The main difference is that the level of medical care isn't the same between nursing homes and assisted living. Assisted living facilities may have a nursing staff and a health clinic. Assisted living facilities and nursing homes serve different types of residents—mostly—and are generally paid for by different programs, if you can get assistance; not everyone qualifies.
Below is an overview of the significant differences you’ll find between nursing homes and assisted living.
A nursing home is a place for people who don't need to be in a hospital but can't be cared for at home. Most nursing homes have nursing aides and skilled nurses on hand 24 hours a day. Some nursing homes are set up like a hospital. The staff provides medical care, as well as physical, speech and occupational therapy.
Nursing homes, also called skilled nursing facilities, provide a wide range of health and personal care services. Their services focus on medical care more than most assisted living facilities. These services typically include nursing care, 24-hour supervision, three meals a day, and assistance with everyday activities. Rehabilitation services, such as physical, occupational, and speech therapy, are also available.
Some people stay at a nursing home for a short time after being in the hospital. After they recover, they go home. However, most nursing home residents live there permanently because they have ongoing physical or mental conditions that require constant care and supervision.
The main purpose of a nursing home is a place for people who don't need to be in a hospital but can't be cared for at home. Most nursing homes have nursing aides and skilled nurses on hand 24 hours a day. Some nursing homes are set up like a hospital. The staff provides medical care, as well as physical, speech and occupational therapy.
Assisted living is part of a continuum of long term care services that provides a combination of housing, personal care services, and health care designed to respond to individuals who need assistance with normal daily activities in a way that promotes maximum independence.
Assisted living services can be provided in freestanding communities, near or integrated with skilled nursing homes or hospitals, as components of continuing care retirement communities, or at independent housing complexes.
Assisted living communities offer a multi-faceted residential setting that provides personal care services, 24-hour supervision and assistance, activities and health-related services designed to:
assisted living residents are seniors, including those with
Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Some communities
serve individuals of any age with developmental disabilities while
other communities serve individuals with particular medical
conditions or needs.
Certification of Communities
states, assisted living communities are registered, licensed or
certified by an appropriate department or agency of the state that
has a process for issuance of initial licenses and for renewing
Services and Activities
The services and activities provided or arranged for in assisted living communities promote the quality of life and independence of the individual, and generally include:
Each resident receives individualized services to help him/her function within the assisted living community.
Personal Care and Health Services
Assisted living communities provide supervision or assistance
with activities of daily living (ADL’s); coordination of services by
outside health care providers; and monitoring of resident activities
to help to ensure his or her health, safety, and well-being.
Assistance may include the administration or supervision of
medication, or certain personal care services by a trained staff
The community may assist in arranging the appropriate medical, health, and dental care services for each resident. The resident generally chooses his or her medical doctor and dental services.
It is important to remember that assisted living communities are a bridge between living at home and living in a nursing home. Assisted living communities do not typically provide the level of continuous skilled nursing care found in nursing homes and hospitals.
Accommodations and options may vary greatly from one assisted
living community to the next (e.g. private rooms, private baths,
kitchenettes, etc.). Personal needs and preferences are important
criteria for selecting a community and the amenities it offers.
Most communities are constructed and equipped to comply with a host of local, state and federal regulations. Assisted living communities are designed to be operated, staffed and maintained in a manner appropriate to the needs and desires of the residents served. Caring for residents with Alzheimer’s or other dementias and disabilities requires a community design and philosophy that assure resident safety and autonomy.
Always talk with your doctor about the type of assistance you or your loved one needs so you can decide which is right for you.
Source: American Health Care Association
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DISCLAIMER: Links to other websites or references to products, services or publications do not imply the endorsement or approval of such websites, products, services or publications by Elder Options of Texas. The determination of the need for senior care services and the choice of a facility is an extremely important decision. Please make your own independent investigation.