What is the Difference Between Assisted Living and a Nursing Home?
My brother and I have just started trying to find senior housing for our 88 year old mother. She lives alone and has had a few bad falls. Her doctor told us we should move her to a nursing home. But a friend mom’s moved to an assisted living community about six months ago. To be honest, her health seems a lot worse than our mother’s health. So we are wondering what the differences are between an assisted living community and a nursing home? I think the assisted living environment looks so much better!
Pam in Greeley, Colorado
Good question! Families almost always ask about that when they first begin to search for senior living. Some even believe an assisted living is just a prettier version of a nursing home. But the truth is that assisted living communities and nursing homes are two very different types of senior care. Here are a few of the differences:
* Assisted living communities provide support for older adults and those living with a disability who need help with what are called the “activities of daily living.” You will hear them referred to as ADLs. They include tasks such as bathing, dressing and toileting.
* A nursing home cares for people who have greater, more complex medical needs. They are for older adults who need around the clock medical care.
* One common misconception is that only a nursing home can help with medication management. Both of these types of senior living providers offer support with medication reminders or medication management.
* Meal time is usually more structured in a nursing home. Resident choices for meals and for what time they can eat are less flexible.
* Dining services for residents who live in an assisted living community is usually more like a restaurant-style experience with more flexibility on times to eat and menu items.
* Housekeeping and transportation are usually provided in both a nursing home and an assisted living community. There may be additional charges depending upon the community.
* As you mentioned, assisted living communities tend to look more like a luxury condominium complex. Residents typically have a private or semi-private suite or apartment. Most have a living area and a kitchen or kitchenette.
* By contrast, a nursing home environment looks more like you would expect of a health care setting. Primarily because patients and residents have greater medical needs. Most nursing home residents have a semi-private room with a bathroom. You will notice more medical equipment and supplies in a nursing home.
I hope this helps to answer your question, Pam. Please feel free to call or email if I can help you and your brother with your search.
From personal care needs and case management to guardianship concerns, Seniors in Transition provides consulting services to help families turn frustrating health care problems into quality, affordable solutions. Seniors in Transition is here to help families in the Fort Collins, CO and Loveland, CO areas. Visit our website at www.seniorsintrans.com or call 970.204.6977, today.