As the child of an elderly parent, you may find yourself asking, “What is assisted living?”
Assisted living is a home-type care facility that offers personal and medical assistance for individuals (typically elderly adults) at the same time making their independence a priority. Individuals in need of assistance get services ranging from personal care and trained nursing to senior housing.
When your parent requires continual help in their day to day lives, it might be time to look into long-term care. To establish if an assisted living community is right for your parent, keep reading to see how they’re similar and different from a nursing home, which are maybe a more well-known form of elderly care service.
What Is Assisted Living vs. Nursing Home/Long-Term Care Home?
There are 2 primary differences between an assisted living facility (also called a retirement home) and a nursing home (also called long term care homes). First, they differ in their degree of the services and support they offer. Second, there’s a distinguishable physical difference between these kinds of elderly care facilities.
Difference Between the Degree of Care Offered
Nursing homes are known for offer 24-hour care for elderly patients that might need immediate medical attention at any time. Residents usually live with age-related ailments like Alzheimer’s or osteoporosis, in which makes it especially challenging for them to carry on by themselves.
Medical assistance is offered for individuals residing in nursing homes. This usually includes trained nursing care, breathing assistance, restroom assistance, full-time supervision, and emergency services.
At the same time, assisted living is usually offered for older individuals that might not have a serious illness that impacts their quality of life. Nevertheless, they still require some degree of care to help them keep as much of their independence as possible. Or they might want to spend less time with daily chores and enjoy their life without having to do them.
An assisted living facility is less centered on nursing and healthcare, and more about helping residents sustain a safe environment with a high level of freedom.
Differences Between the Homes Themselves
What are the main differences between assisted living vs. nursing homes? Since the degree of care and supervision differs, assisted living homes and nursing homes have a different appearance.
Nursing homes are going to have more of a hospital-type feel to them having hospital-like beds, medical equipment, and more comprehensive medical attention. However, nursing homes usually try to create a comfortable environment for residents so that it’s not completely clinical.
They usually have living areas, dining-rooms, and community areas that attempt to place a somewhat home-like environment in which games, entertainment, and other communal-based activities happen.
Assisted living facilities are different in that regard. You could be hard-pressed to see the differences between apartments or condo complexes and many assisted living facilities.
A lot of assisted living residences encourage a home-like setting, with residents customizing their living areas with décor and furniture of their own.
Comparisons Between Assisted Living Facilities and Nursing Homes
Even though there are a couple of primary differences between nursing homes and assisted living facilities, each of them is senior living communities with a mission to guarantee their residents live as safely and comfortably as they can. Here are some of the principal likenesses between assisted living facilities and nursing homes.
- Nutrition: Assisted living and nursing homes each guarantee their residents are well fed and on a routine 3 meals a day schedule.
- Medication supervision: It’s not unusual for elderly individuals to need assistance remembering to take their meds. Having a supervising staff aids resident’s to stay on track with their wellbeing and avoid any misfortunes or possible emergency room visits.
- An attention on quality of life: In either environment, residents are made to feel welcomed and part of larger communities. Beyond addressing straightforward physical requirements, these facilities want to guarantee residents feel fulfilled through hobbies, social involvement, spiritual passions, and other types of recreational activities.
- Safety: Because safety is obviously a priority, facilities are probably going to have handrails and other safety measures in place for the prevention of falls and other possible risks for their residents. Additionally, the security of the facility might also include an alarm system and security guards for additional protection.
- Assistance with day-to-day life: At either kind of location, help is provided for each resident subject to their degree of need. This might be helping your parent with their hygiene, restroom assistance, medication reminders, or strolling.