Choosing Between Assisted Living or Nursing Homes

Many families in America have to decide on the long-term care of their elderly loved ones. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are two of the most prominent options available. The primary difference between the two types of facilities is that assisted living provides care in a residential environment while nursing homes administer care in a clinical setting.

Assisted living could be the optimal choice if your loved one is independent enough and does not require round-the-clock medical care. Assisted living facilities aim to assist with the day-to-day aspects of living while still helping the elderly maintain a comfortable level of independence. Some even have memory care facilities for people with conditions such as dementia.

With assisted living support, the elderly are provided with extensive recreational amenities apart from the usual personal care, medical management, and housekeeping assistance. According to the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL), one of the interesting facts about assisted living facilities is that there are 918,700 national assisted living residents in the US. The average assisted living stay is 22 months, while the average nursing home stay is 835 days. If you need help with assisted living, contact a memory care facility you can depend on.

As your parents get older, it’s important to decide where they will spend their time. You might think that it’s best for your parents to live inside your home. Unfortunately, this is often more work than more adults realize. A recent study by Genworth Financial found that 55% of those surveyed felt that, in the event of a long-term care situation, their biggest fear was becoming a burden on their family. Considering that, many families agree that senior living facilities can help solve this stressful situation. However, you’ll need to compare assisted living vs nursing homes to find out which option is best.

Comparing Assisted Living vs Nursing Homes

When comparing these two types of care facilities, you’ll need to consider a few important factors. This will help you choose the right facility for the senior citizen in your life. With that in mind, here are three distinct differences between assisted living facilities and nursing homes.

Senior’s Level of Independence

It’s important to understand how a senior’s independence affects which care option is best. For instance, assisted living facilities are great for those who still maintain some type of independence. Don’t worry, these types of facilities still offer assistance with a range of daily living activities. In fact, almost 40% of assisted living residents receive assistance with three or more daily living activities. This often means assisting seniors with both bathing and dressing activities. If the senior citizen in your life is unable to care for themselves, a nursing home might be the best option.

Level of Amenities

Another important distinction between assisted living and nursing homes is the types of amenities these locations offer. Many assisted living facilities house seniors in separate apartments or similar structures. In addition, seniors can also have other residents live with them. Assisted living apartments feature a wide range of amenities. Therefore, this often makes senior citizens feel like they’re living on their own.

Nursing home facilities also offer amenities for senior citizens. However, nursing homes tend to operate more like a hospital. This often means that seniors staying in nursing homes must stay in their rooms. These rooms rarely have as many amenities as assisted living apartments.

Access to Medical Staff

Fortunately, both nursing homes and assisted living facilities to employ medical staff to provide care for senior citizens. However, nursing homes often have more medical staff on site. This is because nursing homes often house more seniors than assisted living facilities. In addition, nursing homes often contain seniors who require more intensive types of care. However, assisted living facilities still employ 24-hour staff who are there to tend to each resident.

To summarize, it’s important to compare assisted living vs nursing home facilities. ProMatura Group’s 2009 Independent Living Report found that independent living retirement communities encourage seniors to make new friends and enjoy new experiences. However, nursing home facilities might be the better choice if the senior citizen you love requires more intensive care.

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