Which type of senior care center is right for you or your family member?
Long-term care planning is an important yet difficult transition to think about for any family. But there comes a time when senior living facilities may be worth looking into for you or a family member. These centers can provide a multitude of benefits, such as 24-hour care, medication management, safety and security, group activities, and more.
It’s important to understand the benefits of these facilities, and the differences between them, before deciding to transition. Here’s a look into what each type offers and how they differ.
Assisted living facilities
Assisted living facilities have many benefits and amenities for seniors. These centers offer 24-hour access to a nursing or care staff in case of emergencies or if assistance is needed. This staff also ensures daily medications are distributed and can assist residents with tasks like bathing or changing.
Meant for those who need a little extra looking after, assisted living centers are a great way to make the transition out of a big home, and into a facility that offers comfort and care while still giving residents independence. Often, seniors will have their own complete apartments and can prepare meals and have guests over as they wish. Some facilities do have certain visiting hours, meant as a safety precaution for other residents.
Another benefit is the community offered to residents in assisted living facilities. There are usually daily outings, planned activities, exercise and special interest classes, and communal meals. These are great places for seniors to meet other people at similar stages in life and to keep their minds and bodies stimulated. Transportation and regular meal preparation are both big benefits of joining an assisted living facility.
You may be wondering if there is any difference between an assisted living center and a nursing home. While these two facilities can be similar, as they both provide senior residential and medical care, there are some differences to keep in mind.
The main purpose of a nursing home is to provide a home for those who need more medical care. An assisted living center differs only in that there is less care required, as the focus is more on providing housing and support for seniors.
Nursing homes allow less independence than an assisted living facility. Often residents will have much less space in nursing homes since they are not able to perform daily tasks at home. Nursing home residents often have their own room and bathroom instead of a multi-room living space to manage.
How do you know if it’s time to look into an assisted living center or a nursing home?
If you or a family member needs additional support with everyday tasks, like taking the right medication or just getting around, but still would like to keep independence and private living habits, an assisted living facility may be the right choice. These centers provide daily support while offering many social activities and a more private living space.
An assisted living center can also be a great option if a senior’s needs can no longer be met by a family member who has been distributing care.
If, however, more attention to medical care is required, in addition to a place to live comfortably, a nursing home is the better option. Nursing homes are better for those who are no longer ambulatory or who have severe cognitive impairments.
In sum, nursing homes offer more intensive medical care, while assisted living facilities offer a more transitional approach to long-term care.
Considering the costs of senior living facilities
Figuring out the cost of elder care can be frustrating and complicated. It’s important that you and your family can create a plan and fully understand the costs before making this life transition.
Because nursing homes provide more care each day, they tend to be more expensive care facilities overall. They usually have a larger staff to accommodate elderly patients who have a lot of needs each day.
However, it’s important to choose the right type of senior care facility based on physical or mental needs rather than cost. Make sure that your loved one is receiving the best care possible when they do decide to leave home.
To discuss your senior care options or to find a list of long-term care facilities in your area, our team at NJ Elder Law Center at Goldberg Law Group is available to assist you with advice about long-term senior care planning. Get in touch with us today to learn more.