When you begin to recognize the signs that your loved one is in need of a higher level of care than what you are able to offer, lots of emotion, followed by lots of questions, begin pouring in. The current caregiver often feels guilty for not being able to handle it along with worry that their loved one will be in good hands at an Assisted Living or Nursing Home Facility. It is important to note that these feelings are normal and are a part of the process. Assisted Living and/or Nursing Home Facilities can offer a safer, thriving environment for your Senior and more often than not, a higher quality of life. The start of a current Caregivers research for a more permanent senior living situation poses the question: Assisted Living, or Nursing Home? Below we break down the difference between the two along with some signs to look for that will help you determine which facility type may be right for your loved one.

What is an Assisted Living Facility?

An Assisted Living Facility offers long term care while promoting safe senior independence. If your loved one still desires a free lifestyle yet needs help with day to day activities such as laundry, cooking, or other various chores, assisted living may be the right option. Assisted living communities offer a 24-hour staff, private senior apartment style communities, with tailored care plans to accommodate the specific needs of your senior.

What is a Nursing Home Facility?

Nursing home facilities are meant for residents that are unable to care for themselves safely at home but do not need to be at a hospital. They often have severe physical health concerns and/or disabilities. Medical services and even facility set ups are very similar to those offered in a hospital. A skilled nursing staff is available for 24 hour medical service and monitoring. Nursing homes are for both short term rehabilitation after an injury as well as long term care.
The goal of both facility types is the same: to provide a safe, happy, healthy, and thriving environment for your loved ones. Both assisted living and nursing home facilities provide well balanced meals, a secure and supportive environment, and other life enhancing features. The main difference between the two is the level of hands on medical services offered. Assisted living offers exactly that, assistance to everyday living, where a nursing home requires a great deal more hands on medical care. A nursing home facility will also offer other services such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy & more. 

Which Facility is right for you? 

An Assisted Living Facility may seem ideal if your loved one desires a certain level of independence yet needs help with certain day to day tasks. When considering which route is best for you, we encourage you to look at the long road. Look for signs and if you think more medical care will be needed in the very near future, a nursing home may be a better fit. If your loved one has a progressive diagnosis such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, or congestive heart failure, it may be less stressful and easier for them to start in a nursing home where they can develop relationships and familiarize themselves with their surroundings while still relatively healthy. When selecting your long term care facility, be mindful to choose a community that not only meets your loved one’s current needs but one that can evolve with future needs as well. Below are some signs to look for that your loved one may be better suited for a nursing home facility over an assisted living facility.
-Disorientation & frequent confusion. (NOTE: There are some assisted living options for patients with dementia & Alzheimer’s).
-Frequent falls
-No longer eating well
-Decreased mobility (For example, if packages no longer make it inside or they shop showing up for regular activities they really enjoy).
-Significant changes in wellness, routines & behavior (Example: paranoia or delusions)
-Missed or repeated medications (NOTE: Assisted living offers medication management also, but should be considered a flag).
At Camelot Senior Living, we have both Assisted Living and Nursing Home Facility options available. We would love the opportunity to walk you through the amenities included with both options to help find the personalized care plan just for you! To learn more about Camelot and what we have to offer, click here.