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Assisted Living Community or Nursing Home?

Making the decision to move into a senior living community can be challenging and confusing. Finding the best facility for your situation can be downright overwhelming.  Many caretakers find themselves asking the question: should my loved one join an assisted living community or a nursing home?

Often, older people tend to dread the words: “nursing home.” However, this type of facility can be the right choice for certain people, and is certainly nothing to dread. On the other hand, your elderly loved one might be better fit for an assisted living community. It is important to consider your loved one’s physical, social, mental, and other health needs. Once you do, the decision can be fairly simple. Here are some pros and cons of assisted living and nursing home communities to help you decide.

What is Assisted Living?

Assisted living does just that:  the staff at these communities assist residents with activities of daily life. The residents at these communities are still active, and can handle most of their daily routine on their own. They don’t require constant monitoring or significant regular medical care. Additionally, autonomy is encouraged and privacy is respected. Residents enjoy personal freedom, but have assistance nearby if
they do need it. A good assisted living program will have plenty of quality activities–of all skill and ability levels–which help residents thrive.

Pros:

  • Home-like residencesImage of cozy living room
  • More autonomy
  • Additional privacy
  • Lower average monthly cost than a nursing home
  • Robust social and physical activity calendar
  • Long term care insurance and some veteran’s programs may offer financial assistance

Cons:

  • Not generally covered by Medicare and Medicaid
  • Not regulated by the Federal Government
  • Does not have extensive medical care on premises

Nursing Home (a.k.a. Skilled Nursing Facility)

In contrast, a skilled nursing facility has skilled, licensed nurses and other medical professionals on staff. Nursing home residents rely on assistance with most or all activities of daily living, such as meals, bathing, dressing and using the restroom. Clients, due to more severe cognitive and health-related conditions, get more individual medical attention and monitoring. Their personal freedom is more restricted due to dementia, and other mental and physical challenges. Ultimately, clients can’t live at home independently.

Pros:

  • 24/7 round the clock medical care
  • Licensed nurses and other medical professionals on staff
  • Regulated by the Federal Government
  • Medicare, Medicaid, or private health insurance may cover some costs

Cons:

  • Average monthly costs tend to be higher than assisted living
  • Limited personal freedom
  • Limited autonomy
  • More hospital-like than homey

Still feeling overwhelmed? Contact us today to get help figuring out if assisted living or a nursing home is the better fit for you or your loved one, or explore our wonderful senior living communities.