The choice between assisted living and a nursing home can be a difficult one to make. While many people believe the two are synonymous, each type of senior living community offers different types of services. In this article, we compare the services, costs, and features of nursing homes and assisted living communities to help you decide the best level of care for you or your loved one.
How Is Assisted Living Different From a Nursing Home?
Assisted Living (AL)
Assisted living communities are a place where seniors are able to receive custodial care. Custodial care is where there is around-the-clock care to assist in daily living activities such as bathing, dressing, walking, getting in and out of bed, using the bathroom, preparing food, and medication administration. Assisted living residents are able to receive proper care and help with these everyday activities and more. It is common to find the “5 Communities” of care within Assisted living facilities. These include assisted living, rehabilitation, residential living, skilled nursing, and memory care.
What medical services do assisted living communities offer?
In assisted living communities, residents are generally in good health. However, there are different levels of medical attention available to them depending on their individual needs. Staff members are able to administer medication to residents as well as provide transportation to residents to and from their doctor appointments.
Living Space at Assisted Living Facilities
Most assisted living facilities offer apartment-style living with bedrooms, bathrooms, and living spaces. Depending on each resident’s situation, they may live in a unit individually or share it with a spouse or friend. Housekeeping services are available all at of our campuses with an extra fee, as are laundry and meal preparation services. Common dining rooms offer meals to residents at set times throughout the day. AL facilities also offer a variety of entertainment and fun activities for the residents to participate in. Activities might include physical exercise, art and creativity projects, games, and socializing.
Skilled Nursing Facilities SNF
Nursing homes offer similar services to those of AL facilities, however, to a different degree. A nursing home is a community in which residents have rooms instead of apartments. Although residents may not need custodial care, arrangements can be made. Nursing homes have a number of common areas in which residents are able to socialize together. Many nursing home facilities also have gardens for residents to enjoy. For residents who need rehabilitative care such as speech and occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, and physical therapy, services are made available to them.
What medical services do nursing homes offer?
Nursing homes also referred to as skilled nursing facilities offer around-the-clock medical care, especially where chronic illness is a concern. While some residents might only require a short stay after a hospital stay, other residents choose to live in nursing homes long-term, sometimes permanently. Residents in nursing homes require more comprehensive care for meeting their daily needs. Nurses receive proper training to help them to bathe, get dressed, use the restroom, and change their linens. Dieticians ensure all residents are receiving proper nutrition. If residents need assistance with eating, certified nursing assistants are on hand to provide this service.
Living Space at Nursing Homes
Depending on the nursing home and resident’s preference, they may share a room and bathroom or have their own individual room and bathroom. Most nursing homes offer a common dining room where residents may share meals with friends and family. Nursing homes also offer lounge areas for reading, and common rooms offering a variety of activities. Activities in nursing homes include games that are mentally stimulating or relate to occupational therapy, art classes, and even cooking classes. Physical therapists are available to work with patients individually to help them gain strength, prevent falls, and improve overall mobility.
Does insurance cover the costs of a nursing home or assisted living facility?
Some Medicaid programs do pay for nursing homes or assisted living facilities. However, it is required in some States that Medicaid beneficiaries spend their personal funds before Medicaid starts paying towards services. Most of the time families use their private funds to pay for assisted living communities by using their combined savings, retirement accounts, and pension pay-outs. It is not uncommon for family members to make contributions towards the costs of their elderly family member’s expenses.
Long-term insurance policies are available to invest in, to help cover the costs of assisted living or nursing home facilities. Before investing in a policy, be sure to read the provisions of the policy carefully to make sure that you are covered and taken care of when the time comes.
Nye Health Services | Independent & Assisted Living Communities
Nye Health Services is passionate about providing older adults with a wide range of wellness and health services that maximize health and well-being. If you are searching for a senior living community, explore one of our five locations in eastern Nebraska. Each campus provides award-winning health and wellness services, and numerous amenities to help you live 2022 to the fullest! Contact us today to learn more about what sets Nye apart or to schedule a tour of a community near you!