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Assisted Living Vs. Nursing Home

Assisted Living Vs. Nursing Home

assisted living vs nursing home

What’s the Difference Between Assisted Living and Nursing Homes?

To narrow it down, it’s important to ask yourself what kind of care you need. This article breaks down the difference between assisted living and nursing homes and helps to illustrate who they are best for and how.

Assisted living includes a residential community that is equipped to provide assistance with daily life, like meal preparation and laundries, but also covers routine self-maintenance for the elderly. Small communities with a few dozen to a few hundred residents function as retirement homes with added healthcare support – but they don’t always provide the same level of medical care or around-the-clock medical attention.

Assisted living can give people their own private room or they can share with one other person in a room. They can gather for leisure or dining, and usually a majority of facilities include medication management and housekeeping. On top of giving you some peace of mind, they can also provide daily necessities such as bathing, bathroom help, and social leisure activities. They offer emergency care for any unforeseen circumstances too. Different facilities offer different levels of expertise, benefits and services. Some properties even combine with independent living residences to form hybrid communities, so you can move from one to the other when needed.

When Is It Time for Assisted Living?

There are various forms of assisted living. Some people may use it as a way to choose a new home (which they can live in long-term) or downsize their current home and move into assisted living. People with disabilities are often worried about losing their independence, but there are plenty of ways to maintain it with some help. For example, many people can live at home as long as they have help when taking care of themselves. In the end, it’s your decision to make. Whether you choose assisted living is completely up to you. However, there are six signs that might mean it’s time for a change of lifestyle:

  • You or a loved one is sustaining injuries more frequently, increase in injury rates

  • The person suffers from diabetes, arthritis or age-related macular degeneration.

  • Housekeeping: The individual is experiencing difficulty keeping their house looking clean or maintaining personal hygiene

  • Depression and Loneliness: You or your loved one are experiencing increasing levels of sadness or isolation.

  • Current state: The senior is less likely to be engaged in people or activities.

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Some other valid reasons to consider assisted living:

While assisted living may not be a necessity right now, there are still some reasons why you might want to consider it :

  • Safety: With age, everything becomes a bit more difficult. Assisted living facilities will help you with personal care, nutrition and other daily tasks while still giving you lots of space to move around the facility.

  • Community and socialisation: Facilities that offer a rich social fabric are essential for enriching your life. Whether you’re socially active or not, being a part of a supportive community can make all the difference- especially when coupled with good amenities.

  • One of the key concepts behind assisted living is helping residents maximize their independence while still getting any help they need. If you don’t really require 24/7 care, living in a facility can actually help you with that more than how you were living before.

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What Is a Nursing Home?

Nursing homes are establishments that focus on the needs of those with chronic illnesses, injuries or people in need of strict constant care. Nursing homes can be a helpful option for those who need help with more medical care than assisted living provides, but it may not be the only solution. There are a lot of people that go to nursing homes who just need physical or mental recovery. Roughly 83% of residents at nursing homes are over 65+.

Nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities are not the same- nursing homes are for people who need less care and skilled nursing facilities offer services like intensive therapy for conditions like Alzheimer’s. With 50% of nursing home patients having specialized care needs, most facilities have to rely on traveling doctors to provide specific treatment.

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Common types of Nursing Homes have basic amenities :

  • Custodial care is an important facet of senior living and your loved one deserves the best care.

  • Medication management make managing your prescriptions simple.

  • The ability to move around, as in when someone is sitting or standing

  • Transportation within the residence

  • Skilled nursing care, such as physical therapist, occupational therapist, or respiratory therapy

  • 24/7 supervision & emergency care

  • Social and everyday activities

When do you know when it’s time to move from assisted living to a nursing home?

Moving into a retirement home is a personal decision, and one that many people initially reject. They don’t enjoy losing their independence, which can be difficult. The decision to transition to a nursing home is not an easy one. Factors such as emotional readiness, distance and cost can be huge considerations. However safety is what often drives the decision. These are some of the symptoms that may indicate your loved one is ready for a change in their care.

  • A terminal or chronic illness that needs constant supervision or care

  • Individuals afflicted by debilitating or worsening emotional disorders or dementia-related conditions

  • More than one condition at the same time, or worsening symptoms of existing conditions

  • Increasing falls, sprains, and fractures

  • Concerns with managing money: your money is being misplaced, spent or you’re finding it hard to keep up with the demands of paying bills

  • Difficulty keeping up with housecleaning, personal hygiene

  • As we age, our mental acuity starts to decline. This can sometimes result in more memory loss, confusion, or disorientation as time goes by.

  • Depression: Feeling lonely or losing interest in regular activities

What Is the Difference Between Assisted Living and a Nursing Home?

Assisted living communities are designed to offer seniors who are vulnerable some relief. They usually provide a range of services such as meals, housekeeping, transportation and social activities.

On the other hand, nursing homes are set up for people who need a lot of care and require at least 3 hours of attention daily. They might also provide help outside of the normal work hours.

Assisted living is geared towards people who might need help on the occasional tasks. Nursing homes are for people who need a higher and consistent level of care, often around the clock. Care homes can be broadly divided into two categories – assisted living facilities and nursing homes. These both have a lot of similarities, but comparing them will help you choose the right one for your needs.

Medical Care In Assisted Living Facilities

Medication Management : Assisted living facilities can offer medication management, but extra fees often apply.

Mobility Assistance : Residents should be fairly mobile, including walking (with cane or walker), getting in and out, and getting up and down from chairs. There is limited assistance available.

Frequent Medical Care : Some startups have on-site medical staff but not all do.

Access to Doctors : Residents often continue to see their local doctors and often go on their own to appointments

Lifestyle in Assisted Living Facilities

Privacy : Residents can enjoy their private room and choose the level of social interaction they would like to engage in.

Housekeeping : Many assisted living communities include housekeeping services. If a resident pays extra, they may get their laundry done as well.

Pets : Pets are often allowed at assisted living facilities.

Entertainment & Activities : A lot of assisted living centers offer activities and trip to help their residents get the energy they need.

Living Accommodations : Private apartments or semi-private shared ones as a more affordable option. Residents are often able to bring in their own furniture and decorate. Couples generally stay together.

Ability to Cook : Many assisted living facilities offer apartments with kitchens where you will still have the ability to cook any meals of your choice.

Medical Care In Nursing Home

Medication Management : Nursing home residents are administered medication on a daily basis in order to better their quality of life.

Mobility Assistance : Residents have more access to assistance, which makes nursing homes a better choice for wheelchair-bound people or people with chronic injuries.

Frequent Medical Care : Residents are getting more rehabilitative care and frequent medical assistance.

Access to Doctors : Residents tend to use both in-house and visiting medical staff.

Lifestyle in Nursing Home

Privacy : Residents are living in hospital-like conditions, which can be very unpleasant. They have little privacy and it is possible to hear what’s going on in the apartments next door.

Housekeeping : Cleaning and laundry are included.

Pets : No Pets Allowed

Entertainment & Activities : Nursing homes offer programs specifically for seniors, typically in-home and tailored to their needs.

Ability to Cook : Nursing homes depend on kitchen staff to provide all meals. If you don’t feel like eating in the dining room, they’ll deliver your meal to your room or even bring it to you.

Assisted Living vs. Nursing Home Costs

Long-term facilities are expensive and nursing homes are usually more than twice the cost. Nursing home care usually ranges from $6,500 to $8,000 per month, while assisted living is around $3,500 per month on average. How can you afford the hefty assisted living or nursing home costs that come with aging?

How should I pay for a for Assisted Living Facilities ?

Most assisted living facilities are not considered skilled care and do not qualify for Medicare or Medicaid. This typically needs to be paid out of pocket. However, there are other payment options available, including veterans benefits and long-term care insurance.

The National Council on Aging offers a Benefits Checkup website, which allow you to easily find out which benefits you’re entitled to.

How should I pay for a Nursing Home Facilities ?

If a nursing home is licensed by national and state authorities, they will often be covered by Medicare or Medicaid. It’s important to understand how much Medicare Original covers. It offers 100 days of skilled nursing coverage, and supplemental skilled care for seniors can be bought through Medicare Advantage. Medicaid’s website provides a list of nursing homes with the care they offer and have. Plus, there are resources to help you find out what Medicaid can cover of your expenses.

One of the most important questions you will ask yourself is where should I live? One way to identify that answer is by understanding what would make you happy. The best way to uncover this is by talking with your family and doctors, as well as staff members at places you are considering. Remember that you’ll be happy at the place that makes you feel happiest, safest, and best taken care of.

Do check out the following, if you are looking for assisted living facilities with the comfort of a home environment or in-home care services in the Dallas area.