Assisted Living Vs. Nursing Home
The Core Differences
Many people use these terms interchangeably, however there are core differences between the two. What it boils down to, are the specific health needs of an individual. However, knowing these specific needs can be a challenge. While no amount of literature can substitute calling or visiting a facility, let this be a guide to the fundamental differences between nursing homes and assisted living.
Individuals who reside in nursing homes typically:
- Require a level of care that is beyond the scope of an assisted living facility
- No longer can passively participate in at least 50% of the Activities of Daily Living
- Must be closely monitored 24 hours a day by nurses, and nursing staff
- Have a fixed day-to-day schedule
Individuals who reside in assisted living typically:
- Get to choose their own daily schedules
- Can actively participate in 50% or more of Activities of Daily Living
- Live more flexible lifestyles that suit their specific needs
- Independently live in their own apartment or home-like shared area
The two lists above briefly summarize some of the more common traits that people who reside in these facilities experience. Some individuals may find that the extra attention and services that are provided by a nursing home more desirable. While others may feel that the help of aids at assisted living communities enables them to safely maintain their own independent lifestyles.
Both nursing homes and assisted living facilities do have their similarities, these include:
- Balanced meals- Three well balanced meals a day, along with snacks in between meal times to maintain energy.
- Safe environment-Safety and security of their residents is of top priority, each of these different kinds of facilities have been designed with the older adult in mind.
- Medication management- With the many kinds of medications that older adults tend to be prescribed it can been a challenge for an older adult to always take their medications on time. Each of these types of facilities can safely help residents manage their medications.
- Life enrichment programs- Both assisted living and nursing homes have activity programs that are designed to increase positive social interaction for their residents.
Additionally, due to the services that are provided, nursing homes have been known to visually look more like an institution whereas assistive living locations look more like high end apartments.
The important thing to remember is that everyone may eventually require each of these services.
For more information contact your local nursing home or assisted living location near you.
We at Copperleaf Senior Living hope this information was beneficial to anyone who is interested in learning more about the different options for long term care.