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Assisted Living vs. Nursing Home: What to Know

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A young assisted living staff serving a meal to one of their seniors.

When a loved one gets older, many families may face a difficult decision about their care. Many options are available, but the 2 most common terms are assisted living and nursing home care. 

While the 2 terms are often used interchangeably, they are actually quite different. Understanding these distinctions and what programs can offer your loved one is essential.

From assisted living to memory care and respite care, there are levels of support that can be adapted to fit your loved one as they age.

What is Nursing Home Care?

Nursing home care is an older, less popular term. Traditionally, nursing homes refer to a type of long-term care that provides medical supervision and skilled nursing care to seniors who require it. These facilities are typically designed for those who have serious medical conditions, chronic illnesses, or disabilities that make it difficult for them to care for themselves.

They may have fewer amenities than assisted living communities and emphasize medical care over anything.

What Is Assisted Living?

Assisted living is a type of care that provides help with daily living activities to seniors. These communities typically assist with things like:

  • Eating, dressing, and bathing
  • Medication management
  • Sitting and standing
  • Escorts around the community
  • Coordination with healthcare providers

They’re designed to be a comfortable and supportive environment for seniors to remain independent. They often include amenities, including: 

  • Chef-prepared meals
  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry services
  • Movie theater
  • Private dining
  • Social activities

Assisted living can be an excellent option for seniors who need a level of support beyond what family can provide.

The Benefits of Assisted Living

A Safe & Secure Environment

Seniors may face many challenges as they age, and their safety and security are paramount. Assisted living facilities are designed to create a safe and secure environment for seniors, with staff round-the-clock monitoring, emergency response systems, and secure entrances. Seniors can move around and engage in activities without fearing falls or other accidents.

Customized Care & Support

Assisted living facilities provide customized care and support according to the needs of each resident. Depending on the senior’s requirements, professional staff can provide personal care, assistance with daily living, and medical support. The team works with seniors to create an individualized care plan focusing on their physical, emotional, and social needs.

Socialization & Community Involvement

A group of happy senior ladies in an art class outdoors.

Seniors can be socially isolated and lonely, impacting their physical and mental well-being. Assisted living facilities offer a range of social events, activities, and outings that promote socialization and community involvement.

Residents can enjoy games, artistic activities, group exercise classes, and local excursions with their peers, which can improve their overall well-being.

Nutritious Meals & Healthful Dining Options

Assisted living facilities strive to provide residents with nutritious meals and healthy dining options. Professional kitchen staff prepare well-balanced meals, with dietary or nutritional constraints considered, including Kosher options.

Seniors can choose meals according to their preferences or taste buds and eat communal meals in a dining room, promoting socialization.

Peace of Mind & Reduced Stress

Assisted living provides peace of mind to seniors and their families by knowing they are in a supportive community, receiving the right care, and enjoying a better quality of life. They don’t have to worry about home maintenance, daily chores, time-consuming errands, or medical and emergency needs.

Family members can also be more relaxed, knowing their beloved senior is in an empathetic and safe environment.

Choosing the Right Option

Choosing assisted living can be a difficult decision, but it is important to consider the needs of your loved one. If your loved one requires more personal care assistance and wants to maintain their independence, assisted living may be a better fit than living alone.

Consider Assisted Living Early

Assisted living for seniors can provide numerous benefits for seniors and their families. While it can be a difficult choice for many families, moving your loved one into an assisted living community is an act of love that provides them with a unique lifestyle and care approach.

Visit Mattison Crossing at Manalapan Avenue to tour the facility, speak to staff, and talk to other residents to help your loved one feel comfortable in their new home.

Morgan Berardi

Written by Morgan Berardi

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