The Difference Between Assisted Living and Nursing Homes

What’s the difference between assisted living and nursing homes? Choosing from all the senior living options available today is hard, especially if you aren’t really sure what sets them apart.

assisted living vs nursing homes

What is Assisted Living?

Assisted living is a lifestye choice  for seniors who are mostly independent but want a little extra help and peace of mind. For example, they may feel tired of managing their own home. They may be lonely and looking for a more social environment. They may want help with transportation, house cleaning, and laundry.

Assisted living gives supported independence to seniors and others who are mostly able to care for themselves but looking for a helping hand. Unlike a skilled nursing facility, which mainly focuses on medical needs, assisted living offers personalized help for tasks like cooking, driving, life enrichment, and social support.

Most assisted living residents live in a private apartment. A helping hand is always available to them if and when they need it. Buildings are beautiful, accessible, and safe so that seniors living there can have not only independence but peace of mind.

Assisted living is a good choice for seniors or others who are mostly independent but worry about things like falling, missing medications, forgetting bills, being alone, or falling behind in home maintenance or self-care.

What is a Nursing Home?

Nursing homes, or skilled nursing facilities, provide care for seniors or others who need daily, hands-on medical care. This may mean major care needs like daily therapy, IV medications, or even being on a ventilator. Skilled nursing is also for people who can’t perform activities of daily living (ADLs) without help, like knowing what medication to take or finding their way home after a walk.

Fortunately, some people who require skilled nursing care only need it for a short time. This is true for people recovering from an injury or illness. Others may require long-term skilled nursing, such as those who are mostly confined to a bed or wheelchair due to illness.

Skilled nursing is a good choice for seniors or others who need around-the-clock medical help.

Skilled Nursing for Dementia: What is Memory Care?

One special kind of skilled nursing is memory care. Memory care staffers like aides and nurses provide special care for seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or other kinds of dementia.

Dementia is a serious condition that usually gets worse over time. Though most recognizable as memory loss or confusion, it causes other problems as well. Memory care plays an important role in managing dementia. A memory care residence is staffed by experts who understand the unique needs that come with a dementia diagnosis.

A memory care residence is a comforting and reassuring place for someone who may not always remember why they are there. Special security, therapies, and enrichment options all make these living spaces a better choice for Alzheimer’s care than a traditional nursing home.

Memory care is a good choice for seniors experiencing memory loss or confusion that interferes with their daily life.

How Do I Choose Between Assisted Living and a Nursing Home?

There are so many options to choose from for senior living today that it can be overwhelming. From assisted living and nursing homes to independent retirement, making the right choice is key for health and happiness.

You can start by considering activities of daily living (ADLs). These are things like paying bills, taking medications on time, dressing, eating, and taking care of personal hygiene. Someone who needs some or little help with ADLs is likely to do well in assisted living. By contrast, someone with a major medical condition they can’t manage alone may do better in a skilled nursing facility.

Additionally, many seniors  diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia choose assisted living as a transitional option. It forms a bridge between fully independent life and the memory care they will likely need in the future.

Are you interested in learning more about assisted living or memory care? Click here now to schedule a digital tour of one of our residences today.