Nursing Home and Assisted Living – How are they different?
There is an increasing number of senior citizens who are choosing to live alone. Every time we visit a loved one who is living alone, we always wonder how safe they are and if they can handle routines. Many seniors also are left behind in a different city or country because they do not want to travel with their children as they move around for their careers. But there are variety of senior living options that have opened today that offer a safe and stimulating environment for seniors. While it might be confusing to understand what the best choice would be, it is helpful to understand all the options in terms of their pros and cons.
All types of senior living housing communities focus on safety and ease of living for their senior residents. A few have additional facilities like personal care while other comes with a range of activities to keep them active and healthy. Nursing Homes and Assisted Living communities are two of the widest options available to senior today. Before making a choice about what is more suitable for you, here are a few points to ponder.
Similarities between Nursing Homes and Assisted Living
These facilities aim to enrich the twilight years of people and thus provide several services to enhance their experience.
Medication Management – Seniors mismanaging their medication is a common mistake. They take different kinds of medications through the day and taking the right one at the right time is vital for their healthy life. Both these communities assist residents in managing their medication from daily assistance to refilling prescriptions.
Community Activities – Older adults tend to become lonely and that puts them at a greater risk of disease such as depression, blood pressure and diabetes. Having daily activity options and company to engage in conversations and activities helps in taking care of their mental, physical and spiritual needs.
Assistance in Daily Life – Bothe the communities provide staff to help residents with every day chores like laundry, housekeeping and transportation. Many of them also have concierge services to assist them with purchases and payments.
Safe Environment – These communities are designed for seniors. There will have non-slip surfaces, wheelchair access, handrails, grab bars and emergency call systems. This is done keeping in mind the safety of the residents.
Meal time – Nutrition is a focus in these communities. Residents are offered well-balanced meals and nutritious snacks through the day. This takes away the stress of having to prepare a meal and helps them focus on activities and interaction with their new friends.
How do you choose between a Nursing Home and Assisted Living Community?
While both facilities offer a range of services and work towards enriching the lives of seniors, there is a marked difference the kind of seniors each of them is suitable for. The two key areas in which there is a marked difference is – Care Services and Type of infrastructure.
Care Services – Residents of a nursing home typically require round the clock care and monitoring. A skilled team of nurses and physical therapists are part of the care team. There is also a physician on call and team trained to provide respiratory care services. It is more focussed on medical care and is a facility designed for seniors who need regular assistance. In contrast the residents of an assisted living community need only custodian care. They are generally in good health and can move around on their own without the need for constant medical care.
Type of Infrastructure – You can find the difference between a nursing home and an assisted living community by the way it looks. A nursing home looks very clinical in appearance. Residents usually share a room with another resident and have special medical beds. An assisted living community is more like an upscale apartment. Residents will have their own apartments and the range of services offered will vary depending on the community.
The needs of the senior citizen should be understood before determining if they require to be in a nursing home or can thrive in an assisted living community. Many seniors do prefer the freedom of an assisted living facility but depending on their care needs, nursing home may also be a good option.