What’s the Difference Between Assisted Living and a Nursing Home?

Do you have parents over the age of 55 who need help with daily activities or have a loved one that needs more daily assistance than you can provide?

Assisted Living communities provide care tailored to the individual’s needs. They help individuals maintain as much independence as possible. Continue reading to learn how this offers a different solution from a nursing home.

What Services Do Nursing Homes Provide?

Skilled Nursing communities provide care to those who don’t need hospitalization but can’t live alone. Most Skilled Nursing facilities have 24-hour skilled nurses and aides to provide care including physical, speech, and occupational therapy.

Nursing homes usually provide nursing care, including hygiene, wound care, and medications. They serve meals that meet the patient’s diet orders and activities to enhance function and socialization.

How Is an Assisted Living Home Different from a Nursing Home?

Assisted Living facilities are for individuals who can live independently but need help daily such as personal care and health care services. They promote the highest level of independence, dignity, privacy, choice, and safety.

These facilities provide 24-hour help and supervision to ensure the resident’s safety. They also plan activities to promote social interaction. The facility can adjust the level of care as needed within their licensed level of care.

Types of Assisted Living Communities

There are different types of assisted living facilities. Each offers a different focus to meet their resident’s needs.

Happy Asian Couple at Assisted Living HomeSenior Assisted Living

Senior assisted living centers only serve senior citizens. They include retirement communities, housing, and apartments. Services range from housekeeping, cooking, indoor and outdoor maintenance, and group activities.

The staff helps residents with their activities of daily living (ADL) including all meals and laundry services.

These facilities may be stand-alone or located close to a nursing home or hospital. Their resident capacity often ranges from 25 to 120. Apartment-style developments often include common areas and safe outdoor gardens or yards.

State rules dictate whether a facility may help the residents take their medications.

Memory Care Support

Memory Care communities focus on patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease and provide meals and ADL. Staff is specialized trained to offer unique care needs including frequent checks on residents to ensure their safety.

Memory care facilities have alarmed doors, enclosed outdoor spaces, and coded access to elevators. Since these residents often wander, tracking bracelets are available to monitor their location.

Activities focus on improving cognitive abilities and engaging residents at different disease stages. The staff provides structure and support throughout the day.

The support helps decrease the resident’s frustration and stress levels. The goal is to provide a comfortable, safe, and loving environment.

Who Qualifies for Assisted Living Communities?

It depends, each state develops its own rules for licensure and regulatory compliance which determine the level of care they may provide.

In most cases, there are three care levels based on a person’s medical and assisted daily living care.

  • Level One.  Level one is the lowest level of care. Residents can manage their daily routine but may need reminders about ADLs. They may also need help with some tasks to ensure they’re completed correctly and safely.
  • Level Two. Level two is a moderate or intermediate care level. The resident needs more help with ADLs, feeding, and managing their schedule. Staff members must provide more supervision to ensure the person’s safety.
  • Level Three. Level three involves the highest level of care offered in assisted living facilities. Residents often have impairments that impact their ability to perform self-care – possibly due to physical or mental deficits.

More than one caregiver is available to help complete day to day support. The resident may also need medication administration.

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How to Find Assisted Living Near Me?

Brooking Park Assisted Living

Most families wish to use a community near them, which makes it easier to visit and provide for their loved one’s needs.

Check their website to make sure they meet all licensing and regulatory compliance. Once you have confirmed, schedule a tour to ask the important questions and get a feel for the overall culture and environment.

Top Questions to Ask When Visiting

  • Can you sample some food, even attend a social event?
  • Are spiritual support services offered?
  • Do they offer physical and social programs?
  • What do their staffing ratios, staff skill levels, and their safety and security measures look like?
  • Is the community owned by a local organization or an out-of-town company?
  • What are the standards of care they provide?
  • How do they handle changes in care needs such as can your loved one stay at that location, or do they have to move elsewhere if they need more help?
  • What are the costs and what is included in their fee?
  • Is the community non-profit or for-profit?
  • Do their rates change, are their buy-in or endowment fees?
  • Do they charge extra for specific services?
  • Does Medicare or Medicaid cover their services or what other options do you have for payment?

Are You Searching for the Right Assisted Living Community?

Brooking Park, Assisted LivingWe hope that this article has helped you understand the difference between nursing homes and Assisted Living communities, so it helps you choose the right location for yourself or your loved one.

We want you to know that at Brooking Park, we offer the best in 5-star Assisted Living in and around St. Louis.

Our Amenities offer:

  • Personalized room decorating
  • Adding your personal furnishings and mementos
  • Fully equipped, easily accessible private bathrooms
  • Weekly housekeeping & laundry services
  • Emergency call and wander-alert systems
  • Individual climate controls
  • Cable television access, and more

Our Services Include:

  • 24-hour personal care
  • Daily activities assistance
  • Collaboration with our physicians including physical, speech and occupational therapies
  • In-house medical and dental services*
  • Chef-prepared meals with entrée choices and special diets available
  • A Beauty and Barber salon*
  • Scheduled transportation
  • Proximity to major hospitals
  • Spiritual, social, and recreational activities
  • Fitness and balance programs including wellness Programs

We encourage you to visit us to experience what Brooking Park is all about.

Schedule an in-person tour today to experience our community for yourself.

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Need more help? Download our free Assisted Living Resource Guide.

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