Difference Between Assisted Living and Nursing Homes

Senior Couple In Discussion With Health Visitor At HomePerhaps your loved one is no longer able to live alone at home. They may have specific medical needs, or the work of maintaining a home may just be too much for them. How do you know the right next step for them?

These days, there a lot of senior living options. Most fall into the categories of assisted living facilities or nursing homes. Here is the difference between the two.

Assisted Living Facilities:

  1. Bridge the gap between independent living and skilled nursing facilities or nursing homes
  2. Provide a variety of services for residents who need occasional assistance with “activities of daily living” like bathing, using the bathroom, and taking medication
  3. Focus on providing as much independence to your loved one as possible

Nursing Homes and Skilled Nursing Facilities:

  1. Generally certified by your state and provides 24/7 nursing care.
  2. Needed if your loved one is bed bound, on a respirator, requires wound care, or needs daily nursing care.
  3. Best suited for individuals who require round-the-clock care for complex medical needs.

Depending on what your senior’s new needs, one of these options will be better than the other. It is important to know how each is different so you can choose the best option for your loved one.

We hope we have helped you SPIN YOUR HEALTHCARE YOUR WAY!

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How I Helped My Dad Choose Assisted Living

DadMePortraitMy dad, Rev. William “Tex” Rickard was a United Methodist pastor, an athlete, a jokester, father to six amazing children and an all-around great guy. He could watch a ball game with you or listen to your deepest fears. He helped me — a single mom — raise my two beautiful girls and our crazy dog, Chloe.

My dad took very good care of himself for his whole life, so we were unprepared when he had emergency back surgery at the age of 88 years.

This was tough for me, but even more so for him. After all, as a proud, strong minister, he took care of other people. He didn’t need people to care for him. After so many years of independence, we decided the best plan was to move him into an assisted living facility.

We approached the move directly by taking time to do a few things: 

  1. Tour the local facilities.
  2. Make a list of costs and services.
  3. Talk to staff to find out how they interact with residents.
  4. Eat at the facility to see how the food was and to get a sense of community at meal times.

We learned a lot during a journey. We made some good choices along the way and also some mistakes. Our most important lesson was that communication is the key.

When preparing to move a loved one to an assisted living facility, you and your loved one have to be prepared to communicate with your family and the facility about your priorities. There is no one right answer. You have to decide what will work best for your loved one.

To help guide your decision about assisted living, I have written Easy Healthcare: Choosing an Assisted Living Facility, available in book and ebook format. It tells you what conversations to have, what to consider as you research facilities and how to make the experience as smooth as possible for you and your loved one.

Include Your Loved One When Choosing Assisted Living

As parents and loved ones age, we want them to — and they want to — live their lives as independently as possible for as long as possible.

But there may come a time when the need for care becomes greater than the desire to live independently. What do you do then? How do you make the right decision without being overwhelmed? How do you even begin talking about it?

In this video, I explain the importance of making sure your loved one is included in the process of choosing an assisted living and some key factors to consider.

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How do you make the right decision about moving yourself or a loved one into an Assisted Living Facility without being overwhelmed? How do you even begin talking about it? MyHealthSpin’s “Easy Healthcare: Choosing an Assisted Living Facility” ebook guide gives you all of the practical advice you need to make the right choice.

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