Woman in a wheelchair assisted by a nurse

Posted: March 24, 2021

Senior Living

The Difference Between Assisted Living and Nursing Homes

Sometimes, people use “nursing home” as a general reference to a place where seniors live. In reality, there are multiple types of senior living communities, not just one.

What Is the Difference Between Assisted Living and a Nursing Home?

Assisted living and nursing homes both offer a specific type of living situation that differs significantly from other forms of senior care. Assisted living offers a homey, social environment where individuals can receive personal care, whereas nursing homes provide round-the-clock medical and personal care in a more clinical setting.

What Type of Care

Assisted living is for people who desire a social and engaging community but need some assistance with everyday activities such as cooking, laundry, or getting dressed. These residents do not need care provided by a nurse or skilled care worker.

Nursing homes are for individuals who need highly skilled medical care around the clock. They need highly trained and qualified staff, typically a nurse, physical therapist, or occupational therapist to help with their complex and serious conditions.

Heritage Crossing takes the health and safety of our team members and residents very seriously. We have implemented safety measures to make sure all the residents and staff are safe. We recently installed a Needlepoint Air Ionization system to clean the air of any viruses and pathogens to keep residents and staff healthy as well. This is very helpful during Flu season and year-round.

What You Will Pay

Because nursing homes require a higher level of care and more highly trained staff, they typically cost more than assisted living. The average maximum for assisted living is around $6,800 per month. This same price is the average minimum for a month’s stay in a nursing home.

However, because the focus of a nursing home is on medical care, not community, Medicare or Medicaid often cover all or a portion of the cost. Assisted living, on the other hand, is rarely covered by Medicare or Medicaid because it closely resembles a regular living situation.

Where People Live

Nursing homes closely resemble hospitals because they are for people who need consistent and more advanced medical care. While they are homier than a hospital, you will see much more medical equipment than you would in assisted living. Residents also typically share rooms with each other unless they are privately paying.

Assisted living communities, like Heritage Crossing, tend to resemble apartments. Residents have an option of different floor plans for their private apartments to choose from to best suit their needs. Our community is designed to offer a homey environment with an array of different amenities to choose from to occupy your day. In our community residents can take a walk, garden, play a board game in the common areas, and interact with one another. Our community also offers different life enrichment programs to keep you or your loved one busy and active throughout the day.

Assisted Living vs Nursing Home: Which is Right for You or Your Loved one?

The guiding factor of your decision should be how much care and what type of care do you or your loved one need. If medical care is a priority and will be needed throughout the day, perhaps a nursing home would be the best option. If assistance with daily tasks like getting dressed or remembering to take medication is the main need, then assisted living might be the best option.

It is also important to make sure the community you are looking at, assisted living or a nursing home, is a licensed community. Heritage Crossing is a licensed assisted living community. This means that our community has taken all the necessary steps to follow all rules and guidelines outlined by the state, and has met the requirements for staff hiring, screening and training. These requirements are followed in our community year after year and are determined by the state through on-site inspections.

Sometimes, people just need a few months of highly skilled care, such as those who have had a bad fall or are recovering from a stroke. These individuals will spend a few months in a nursing home and then move to assisted living. So, keep in mind that you have options, but the level of care needed should always be put at the forefront.

For more information regarding our assisted living community in Akron, OH, contact us or schedule a tour today.

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