We're all eventually faced with a crossroads during aging where we can no longer live independently — either because we no longer want to live alone or we require more assistance that can be provided at home. If you or a loved one find yourself in this situation, you will need to decide what type of senior living is best for your situation.
Choosing the right care situation can be overwhelming because of the amount of options and variances including level of care, atmosphere, amenities, and cost/financial aid. It is commonly assumed by the general population that "assisted living" is just another interchangeable term with "nursing home". Because that common misconception is wrong, it is important to understand the differences between types while making this important life decision.
Here is a closer look at the differences between assisted living communities and nursing homes:
LEVEL OF CARE
If you or a loved one are living with a medical condition that requires 24-hour, supervised care you may want to consider a nursing home. Nursing homes also offer short-term rehabilitation stays that help people recover from surgery, illness, or injury before returning to their home.
If you do not need near-hospital level of care, assisted living communities offer extra help and personal care to assist you with activities of daily living. Assistance includes help with bathing, grooming, toileting, eating and more. Assisted living communities also encourage independence, assuming that their residents do not all want help in these areas.
Due to the higher acuity of care provided by a nursing home, the atmosphere is much more clinical than that of an assisted living community. Many times, the apartments are not private, and common areas may be limited with more nursing home amenities focused on rehabilitation than pleasure.
On the other hand, the senior living industry has drastically improved over the last decade and assisted living communities, like Franklin Park Senior Living, offer an environment that more closely resembles a high-end hotel than a nursing home. Assisted living communities are designed to make residents feel like they are truly at home and the lower level of care needed in assisted living allows more focus to be placed on creating a comfortable, and even lush setting.
Another differentiating factor between the two care types is cost. The cost of staying at a nursing home has been historically covered by Medicaid or Medicare. However, the cost of assisted living cannot be covered by these programs. Long-term care insurance, life insurance, cashing in a 401k plan, or selling real estate investments can go a long way in covering the cost of assisted living.
CHOOSING BETWEEN AN ASSISTED LIVING COMMUNITY AND A NURSING HOME
Whatever your situation, choosing the right care type is critical for you or your loved one’s continued health and quality of life. Start by assessing your medical needs and determine which may be more appropriate based on the level of care you require. If you have any questions about your unique needs, or if assisted living is right for you – contact us today!