Assisted Living Versus Nursing Homes – Which Choice Is the Right Choice?

Many times, in our adult lives, we find ourselves faced with very tough decisions – and while most people would assume during the middle of their lives, that would most often apply to their children, that isn’t the case. Most of us inevitably will be faced with how best to care for our aging parents, who, while still functional and vibrant, are still needing a bit more help than you have time to provide them with, but not quote to the extent of round the clock care that is offered at a nursing home. Assisted living facilities can help provide that balance of knowing your loved ones are being looked after daily, but not confining them to a facility with minimal socialization and maximum restrictions on their freedoms.

What is an assisted living facility and what are the major differences between them and the more traditional nursing home exactly? Well, for starters, if your loved one isn’t in a position that needs to be monitored medically around the clock, there is a good chance they would be much happier maintaining the independence found in an assisted living facility. These communities are often designed to look more like nice condo or apartment complexes as well, taking away the “hospital feel” many associate with nursing homes. This generally provides more of a home-like feel and many seniors have acclimated this to feeling happier having the freedom and feel of normalcy. For someone who may have issues on the smaller scale, such as occasional memory loss (forgetting to take meds, etc.) or may need some basic assistance with getting into a bed or the like.

What are the cost differences between a nursing home and an assisted living facility? It probably isn’t a shock that the comfort of choosing an assisted living facility as opposed to a nursing home, can be significantly pricier. This is generally attributed to Medicare and Medicaid generally covering the majority, if not all, of the cost of a nursing home, while most assisted living communities are self-paid. Many of the services can, however, be covered under Medicaid, and the majority of states also have assisted living communities, for lower income seniors who are not wishing to be placed into a skilled nursing facility. This can help make the cost a little more budget friendly and accessible to a larger group. Is there a qualification you have to meet in order to reside in an assisted living community? While they have many of the same requirements as a skilled nursing facility, the resident must go through several tests to assess the type of care they need versus what can be offered at the facility. From there, a care plan with the services requested would be put together, along with setting up pay for the residence and the services elected. Skilled nursing facilities are more advantageous to someone requiring the round the clock medical and physical therapy services.