How Do You Decide Between Assisted Living and Nursing Home Care?

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When you or a loved one reaches an advanced age or a condition in need of care, the question naturally arises as to whether it’s time to move into a home offering additional care. 

The difference between assisted living and nursing homes is not always known. These homes differ not only in the type of care but also in what requirements must be met to get a place. What is the real difference between assisted living and a nursing home?

The Difference Between Assisted Living and Nursing Home Facilities

While nursing homes specialize in caring for people who need a great deal of skilled-nursing care, assisted living provides an environment that is suitable for the elderly with as much freedom of choice as possible.

“In general, assisted living is for people who might need help with daily tasks. Nursing homes are for people who need a higher, more consistent level of care, often round-the-clock. Both assisted living facilities and nursing homes offer some of the same essential services, but studying the differences below can help you decide which type of care you need.” Senior Living

Who Should Choose Assisted Living?

There are not really any prerequisites for being admitted to assisted living. However, if you are already in need of severe care, you should really check whether this form of care is still the right thing for you.

For many older people, assisted living is a way of adapting in good time to living in old age — even when they are not yet in need of care. 

Advantages of Assisted Living for Seniors

The scope of services offered in assisted living can vary greatly from facility to facility. Sheltered housing offers advantages and disadvantages. In any case, you should weigh up whether this form of living is an option for you because especially at an advanced age, you don’t want to have to move too often. 

The advantages belong among other things:

  • The residents of the community all belong to the same generation 65+. 
  • Recreational programs are often offered so that even single people can reconnect and find entertainment. The danger of loneliness is then minimized.
  • Many housing complexes have an in-house nursing service, a social station, or a home emergency call system. 
  • Meals can be booked in full or in part so that people no longer have to cook for themselves if they do not want to.
  • Other work around the house is also eliminated if the housing complex offers cleaning and laundry services.

“If possible, visit facilities more than once. Talk with friends, neighbors, colleagues, medical professionals, and local organizations that serve older adults to get a sense of which facilities provide the best care in your area.” Healthline

Who Should Choose a Nursing Home?

The decision as to whether a person should be placed in a nursing home cannot usually be made only by relatives or doctors. Only the person concerned can decide that he or she wants to move into a nursing home. 

If care doesn’t take up too much of the family’s time, caring for people at home is still the best way to go. As long as the person concerned is still very vital and can coordinate their daily lives on their own, admission to a nursing home is not absolutely necessary. 

Advantages of Living in a Nursing Home

When the care of the elderly becomes too much for their family and they can no longer physically cope with care, a move to a nursing home makes sense and is advantageous. Those caregivers are relieved physically, psychologically, and, if necessary, financially – and those in need of care receive comprehensive, professional care and support.

A move to a nursing home can have the following advantages:

  • Qualified 24/7 care
  • Better social environment and more contacts
  • A more balanced and healthy diet
  • Greater scope for activities
  • Faster medical assistance in the event of an emergency

When to Move from Assisted Living to a Nursing Home

Unlike a move to a nursing home, where the home usually has to be completely broken up, you can still take a few beloved items or cherished furniture with you when you move to assisted living or a residential care home. 

Moving to a nursing home, on the other hand, is not effortless for anyone. For the person in need of care, the move means getting to know a new, different environment in the autumn of life. This is not easy: “You don’t transplant an old tree!” Especially if a spouse has recently passed away, the move to a nursing home can be a tough test for the person concerned. 

  • Are you in and out of the hospital?
  • Do you have complex medical needs?
  • Are you suffering from Alzheimer’s?
  • Do you require two-person assistance?

If the answer is yes to these questions, a nursing home is probably a good idea.

“Assisted living communities help residents with activities of daily living (ADLs) while nursing homes provide seniors with 24-hour monitoring and high-level medical care. Learning more about the various features and benefits of assisted living and nursing homes can help you determine the right fit for you or an aging loved one.” Forbes