Do you have a senior in your life that may be in need of a change in living situation? As our loved ones age, we want them to enjoy their daily hobbies and activities without having to deal with some of the more difficult parts of aging. For some, this could involve moving into a senior living community or nursing home. There are plenty of living options available for seniors, and not all senior living communities are alike. In fact, you might be surprised to know that over the past few decades, the term ‘nursing home’ has grown to include many different meanings. Below you’ll find some information about assisted living, nursing homes, and how each one differs from the other.
When many older adults hear the words ‘nursing home’, they become worried and even fearful due to stereotypical beliefs about senior living. While many older adults would benefit from some kind of at-home assistance, plenty are fully independent and would not enjoy living in a traditional ‘nursing home’ environment. Rather than disregard all senior living options, read on to find out how senior living can cater to more than just those who require a traditional nursing home.
Assisted living communities are an option for older adults who still want to live independently but want or need assistance with their day to day activities. If you or a senior that you know are no longer capable of living alone, feeling lonely or isolated, or just want to reduce time spent on household chores and maintenance, assisted living is a great choice. These types of communities have a high satisfaction rate and often go well beyond expectations of moving into a “home”.
Some of the offerings available in most assisted living communities include:
- Suites or apartments with bedrooms, living spaces, and reduced or full kitchen facilities
- Optional restaurant-style dining options, happy hours, entertainment, and activities based on community interest
- Outings and transportation to local stores and nearby attractions such as museums, theatres, and festivals
- Assistance with daily activities such as laundry, housekeeping, bathing, grooming, and medication management as requested
Assisted living provides the unique opportunity to live independently and socialize with peers while also being close to help if and when it is needed. Assisted living communities have varying monthly costs, and some have health standards that must be met for any new resident admission (such as being able to feed oneself, or get up from bed unassisted).
Assisted living may be a good option for those who:
- Require minor medical assistance or medication, but do not require full time medical care
- May be looking for a lifestyle that doesn’t include home or yard maintenance
- Would like minor help with daily activities such as bathing and dressing
- Is interested in being more involved in activities and social events, but may not have transportation or awareness of events
- Is looking for new friends, companionship, or social gatherings
- May be in good health now but wants to prepare for future needs
- Would like to pursue passions such as art, golf, or literature with other like-minded individuals in a community setting
Nursing homes are living spaces that are geared towards seniors who are unable to properly care for themselves and need constant medical support due to a variety of physical or mental ailments. Nursing homes are often the only option for seniors who require 24 hour monitoring and medical support, and help these individuals receive the care they need.
The majority of nursing home residents are unable to live independently due to physical or mental conditions that leave them bedridden, wheelchair-bound, or generally in need of nursing support. A nursing home provides them with adequate medical care, meals, living spaces, and daily support while allowing for socialization and enjoyment of activities and entertainment. Most nursing homes require a prescription and evaluation by a physician before a resident is accepted.
Nursing homes often offer:
- Full assistance with laundry, housekeeping, and daily living
- Palliative and preventative long-term care
- Dietary planning and meal options based on each resident’s needs
- Medical staff who manage and administer prescription medications
- Additional services as necessary such as hairdressing, foot care, and dental care
- Specialized services including speech, occupational, cognitive, physical, respiratory, and vocational therapies
Nursing homes also vary greatly in cost as there are a number of private and publicly funded options available. Many nursing homes also maintain a waitlist.
A nursing home may be the best option for those who:
- Require constant care and support as a result of a chronic mental or physical condition, especially those with progressive conditions such as Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis (MS)
- May have suffered from an injury that requires significant rehabilitation
- Struggle to feed and bathe themselves independently
- Desires daily interaction and social opportunities
- Prefers to be closer to on site services that are not available with home-care options
The senior living industry has greatly expanded over the past few decades in response to the changing needs of older populations. There are plenty of options to explore outside of the two mentioned above for older adults that may need some level of daily support, or those who want to transition to a different lifestyle in older age. Finding the best option for your loved one is the key to them staying happy, healthy, and safe throughout the next few years, so be sure to consider all choices carefully.
This post has been sponsored by Jordan J. Caron Holdings LTD
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