Posted: June 17, 2021
A lot of people think that nursing homes and assisted living communities are the same thing. While they may fall under the same umbrella of senior living, they are very different. Each type of senior living community has their own unique levels of care which differentiates them from one another.
Assisted living communities offer a homey, social environment where individuals can receive personal care. Nursing homes provide 24-hour medical and personal care in a more medical setting. A lot of people might start out in one level of care and then need to switch to less care like an assisted living community or more care like a nursing home. It is important to understand the differences, so that you can find the right type of senior living for yourself or a loved one.
Assisted living is for people who need some assistance with everyday activities such as cooking, laundry, or getting dressed but also desire a social and engaging community. 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 conditions.
Walnut 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. The air we breathe daily can contain pathogens and viruses. We recently installed a Needlepoint Air Ionization system to clean the air in our community to keep residents and staff healthy. This is very helpful during Flu season and year-round.
Nursing homes require a higher level of care and more highly trained staff, due to this they typically cost more than assisted living. The average minimum for a nursing home is around $6,800 per month. This same price is the average maximum for a month’s stay in an assisted living community. 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 more closely resembles a regular living situation.
Nursing homes are for people who need consistent and more advanced medical care, so they closely resemble hospitals. 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 Walnut 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.
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. Walnut 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.