Nursing Homes Vs. Assisted Living Facilities: Understanding The Difference
by Tony Grant
When choosing a senior care option for their elderly loved ones, far too many people incorrectly assume that nursing homes and assisted living facilities are one in the same. However, the truth is, these senior care options are actually quite different and will each come with a unique set of pros and cons which must be considered.
Below you will learn more about these pros and cons so that you can ultimately choose the senior care option that is right for your loved one.
Option 1: Nursing Homes
Medical Staff - Nursing homes are staffed primarily with medical professionals, such as registered nurses and physicians assistants. By maintaining a highly qualified staff, these facilities are able to provide severely ill or recovering patients with the in-depth care that they require.
Constant Monitoring - The staff at a nursing home will monitor your loved one both day and night. It is this constant monitoring that makes a nursing home the ideal placement for seniors with serious medical problems, such as dementia.
Possible Insurance Coverage - Since the care provided at a nursing home is medical in nature, some insurance plans will provide coverage for these services while denying coverage for other senior care options.
Limited Privacy - While most nursing homes will offer a private room to each resident, these facilities are not designed with privacy as a main concern. This can be a serious problem for seniors who still maintain a high level of independence.
Restricted Visitation - In order to ensure they are able to properly monitor the medical needs of their residents, many nursing homes will limit the hours during which family and friends can visit the facility.
Option 2: Assisted Living Facilities
Maintain Independence - The primary focus of assisted living facilities is to allow seniors to maintain their independence while still receiving the support that they require. One of the ways in which this goal is reached is by providing each resident with their own private residence rather than simply providing a private room.
Social Nurturing - Assisted living facilities will often offer a central clubhouse or community center where residents are encouraged to come and socialize with one another. This type of social nurturing can help to prevent seniors from becoming withdrawn and isolated during their golden years.
Assistance With Daily Tasks - While residents will maintain a private residence, they will also be given access to assistance with daily tasks. For instance, these facilities will typically offer assistance with cooking, cleaning, bathing, and dressing when necessary.
Limited Medical Care - The care that is available through an assisted living facility is meant to provide seniors with the help they need to living independently. This care is not designed to tend to the medical needs of residents. This can be a problem for seniors who suffer from serious or chronic medical problems that require daily care.
Out-Of-Pocket Expenses - The cost of relocating to an assisted living facility will rarely be covered by insurance. For seniors who own their existing home, the idea of once again paying a monthly rent fee can be considered a serious disadvantage or even a serious financial burden.
To learn more, contact a company like The Cedars with any questions or concerns you have.
When you're facing putting your loved one into a nursing home or assisted living facility, you want to make the best possible choice for your loved one. That can be difficult when you don't know much about the nursing homes in your area, or about what you should be looking for in a nursing home to begin with. It's a good idea to tour as many facilities in your area as possible to get an idea of which ones you like, but you still need to know what the signs of a good or bad nursing home are.
I used to work as a kitchen assistant in long term care facilities, and I learned a lot about them during that time. I started this blog to share some of my insights into what makes a nursing home great, and how to spot problems in a facility that you're considering.