As your loved one ages you may face the tough decision of whether or not it’s time for them to transition into an alternative living situation. This decision may come when it becomes no longer safe for them to live on their own or if the option for a family caregiver is not there. Your first thought may be that it is time for a nursing home, but that simply isn’t the case.
While previously nursing home may have been your only choice, depending on your situation your loved one may be a candidate for independent living or assisted living. Let’s explore the differences in care:
Nursing homes are for seniors who do not need to be in the hospital but need 24-hr skilled nursing care. Because they are similar to hospitals in many ways, nursing homes offer residents medical care and different types of therapy on location. If your loved one is not to the point of needing around the clock care, a nursing home is not an ideal living environment for them.
Assisted Living Communities
Assisted living communities are a step down from nursing homes regarding care required. They often have a more "neighborhood" and "homey" feel, opposed to the somewhat sterile nature of a nursing home. Assisted living communities provide help with activities of daily living that are non-medical such as hygiene, dressing, medication reminders and transportation. The apartments are unfurnished and allow residents to decorate how their heart desires. Many communities even let you bring your pet (pending that they are well-behaved)!
Independent Living Communities
Independent living communities are ideal for healthy and active seniors looking to escape the responsibilities associated with maintaining a home. Seniors exploring independent living communities should not need help with any care. Similar to assisted living but without the added care, perks of independent living communities include: enjoying fun activities, forming friendships with other seniors and maintaining independence.
As senior care options expand, finding the right fit for your loved one can become complicated. However, additional choices in senior living lead to better-suited care and therefore better quality of life for all of those involved.