Choosing Between Assisted Living and Nursing Homes
There are numerous options for assistant senior care currently available, ranging from home care and independent living to full nursing homes. Choosing the type of senior care that’s right for your loved one is a challenging task, and much research needs to be undertaken to find the type of care that would best suit their needs. When looking for the right type of care, keep the wishes of your loved ones at the forefront, but also keep in mind their health needs, personal preferences, as well as likes and dislikes. Knowing the difference between different types of senior care will help you make the right decision.
Nursing Homes are otherwise known as Long-Term Care or Skilled Nursing Facilities or Homes for the Aged. Nursing homes are for elderly individuals who require assistance and care 24/7. Seniors with debilitating medical problems or cognitive impairments, who require professional assistance, opt for this type of care option. The distinguishing feature of nursing homes is that they provide professional medical assistance, convenience of access to physical therapists, many kinds of healthcare practitioners, as well as nutritional meals and personal care amenities.
Assisted Living Facilities
Assisted living combines independent living with assistance from professionals when necessary. Support services are available when needed.
In these types of communities, seniors receive help with certain daily activities, such personal care, medication reminders, or other activities, all dependent on individual needs.
Here, seniors’ living space usually has his/her own furnishings and decorations; staff are required to be accommodating to the privacy and independence of each resident.
Thus, the main difference between nursing homes and assisted living communities is that the former offer professional and on-going medical services, while in the latter, assistance is offered largely with regular daily activities.
Which is more appropriate at each stage in the life of a senior?
Assisted living residences and communities can look like single-family dwellings or apartment buildings including common visiting and dining areas. The atmosphere of the suites and studios in an assisted living community are usually home-like including kitchenettes offering the resident the choice to dine alone or in a community dining room.
Seniors that have experienced a decline in health and require assistance with one or more daily life activities may be perfectly suited to an assisted living environment. Many Assisted Living arrangements and communities allow the individual to age in place rather than relocate to a facility that provides additional levels of care and the way to find out whether the residence of your loved one qualifies for the option to age in place is to contact the division of government, usually the Ministry of Health, in your province.
Nursing Homes employ health care professionals that are available to their residents as needed and they also offer most of the same options that an assisted living community offers. For example, social get togethers and excursions, physical therapy and exercise classes. The bottom line is to assess the needs of your loved one and match them to the type of care and the options provided at each level.
Understanding the Benefits of Assisted Living Homes for Loved Ones
Most of the rooms in assisted living housing look very much like bedrooms and some even have apartments. These assisted living apartments are rarely shared unless clients make a special request for it. The environment provides independence for clients and they get to live and look after the house the way it used to be in their formal home. There is a kitchenette attached to the house to allow people to prepare their meals. An advantage of living in an assisted home is that people will be able to socialize. In most homes for the elderly, they are usually indoors all alone in their rooms talking to no one. However, with assisted living centers, they are able to mix up and socialize with all other people in the assisted living community. There is a greater rate of interest provided all around that will help them to live longer and in good health.
The assisted living houses have facilities for people going out together and having social occasions. The people are allowed to invite their families to come for the outings and social gatherings because there is fun and the people are allowed to contribute towards the program. Most public holidays are usually celebrated with loved ones around them. There is arrangement for outings for everybody to go out for shopping and sightseeing to places of interests. This is surely more than anyone can ask for. It is like living normal lives amongst the people they love.
When the residents ones relocate to assisted living homes, there are usually concerns about their independence. Many of them want to be alone, without any one disturbing their lives. There is independence in the assisted living home for anyone that will not want to socialize or join in group activities and social gatherings. Since there is provision for a personal apartment or room, some may even have a kitchenette where they can cook their own meals and other amenities made available for them, they can stay anyway when they want. Everyone is giving equal chances of participating in all the activities but they are left to make the choice of whether they want to participate or not. Participating in activities is good for their health and will help them to live longer. Isolation is not good for anyone at all; it can lead to a faster decline in health for aging senior citizens than anything else. Talking and participating in social activities will make them come alive each and everyday and boost their health. This is better than staying alone and relying on people to take care of them.
The assisted living house not only provides independence for the people living there, they also make sure that they keep a close watch on the people. Most families always worry about the people there being able to take care of themselves. There is no need for such worries as the staffs in the home are often seen around watching people, to make sure that they are doing well without disturbing their peace at anytime. People that are isolating themselves are seriously taken care of and information is passed to their family members to always come to visit them. By the time family members come visiting from time to time, it will ease their burdens and they can be happy to associate with anyone around again. Family members can also encourage them to participate in any social events or outings organized by the community from time to time.
The families of the people staying in assisted living home are at peace knowing that their elderly loved ones are being taken care of appropriately and that they are safe from any harm. The benefits of taking aged loved ones to assisted living homes are far beyond measure. It is different from any other home whatsoever. The care they provide is excellent. They watch over the residents to make sure they are doing fine and organize social activities for them to enjoy. They are not left behind during the holiday season when people are going around enjoying themselves. They get to go out too and partake of the holiday fun. The freedom provided in assisted living communities is awesome. Everybody can live the same way they are used to in their houses with no one bothering them.
People who are having elderly ones at home can take them to assisted living homes instead of nursing homes. An Assisted living home is like a home away from home. There is not much difference between home and assisting living home. People can arrange their things the way they were arranged in their original homes. They can even eat their normal meals. They don’t have to worry about preparing their own meals but can still have it the way they want.
Common Myths about Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs)
Myth #1: The phrase 'assisted living facility' is just new terminology to describe nursing homes.
Myth #3: Medicare will pay for the care provided in assisted living facilities.
I did not know how much my mom had deteriorated until my dad went into the hospital. Mom had seemed forgetful for awhile, but when dad was suddenly hospitalized one evening I learned that Mom's problem was more than just a little forgetfulness. I went down to stay with her and for the first week dad was sick, I thought that she was just sad and frazzled because he was not around. However, when he passed away the next week, I learned that she had been relying on my dad to remember everything for years -- even for little things like whether she remembered to put the groceries away and whether she had her glasses on.
My brothers are not the most reliable pair, so it became my responsibility to arrange everything for my dad's funeral, administer his estate and take care of my mom. I thought about moving her into my house, but I could not be home all day to watch her. She would often forget that she could not remember things and I feared that she would turn the bath on and forget, or even something worse like a gas burner on the stove. I have to admit that I am also not a senior care expert who is able to take care of all of her needs. As much as I did not like the idea, it was time to find a retirement home for my mom. Of course, my brothers could not be counted on to help with that either.
Of course, I had to ask what the residents do during the day. I did not want my mom to be bored sitting in a room all day like my husband's great aunt was. The director showed me a lot of different rooms with seniors doing all sorts of things. At first, I was nervous because he showed me things that I knew my mom would not like very much, such as billiards and bowling. But, when he showed me the cooking class, I knew that I had found the perfect retirement home for my mom.
I wish that I had never had to put my mom into assisted living at all. When her forgetfulness worsened and became full-blown Alzheimer's, I was glad I did and I was equally glad that I chose the right assisted living facility for her with the right senior care staff. How the staff helped mom through that awful disease is a story for another day though.
How to take care of the elderly entails making difficult choices. Whether hiring home caregivers or taking the services of a specialized facility, there always has to be a balance between doing what is best for the senior citizen and what is suitable to their lifestyle. One of the most popular choices brings together the independence of living in their own home and the care provided by a nursing home. Assisted living homes offer this kind of compromise.
For those who are looking into the possibility of assisted living to provide elderly help then there are some elements that need to be thoroughly considered in order to get the best kind. Since these facilities exist primarily to ensure that the patients are safe and comfortable, the choice needs to be one that caters to these needs.
Finally, look into other features of the facility. See if there are telephone services, gyms, or cable television. After all, the elderly should not feel deprived of any of the comforts that they have grown accustomed to. In addition to this, check to see if the assisted living facility is near the store, market, and hospital for their convenience.