Assisted Living vs. a Nursing Home: What’s the Difference?
Do you have difficulty with everyday chores or personal hygiene?
Do you need constant professional help?
If you answered yes to either of these questions, it might be the right time to consider an assisted living facility or nursing home. Making this big decision can be overwhelming because the retirement home you choose must provide the required level of care. Knowing what to expect from these facilities can help you make an informed choice. Read on to learn how an assisted living facility is different from a nursing home and how to choose between the two to ensure you get the best care.
Assisted Living or a Nursing Home: Which is Better
Assisted living facilities typically cater to seniors who need assistance with daily activities but want to maintain their independence. Their living quarters may be furnished with personal belongings, and they have as much autonomy and privacy as they wish. You can also enjoy the quality of life by engaging in the activities conducted by the facility, which aim to keep you active and energized.
Benefits of Assisted Living Facilities for Seniors
Here are some of the top advantages of choosing an assisted living facility:
- A private room or apartment designed for your safety and comfort
- No more worrying about regular household chores, cooking, laundry, or cleaning because a housekeeping service can take care of all that for you.
- Community transportation for doctor’s visits
- A variety of fun-filled activities to keep you entertained, active, and engaged with the community
- Freedom to pursue hobbies and spend time with other like-minded residents
- Round-the-clock security with immediate help whenever you need it
Benefits of Skilled Nursing Facilities for Seniors
A nursing home is ideal for individuals who need constant medical attention and a great deal of support with their daily routine. It is better for seniors with severe cognitive impairment or debilitating ailments to live in a nursing home such as The Holiday Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Home in Rhode Island rather than in an assisted living facility.
Here are the top advantages of living in a skilled nursing facility:
- Reduced risk of rehospitalization
- The convenience of specialized therapy, including physical, occupational, and speech therapies
- Access to 24/7 expert care and staff assistance
- Tailored treatments, comprehensive patient assessments, and personalized care
- Medication management and dietary help with multiple dining options and nutritious meals
- Social support and peace of mind that comes with quality care
Understanding Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing Facilities
|Description||Assisted Living Facilities||Nursing Homes|
|Other Names||These facilities are also commonly known as Assisted Care Communities and Personal Care Homes.||Skilled nursing facilities are also referred to as Senior Nursing Centers and Long-Term Care Facilities.|
|Living Accommodations||Accommodations in an assisted living facility are generally apartment-like. Depending on the resident’s needs and preferences, they may be private or semi-private.||A nursing home typically offers semi-private accommodations that are more hospital-like.|
|Meals||You can enjoy three nutritious and delicious meals in a centralized dining area, usually at no additional cost. In addition, you may also have a kitchen in your apartment for preparing food.||You can enjoy thoughtfully prepared, healthy, and delicious meals three times a day in a communal dining area at no additional cost.|
|Housekeeping Services||Laundry, housekeeping services, and other activities of daily living (ADL) are generally included at no additional cost.||Skilled nursing homes provide housekeeping and laundry services to ensure you can focus on your mental and physical well-being and regain your strength.|
|Medical Supervision||Minor medical supervision and medication management are provided according to your needs.||Nursing homes offer medication management and extensive medical care to cater to the needs of their patients requiring short-term rehabilitation post extended hospital stays or after a surgery or illness.|
|Assistance with ADLs||Assisted living facilities provide 24/7 assistance to cater to their residents’ needs.||Skilled nursing facilities offer 24/7 assistance for activities of daily living to ensure their residents are safe, comfortable, and happy.|
|Activities||Various activities are regularly organized and scheduled to keep the residents active and engaged throughout the day. In addition, these facilities also conduct community activities and field trips.||Nursing homes conduct less strenuous activities for their residents to ensure they are engaged without being too physically or mentally demanding.|
|Transportation||Depending on the residents’ common interests and needs, local transportation to medical appointments, banks, shops, and other places is pre-scheduled.||Nursing homes often arrange local transportation for their residents.|
|Scheduled Activities||Assisted living facilities have a calendar of activities for their residents, often including community activities and field trips.||Although skilled nursing facilities have a calendar of activities planned for their residents, they are not as active as assisted living.|
Choosing Between Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living
Here are a few questions that can help you determine which retirement home is right for you:
Who Can Benefit from Assisted Living?
Assisted living communities are ideal for seniors who wish to stay in a secure setting and maintain independence as long as possible. They may be a good option if you fit the following:
- Needs assistance with daily activities like bathing, dressing, grooming, and more
- Require minor medication or nursing assistance but do not require full-time professional care
- Like an independent and maintenance-free lifestyle without household chores, home repairs, or lawn care
- Desire an active life but do not have access to transportation
- Are looking for like-minded people, social activities, and opportunities for social interactions
- Want to pursue your passions and hobbies in a specially focused lifestyle community
- Are in good health but believe that you will need qualified staff’s help in future
Who Can Benefit from Nursing Home Care?
If you are gravely ill or have a progressive medical condition, you may need specialized care from health care professionals. Skilled nursing care is an essential feature of nursing homes because they have qualified medical professionals to assist you. They also have the resources and specialized expertise to ensure the safety and comfort of their residents who require round-the-clock care. In addition to the services offered by assisted living communities, these facilities provide many medically related options, including but not limited to the following:
- Prescription medication administration
- Preventative, long-term care
- Specialized rehabilitative services, such as occupational, speech, physical, and cognitive therapy
- Nutritious meal choices that meet the daily nutritional needs and the dietary requirements of each resident
- Increased security benefits and safety features such as grab bars, alarmed doorways, and more
How to Decide Which Care Type is the Best for You?
Assisted living communities offer a home-like environment and promote an independent lifestyle for their residents. In addition, they have qualified staff to provide assistance with ADLs as required. Although you won’t be closely monitored, you will have immediate professional help when needed.
In a skilled nursing facility, medically intensive care is available for seniors with permanent disabilities, chronic or complex medical conditions, severe pain, or those recovering from illness, injury, or surgery.
Assisted living communities encourage independence and offer less medical care, whereas nursing homes provide more medically intensive care. It helps to know that your care needs will determine which type of community is most appropriate for your situation.
Once you narrow your option down to skilled nursing or assisted living, consider the following to choose the suitable facility:
- Before you visit the communities, make a list of your needs to determine which one will cater to your requirements.
- Tour the facilities to learn about their infrastructure and services and know what to expect.
- Be sure to ask questions to feel comfortable with your final decision.
- Ask about the expenses and what services come with additional costs.
- Consider the staff to resident ratio to ensure you will be well cared for at the facility.
We Offer Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living Facilities
At Wyndemere Woods Assisted and Independent Living Community in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, you will enjoy your independence and have the comfort of knowing that help is just a call away. Our friendly, caring staff will assist you with anything you need, enabling you to maintain a life of dignity in your golden years. At The Holiday Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Manville, Rhode Island, we offer intensive medical care and many services and amenities to cater to our residents’ daily requirements.
Services We Offer in Our Assisted Living Facility
- Freshly prepared, nutritious, and delicious food, served three times a day
- Local transportation facilities
- Utilities, including electricity, water, heat, and air conditioning
- Weekly housekeeping service
- Preventive health care program
- Comfortable guest room for visitors
Services We Offer in Our Skilled Nursing Facility
- Separate wing for short term residents
- Best amenities for long-term patients
- Respite care
- Smaller, home-like dining room and a comfortable, large dining room
- Physical, spiritual, social, and intellectual activities and emotional programs