Assisted Living vs Nursing Homes: What You Need to Know

The US population is getting older and quickly. With better medical care and more attention to lifestyle, people are living longer. Currently, there are 46 million people living in the US who are over the age of 65. By the year 2050, that number will grow to nearly 90 million.

By the year 2030, 1 out of every 5 Americans will be 65 or older. That is a large part of the population aging. Because of this, great strides are being made in options for elder care too. There are assisted living and nursing homes, even senior apartment complexes.

Not that many years ago, getting care for a senior meant you had only a few options. Now facilities that offer care for seniors have a variety of options available, depending on the needs of the seniors and their abilities. Two of the most common options are assisted living and nursing home care.

Let’s learn more about these options for senior care and how they are different.

What is Assisted Living?

Assisted living is one type of senior care. It is for the senior who needs some assistance with activities for daily living, yet the senior might still have the ability to live independently with some additional care.

For example, the senior might have their own apartment for privacy and alone time, but they can no longer make their own meals. They can come to a dining room for meals and still have the privacy of living alone. They might need help with medications or bathing too.

Assisted living facilities provide seniors assistance for some of those activities of daily life that they can no longer handle on their own, yet they are still safe to live in their own private space.

What is a Nursing Home?

A nursing home or a skilled nursing facility is for those seniors that need more comprehensive care and are unable to live independently.

If a senior needs around the clock care and medical assistance, they would need a skilled nursing facility. Here, they would not live in their own apartment setting, but would be in a room where they can be carefully monitored, and care can be provided consistently, regularly, and as needed.

Key Differences Between Assisted Living and Nursing Homes

One of the key differences between assisted living and a nursing home is the amount of care needed by the patient. A patient in an assisted living facility will need less intensive care than a one who is in a nursing home.

The duration of stay might be different too. For assisted living, this is the senior’s living arrangement. They will likely live there until their needs become greater.

In a skilled nursing facility, a senior might be there long term because of their age or ailments. They might also be there for a shorter-term because they are recovering from surgery or illness.

Cost is another difference. Obviously, the more intensive the care the senior receives, the cost is likely to be higher.

Staffing will be a little different too. There is likely to be more staff and even more skilled staff in the nursing home setting because the care needed is greater than in an assisted living setting.

Understanding the Difference Between Assisted Living and Nursing Homes

If you are considering the needs of an elder in your life and weighing assisted living vs. nursing homes, it’s important to understand the differences in care.

We can help you find the right placement for your loved one. We specialize in senior care and can help you find the services you need for your senior loved one. Contact us today to get more information.