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Assisted Living or Nursing Home: 7 Significant Points to Note When Looking for Elderly Care

August 31, 2021
Assisted Living or Nursing Home for Elderly Care

Old age can pose quite significant challenges.

We all know that once someone reaches the age of 60, degenerative illnesses are starting to show. It's how nature reminds us that the human body can only take so much.

We will all reach that point in our lives, so it is better to arm ourselves with the correct information now.

Secondly, constant care and patience can take a toll on the caregiver, whether a daughter or son, a sibling or a friendly neighbor. It is a remarkable job for those left with the responsibility to take care of the elderly.

Some may gladly do the duty, but some may have a hard time accepting the situation. It is a matter of assessing what to do and how to approach the scenario gracefully. And even if you can't perform under the amount of stress that comes with it, there should be no judgment between you and your family members.

However, if there is no one to assume the duty of caring for someone, people have options. You can pick between a nursing home or an assisted living setup. But the question most people ask is: Is assisted living a nursing home?

There's a striking difference between the two. Still, both also have plenty of similarities making it hard for family members to decide which one to choose.

If you are at a crossroads looking for reliable elderly care and are unsure what to do, read through this article and know more about your choices.

Types of Services

A nursing home offers different types of services, including those that are medical-related. They give daily medical services to seniors under their care. This includes medications, checkups, rehabilitation, and other necessary procedures.

They also have regular healthcare professionals on board who are experts in critical care. Residents usually seek the help of those who are inside the premises. They can't go out to a hospital unless it requires more extensive laboratory procedures or a specialized doctor.

Assisted living, however, also offers medical services but only when requested. When a particular individual develops an illness, the family can opt to pay for a medical service. It's added on top of their monthly bill.

Some assisted living have on-call medical personnel, and some don't. It's best to research whether these facilities offer a specific type of service or not before booking an appointment. 

The good thing about staying in an assisted living home is that residents can keep their doctors. They can travel out of the house and set an appointment with their doctor of choice.

Living Arrangements

A nursing home provides a hospital-like living set up with little to no privacy. They often have rooms that residents share. 

With this kind of setting, the residents are likely to follow strict room protocols. They are not given much room to design their living space the way they want to.

In assisted living, they offer private and semi-private living setups to potential clients. They can freely choose how they want it and what level of social interaction they can accommodate.

Some assisted living allows residents to bring their pets if they have any. This makes their living situation more comfortable and as close to normal as possible. They can even get their furniture inside their room.

When it comes to daily maintenance activities like laundry and household cleaning, both offer in-house services.

Daily Activities

Nursing homes usually facilitate activities to support their resident's condition. The mobility of most residents is prioritized, given that some of them have issues moving around.

But even in a limited setting, nursing homes have a way of making their residents feel happy and fulfilled. This is thanks to numerous activities that stimulate happy hormones. Some of them are therapeutic cooking, musical games, and guided imageries.

It's also important to note that nursing homes offer individualized activities depending on what type of interests the resident has.

Assisted living, on the other hand, also offers the same thing. It has a wide range of activities for its residents. Their only advantage is that they give the elderly an option to join field trips outside of the home.

They are allowed to go outside and enjoy activities that can't be done inside the facility. It gives the elderlies more freedom to explore and mimic their lifestyle before they stayed in assisted living.

Both types of homes are mindful when it comes to keeping their residents active and happy. It's essential to look after their overall morale because it affects their health.

Memory Care

Most nursing homes have curated a specialized memory care unit for Alzheimer's and Dementia patients. They offer specific care that focuses on managing health issues often related to the patients' memory condition.

But when it comes to an all-encompassing service for memory care, assisted living takes the top spot. They offer 24-hour specialized care for their residents who have Alzheimer's and Dementia. Medical professionals have extensive training to handle challenging behaviors that come with the illness.

Assisted living also offers memory-enhancing activities and therapies to help improve the quality of life for seniors.

Meals

In a nursing home, meals are usually prepared in the facility's kitchen and are given out to the residents in a scheduled manner. If the resident is not in the mood to socialize with others, the kitchen can send the food straight to their room.

Assisted living facilities also offer prepped meals for the residents.

Both homes take into consideration the diet and the nutrients the residents need to keep a healthy lifestyle.

There are also days when family members can visit their loved ones and share a meal. They can bring their meals and let the elderly enjoy a taste of home.

Cost

When it comes to the cost, a nursing home is more expensive compared to assisted living facilities. The rates are sometimes doubled. But the good thing is, Medicare or Medicaid covers the expenses of staying at a nursing home for a certain period of time.

Assisted living may not honor your medical insurance since it's elected custodial care, but it does fare cheaper than a nursing home. However, potential residents should check if their preferred assisted living facility accepts veteran benefits or long-term care insurance.

Most seniors who need extra medical and mobility care are often encouraged to choose a nursing home. That's because it answers their needs and promotes peace of mind for family members.

Both are great value for money. The only thing you have to consider is whether it answers the needs of your senior family member. If you have enough resources to spend, the cost should not be a problem.

Community

Community is an essential aspect for the elderly looking for a long-term care facility. It will decide how they go about their day-to-day living.

Hence, they must keep a balance of socialization and time alone.

It may not be directly associated with their medical condition, but it can be detrimental to their overall wellbeing. A social connection with the residents' peers can make their stay in either facility joyful and enthusiastic. It may give them more reasons to enjoy the remainder of their life.

While a nursing home may have a constricted environment, they offer social activities to help their residents feel more at home.

An assisted living facility is usually more open to socialization. They allow their residents to roam around and do whatever they like (for as long as it's within the rules). Such socialization activities can promote friendships and bonds.

Companionship can help boost their morale, especially during that stage in their life where loneliness creeps up like an enemy in the night. Being able to talk to someone can help the elderly shake the melancholy and live with enthusiasm.

To form a community that understands the need of its inhabitants is a significant part of choosing what kind of long-term care facility you should get for your loved ones.

Conclusion

The decision lies in the hands of family members who have the responsibility to care for their elderly. You should sit down and talk about your choices as a family and come up with the most sensible decision.

The most important thing to consider is how you can keep the life of your senior family member comfortable. You can list down the things that they need. That way, the list can help you decide on the type of facility to pick.

Whether you choose a nursing home or assisted living facility, the priority should be the welfare of the elderly. If one of the homes mentioned above can make their lives happy and healthy, there should be no argument.

If you have special requests or other clarifications about the living setup for the elderly, do not hesitate to ask. Plan your visits to these places and scout for the best environment.

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