Assisted Living and Nursing Homes are two terms often used interchangeably, however this is a mistake. The two are actually very different, and a candidate for one is not a candidate for the other. The following are some differences between the two:
Assisted Living Facilities:
o Individuals in assisted living are more independent and can usually get through most of the day by themselves. They only need general help with daily activities like bathing, dressing, grooming and preparing food.
o Candidates still enjoy social activities with other people and make autonomous decisions about their day. Someone who belongs in an assisted living facility would be downright miserable in a nursing home.
o These living facilities require limited to no medical care. An ideal assisted living facility candidate would be in good health both mentally and physically.
o These facilities focus on personal privacy and self-sufficiency more so than a nursing home. Residents are able to maintain their independence in a more secure atmosphere.
o These facilities offer their clients a comfortable apartment that is luxurious and comfortable. Meals and light housekeeping are available.
o Assisted living facilities offer mature adults an alternative with care when needed and would prefer not to manage their large house anymore.
o Those in nursing homes need a great deal more care. They usually require 24-hour nursing supervision and are generally not in good health. Nursing homes are equipped to handle patients who are not mentally or physically well.
o Nursing home patients require help with much more than three or more daily tasks – such as walking or being pushed in wheel chairs, eating, and regular medical tests.
o A nursing home is a place for someone who is unable to be cared for at home, but is not a candidate for hospital care. Although, some nursing homes are set up like hospitals to meet state requirements.
o Nursing homes also provide rehabilitation to help people gain back their independence after a serious health problem, i.e. a stroke or fall.
o Similar to hospitals, nursing home patients have little to no privacy and quite often share rooms.
o Nursing home clients are viewed as patients, not clients. They are there for the sole purpose to get well. If you or your parent is well, a nursing home would not be the ideal place. Perhaps you should investigate an assisted living facility near you.