Individuals who can no longer live alone without comprising their health and safety should consider searching for a new home that offers the care they need. When it comes to finding the right place, there is a question that pops up in the minds of many. Should you choose an assisted living facility or a nursing home, and what is the difference?
Assisted living institutions first appeared in the early 1990s, where they were an alternative to the skilled healthcare services available to the elderly at the time.
In an assisted living facility, you have greater independence. You may have a room or small apartment with private bath and some appliances, and the atmosphere is such that gives a homely feeling rather than that of staying at a medical institution. These establishments have nurses and other staff that are available to help you with your daily medical and physiological requirements as well as mundane chores. Housekeepers come in, clean, and do laundry. Medical aids assist with baths and sometimes medication. There is often a cafeteria on site so residents do not have to cook nor go grocery shopping.
Many of these facilities have transportation and other various activities to keep the members active throughout the day.
A nursing home, on the other hand, is for those who are in need of medical care. Candidates for these establishments are those who need a great deal of help to manage their day-to-day activities or have cognitive impairments or debilitating illnesses.
Unlike assisted living, these facilities have more of a hospital or clinical atmosphere and ambience. Rooms can be private, but due to the cost, they are often shared with at least one other resident. The medical staff, however, is on 24/7 standby.
Unlike many assisted living options, these places do tend to take Medicare and Medicaid to assist with costs.
When determining which option is best for you, it all really depends on the level of care you wish to acquire. If you or your loved one is fairly independent without too many health problems, an assisted living facility might offer a fuller more satisfying life. If you need a considerable degree of medical attention and care, and need to have health staff present all the time, then a nursing home may be the best solution.