorders, or they quit taking care of their home.

Any change of behavior or personality is a sign that something has changed. The next step may be considering which assisted living facility can best meet their needs.

Can Assisted Living Be Short-Term?

Respite CareYou can help your loved ones seek assisted living care for whatever timeframe meets their needs.

Sometimes a loved one may have had major surgery and need medical oversight to recover. Once the senior is well they can move back to their home if that is a viable option.

Sometimes you want your loved ones to be in respite care for a specific period of time because you’re traveling and can’t be there to help administer their medication, make sure they don’t fall, or a host of other events that can happen.

Having a place your loved ones can go to and be provided with the targeted care they may need makes a world of difference to your peace of mind.

How to Tell Your Loved Ones They Need Assisted Living Care?

If you have some time available before you have to place your loved ones in an assisted living facility try to start dropping hints.

You might want to talk about a friend’s parents who recently went into assisted living and how much fun they are having. Or you might want to show them some pictures of assisted living home floor plans, activities, special events, etc.

Sometimes it’s best to wait until you have what’s called a teachable event in which something happened that concerned your loved ones they shared with you.

This can be something like they fell down even if it didn’t hurt them, the fact that they fell and they didn’t have anyone there to help them can be just the thing that causes them to stop and consider what they will gain in an assisted living facility.

You never want to spring it on them at the last minute and tell them the decision has been made already. That’s not fair to you or them.

How To Take The First Step?

Determining the differences in assisted living vs nursing home and which one best fits your loved one’s overall life needs cannot be overvalued.

It is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. There’s no doubt that it’s always the first step that’s the hardest but you may not want to wait on a decision that can make a difference in the health, care, and wellness of those you love most.

We encourage you to schedule a tour with Cape Albeon. We will address all your questions and even give you a tour of the lakeside retirement living atmosphere we offer. You’ll be glad you did.

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