Have you and your family reached a point where you need to decide about extended care? This is often an emotional and even stressful time. Learning about all the assisted living facility options available can ease some of this tension.
Many individuals look at local nursing home choices. Another option that many people don’t know about is an assisted living facility. It’s crucial to find the one that best fits your needs.
Keep reading to learn the difference between these types of facilities.
Choosing Between an Assisted Living Facility and a Nursing Home
Many people don’t know the difference between nursing homes and assisted living. They present two very different options.
An assisted living facility serves those who are healthy enough to manage most of their care. They can live independently and still receive the care they need.
Nursing homes provide care for individuals who aren’t able to live independently. This meets a higher level of care than offered at an assisted living facility.
Caregivers may move their loved one to a nursing home when they can’t provide the needed care. This often happens when the level of care becomes a 24-hour task.
Did you know that there are over 28,900 assisted living communities across America? (source NCAL)
What Is a Nursing Home?
Nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities provide 24-hour healthcare services. This includes nurses, nursing assistants, and rehabilitation services. Rehab services include physical, occupational, and/or speech therapy.
Some patients may stay in a skilled nursing facility for up to 100 days after hospitalization. Others spend a specified time in a nursing home before transitioning back home. For many people, the nursing home provides long-term care for physical or mental conditions.
Who Qualifies for Assisted Living Facility
States issue licenses to assisted living facilities. This determines the level of care they can provide. There are three different levels of care.
- Level One – This describes the lowest level of care. Individuals living in this type of facility only need occasional help. This may include supervision or care reminders.
- Level Two – Level two provides a moderate level of care. These residents need help with activities of daily living (ADLs) and taking medications. This includes assistance with bathing, dressing, toileting, and/or eating.
- Level Three – This involves the highest level of care. These individuals will need a lot of help with their daily activities. The nursing staff will also administer medications and monitor for side effects.
Anyone age 18 years and older who meets any of these levels of care qualifies for assisted living. Facilities often charge more for higher levels of care.
Different Types of Senior Living Facilities
An independent living center includes any housing that’s focused exclusively on senior citizens. This may consist of a retirement community or home. Other options include senior housing and apartments.
Services may include community activities, housekeeping, and cooking. They often provide household and outdoor maintenance when needed.
Residential care homes and assisted living facilities are the same. They provide housing, meals service, and help with ADLs. The facilities range in size from 25 to 120 or more residents.
Facilities may be free-standing or close to a nursing home or hospital. They may even be a part of a nursing home or hospital.
Most assisted living centers, such as Brooking Park, provide individual apartments or rooms with open common areas. Residents have access to 3 meals a day, help with personal care, and laundry.
Other amenities include 24-hour access to on-site staff, supervision, and security. Some facilities also provide help with medications.
The exact care arrangements you depend on each state’s rules.
Benefits of Assisted Living Facilities
So, what is the assisted living facility experience like? Every place will have a unique feel. The following describes one example.
When the resident arrives, the staff creates an individualized personal plan of care. This includes care goals and specific care activities.
The plan of care works to provide the highest level of independence possible. At the same time, the resident has a 24-hour staff that serves as a safety net. This increases the peace-of-mind for residents and their families.
A common feature of assisted living centers is an active social calendar that encourages socialization and relationships between residents. They often offer social outings as well.
Many centers offer wellness programs and enrichment activities. These serve to improve the residents’ health and independence. Staff members serve as caregivers and advocates for the residents.
Questions to Ask to Find the Best Assisted Living
Each facility has its feel, personality, and services. It’s essential to visit in person to find the most comfortable one. The following describes a list of questions you may want to ask.
- Can you lock in your rate and is it all-inclusive and predictable?
- Are there any buy-in or endowment fees?
- Does your facility give and supervise medication administration?
- Do residents receive help with bathing and dressing as needed?
- Do you have on-site physical, occupational, or speech therapy?
- Are you able to draw blood work as ordered by the physician?
- Do you provide transportation to and from doctor’s appointments?
- Would someone stay with my loved one during the doctor’s appointment?
- Does someone remind the residents when its mealtime?
- Does someone let the residents know when there’s an event they may be interested in?
Facilities also vary in their physical amenities. You will want to ask about what’s included in the monthly payment.
Are some items considered optional? For example, TV subscriptions, telephone, or laundry services.
Some facilities have a central dining area and/or kitchen in the apartments. Are the residents expected to cook some of their meals, or are they provided three meals daily?
Are You Looking for the Right Assisted Living Facility?
Finding the assisted living facility that best suits your needs takes time and research. We want you to know that Brooking Park Assisted Living provides a personal, home-like atmosphere. Residents have access to 24-hour care and assistance with daily activities.
We’re a 5-star community, best-rated, and a group of Uniquely Caring People offering quality services your loved one deserves to live their best life now.
When you, or your loved one, moves into our assisted living community, you will soon discover that our caring staff knows your name, sense of humor, and even favorite dessert.
Our supportive and personalized setting promotes physical, social, and emotional well-being. Residents enjoy housekeeping, prepared meals, and nutrition counseling. Our staff helps with ADLs as needed while fostering respect and dignity.
Brooking Park is state-approved to assist with medication management as well. We are also able to provide varying levels of care.
Count on to deliver the best in senior care for St. Louis and surrounding cities.
Schedule an in-person tour today to experience our community for yourself.
Need more help? Download our free Assisted Living Resource Guide.