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

The key differences between assisted living facilities and nursing homes (also known as skilled nursing facilities) revolve around the level of care provided, the living environment, and the types of services offered. Understanding these differences can help families make informed decisions about the best care option for their loved ones.

Level of Care:

Assisted Living facilities are designed for individuals who need some assistance with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, medication management, and meals but do not require constant medical care or supervision. Residents typically have their own apartments or rooms and are encouraged to maintain as much independence as possible.
Nursing Homes provide a higher level of medical care and supervision to residents who have serious health issues requiring constant medical attention. This includes 24-hour monitoring and care by licensed health professionals, such as nurses and therapists.
Living Environment:

Assisted Living communities often resemble apartment complexes or residential communities, offering private or semi-private living spaces. These facilities focus on creating a home-like atmosphere that promotes independence while still providing the necessary support services.
Nursing Homes are more medical in nature and are set up to cater to individuals with significant health needs. The environment is structured to ensure easy access to medical care and assistance, with a layout that often looks more like a hospital than a residential community.
Services Offered:

Assisted Living facilities offer services that include meals, housekeeping, laundry, transportation, social activities, and assistance with activities of daily living. The emphasis is on supporting the residents’ independence and social engagement.
Nursing Homes provide comprehensive medical care in addition to basic living services. This includes wound care, intravenous therapy, physical therapy, and other rehabilitation services, along with 24-hour nursing care.

Generally, because of the higher level of medical care and supervision provided, nursing homes tend to be more expensive than assisted living facilities.
Choice and Flexibility:

Assisted Living offers more flexibility in terms of living arrangements and the ability to tailor services to the individual’s needs. Residents can often choose how much assistance they receive.
Nursing Homes have structured schedules and routines due to the medical nature of care, with less flexibility in terms of personal preferences and independence.

In summary, assisted living is suitable for those who need some help with daily activities but are largely independent, while nursing homes cater to individuals requiring extensive medical care and supervision. The choice between the two should be based on the specific health needs, level of independence, and personal preference of the individual or their family.

At Mary and Pete’s Assisted Living, our caring and knowledgeable team is dedicated to keeping our residents active and engaged. We warmly invite you to learn more about our services by visiting our welcoming community. Schedule a tour and have a conversation with our friendly team members to see how we can meet your needs.

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