Nursing Home or Assisted Living?

Need AL or nursing home

Have you noticed that your parent could use a little help? They’re missing their medications; maybe they’ve had a fall that requires they have more assistance day to day. Now it’s the time to decide where to go, but you’re not sure what kind of care they need. Do they need a nursing home? Do they need assisted living? What’s the difference? We’re breaking down these two senior living options to help make your search a little easier.

Assisted Living

Assisted living communities typically have a nurse on staff, as well as 24/7 care managers who are trained to handle care with dignity for elderly residents who need assistance with ADLs (Activities of Daily Living). Besides providing care and support, communities schedule numerous daily activities for residents to participate in and amenities like fine dining, housekeeping and laundry services. It’s a great option for the loved one who can’t quite live independently anymore but doesn’t need constant medical care.

At Aegis Living our Health Services Directors meet with each resident to assess their needs prior to move in to ensure each person receives the right amount of care. As most of our communities are assisted living & memory care, cognitive decline is taken into consideration as well.

Residents in assisted living have their own apartments, so there is still a level of privacy while they receive care. Though microwaves and small fridges are available in each apartment for any specific snacks a resident may want, there are rarely full kitchens to encourage residents to eat in the bistro or dining room with their neighbors and friends. The assisted living community you choose should have an excellent culinary program with amazing chefs who make dining a real 5-star experience!

There are a variety of activities planned daily, and residents can attend excursions to anywhere from the drug store to a local farmers market. Pets are welcome at most assisted living communities, if they are well-behaved. If you don’t have a furry friend of your own, most communities have a community pet to keep you company.

Skilled Nursing Facility

Skilled nursing homes provide the highest level of care (next to a hospital). If your parent or spouse is living with a complex medical condition or requires 24/7 medical care from a licensed nurse, they would benefit from a nursing home. Additionally, certain medical conditions legally can’t be addressed in assisted living and would require the care a nursing home provides.

Residents in skilled nursing have constant access to rehabilitative care. Rooms are set up in a hospital like setting, individual or shared, providing a safety net of constant supervision. Meals are provided and delivered to each resident in their room, rather than expecting them to meet in a dining room.

Because they are medical facilities, proper furniture is usually provided. Sadly, pets are not allowed in nursing homes, so make sure your loved one has a photo or stuffed animal version of their best pal to keep them company.

Many people require nursing care stays after incidents such as strokes or heart attacks to receive rehabilitative care. About a quarter of nursing home residents only stay for a few months while they’re recovering.

Next Steps

Now that you have an overview of these two care options, it’s time to find the best community for your loved one. Start touring! While websites are more comprehensive these days than they used to be, the best way to get a feel for where your parent’s potential new home is by seeing where the magic happens. We even have a handy list of the 20 questions you should ask when touring an assisted living community. Aegis Living communities schedule tours daily—you can even stay for lunch!

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