Does My Loved One Need an Assisted Living Facility or a Nursing Home?

Posted on November 30, 2017 | This post was written by The Woodleigh

When looking into care for an aging loved one, many are surprised to learn how many different options exist. What starts as an attempt to research nursing homes often blossoms into an evaluation of assisted living facilities, nursing homes, memory care facilities, and more. To make things more difficult, the terms “assisted living facility” and “nursing home” are often used interchangeably. In reality, the two types of care differ significantly. What are these differences, and how do you know which type of facility is ideal for your loved one?

In an assisted living facility, help is provided to residents as needed. Emphasis is placed on helping patients retain as much of their independence as possible. Nursing homes, by contrast, offer more hands-on, around-the-clock care. While independence is preserved wherever possible, the emphasis here is on safety and comfort.

To help make the right choice for your loved one, consider the following.

Assisted Living Facility

Residents in an assisted living facility can take care of many aspects of their day-to-day lives on their own. Often times, they live on their own up until moving into an assisted living facility. They may still drive, and often maintain active social lives with other elderly friends. While their loved ones may check up on them regularly, they don’t require constant supervision or even daily visits.

However, issues do begin to crop up. As loved one’s age, it gets more and more difficult for them to keep up on Activities of Daily Living, or ADL, like cooking, cleaning, bathing, and dressing. As these difficulties increase, you may notice your loved one spending more and more time on these tasks, or avoiding them altogether. Cleaning before friends come over now takes the better part of a week, rather than a day. Weight loss occurs as meals are skipped. Routine, everyday activities lose their simplicity; the stress of keeping up with them bears down on our loved ones, while our own concerns mount.

Assisted living facilities help alleviate this stress. Aids provide meals, keep up with housekeeping, provide assistance with eating and bathing, and help to schedule social activities. Beyond these tasks, residents largely take care of themselves. Many retain a kitchen in their apartment, so they can still cook their favorite dishes, or make desserts for grandkids.

Nursing Home

In a nursing home, care is provided around the clock. Nursing home residents often receive full-time, at-home care from family members or a nurse before making the move into a nursing home. As their needs grow, an ever-increasing burden is put on care providers. The home itself tends to become an ever more challenging environment for aging loved ones to navigate, with dangers and difficulties seeming to proliferate. After a certain point, it becomes impractical or impossible to provide the level of care needed.

Nursing homes are designed and staffed to provide dedicated, around-the-clock care. Basic tasks are carried out by staff, with residents often requiring a greater degree of aid than those in an assisted living facility. Care providers then move throughout the day with residents, getting them around the facility and bringing them to scheduled social activities.

The Woodleigh is known for spacious living facilities, including private and semi-private living arrangements, which is not always the case at other nursing facilities.

We encourage you to learn more about the day-to-day services and activities provided for our residents by giving us a call at 225-272-1401.