A little more than five percent of adults over the age of 65 currently live in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other types of long-term care accommodations.
If you’re currently having the assisted living vs nursing home discussion with your family, keep reading.
These guidelines will help you differentiate between the two and figure out which one is best for you, your parents, or your loved ones.
Below are some key characteristics of an assisted living facility:
Care and Non-Care Based Services
In an assisted living facility, staff members provide residents with a few basic care based services.
Specifically, the staff offers some assistance with personal care activities (eating, bathing, dressing, etc.). The staff also offers medication administration and management.
Assisted living facilities also offer some non-care based services, including the following:
- Various recreational activities (classes, fitness options, games, entertainment, etc.)
- Non-medical transportation
- Meal services
- Resident supervision
Many assisted living facilities also offer specialized services. For example, many provide memory care or additional care for residents with other health conditions.
Resident Living Spaces
The living spaces available to the residents will vary depending on the specific assisted living facility you choose.
Most facilities offer both private and shared apartments that the residents can choose between — the shared spaces will, naturally, be less expensive than the private ones.
Assisted living facilities also typically offer common indoor and outdoor living spaces. Residents can congregate in these areas during the day to relax and spend time together.
Number of Residents
Some assisted living facilities are very small and only house a few residents at a time. Others can comfortably house hundreds.
The average assisted living facility, though, is only meant to be home to about fifty residents, though.
The specific cost of assisted living facilities can vary quite a bit, too.
On average, though, you can expect to pay several thousand dollars (between $3,000 and $4,000) per month. If you or your loved one needs additional services, such as memory or Alzheimer’s care, the cost will be higher.
In most cases, the cost of these facilities is paid for out-of-pocket. But, there are many financial assistance options available, including VA pensions and Medicaid in some states.
You can also find specific payment assistance for people who have Alzheimer’s disease or other health conditions.
There are a lot of similarities between assisted living facilities and nursing homes. But, there are also some key differences, including the following:
Care and Non-Care Based Services
One of the biggest differences between a nursing home and an assisted living facility is the type of care and non-care based services offered.
When it comes to care based services, nursing homes offer a more extensive list.
Staff members provide assistance with personal care activities and medication management and administration. They also offer skilled nursing services and some specific medical treatments.
As for non-care based services, there is typically a shorter list of recreational activities offered. There is plenty of resident supervision available, though, along with meals, housekeeping services, and laundry.
Residential Living Space
As with assisted living facilities, nursing homes typically offer both shared and private rooms.
Nursing homes have indoor common areas like assisted living facilities, but they’re typically quite a bit smaller. Nursing homes may or may not have outdoor areas for the residents to spend time in.
Number of Residents
Most nursing homes are quite large and house about 100 residents on average. There are smaller nursing homes out there, though, for people who want more personalized care and one-on-one attention.
Because more specialized care is available, nursing homes are often more expensive than assisted living facilities. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay between $6,000 and $7,000 per month.
Nursing homes are often paid for by Medicaid. But, there are still limits.
For example, beneficiaries will need to pay a certain amount before their coverage kicks in. They may also need to work with a Medicaid planner to preserve their assets.
Assisted Living Vs Nursing Home: Which One Should You Choose?
After reading through the similarities and differences between nursing homes and assisted living facilities, you probably have a pretty good idea of which one is right for you. If you’re still on the fence, though, these additional guidelines can help you make a decision.
Who Should Choose Assisted Living?
Assisted living is typically the best option for individuals who have limited personal care needs and are able to walk or are ambulatory.
People who are going to live in an assisted living facility also, of course, need to be receptive to a certain level of assistance.
People with dementia or Alzheimer’s also tend to do very well in assisted living facilities as long as they offer some specialized care.
Who Should Choose a Nursing Home?
As for nursing homes, they’re best for people who need more extensive personal care, daily medical care, or frequent hospital visits.
Individuals who are not mobile on their own, as well as those who have a severe cognitive impairment, also do better in nursing homes.
Those who are less receptive to assistance or have behavioral problems also typically need the additional care and supervision provided by nursing home staff members.
Choosing the Right Facility
Whether you think a nursing home or assisted living facility is right for you or your loved one, there are some specific things you should look for when choosing between different facilities:
- Consult with your loved one’s doctors to see what kind of care they recommend
- Take a tour of the facility and meet with the administrator or director
- Have a meal in the dining hall and try to talk with other residents about how they like the facility
- Choose a facility that is located close to you and other family members if possible to make visits easier
Take your time when looking into different facilities and don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you or a loved one is going to live there long-term, you have a right to make sure it’s the right fit.
Looking for Assisted Living in Clearwater, FL?
After making your way through the assisted living vs nursing home section, have you decided that assisted living is the right option for you or your loved one?
If you live in the Clearwater, FL area and are looking for an assisted living facility, contact us at Seasons Assisted Living today.
Our facility is perfect for seniors who need help safely completing everyday tasks but still want to maintain their independence.
We also offer round-the-clock care for seniors who need dementia and Alzheimer’s treatment.