Nursing homes and assisted living facilities may sound similar, but there are some very important differences that you’ll want to keep in mind while researching the right living option
for you or a loved one. So, nursing home or assisted living… which is right for you? Here are some helpful definitions and tips:
Assisted Living Facility
These are facilities designed for older adults who can no longer live safely on their own, or who need a little extra help to perform everyday tasks. “Assisted” living is just what it sounds like, with staff on call who can help with medications, meals, and housekeeping duties to give seniors a better quality of life. At all times, resident space is respected to ensure that everyone can live with as much or as little assistance as they need.
Generally, staff are available 24 hours a day, every day of the year, to ensure the safety of the facility’s residents. Many facilities will also have set hours when licensed nurses are available. Assisted living facilities may also include social activities, on-site dining, laundry, and transportation services. Be sure to ask about the level of help and care you can expect from any assisted living facility you tour.
Seniors who require a very high level of medical care and around-the-clock assistance may be better served by a nursing home. Licensed nurses are available at all hours. These homes may also provide short-term care for those who need extra help while they recover from a long illness, injury, or major surgery.
Seniors who choose nursing homes often require very specialized care beyond routine assistance with daily needs. Residents may still enjoy collective dining and social activities as their condition allows.
So is an assisted living or nursing home right for you? It will depend greatly on your own personal condition or the condition of your loved one. Consulting with family, friends, and your physician to get their recommendations may assist you in making your decision.