When a senior loved one is no longer safe living on their own, adult children often begin to explore the senior living options that are available for them. We are frequently asked by families we work with in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to explain the differences between a nursing home and an assisted living community. Initially, it may be a little confusing to understand the similarities and differences between these two types of senior care.
Adding to the confusion is the fact that there are a lot of misconceptions about both types of senior living. Some people mistakenly believe assisted living communities are just a prettier version of a nursing home. Another misperception is that the quality of care provided in a nursing care center isn’t very good. To help you better understand both types of senior care communities, we will explore the similarities and differences.
Understanding the Role Assisted Living Communities and Nursing Homes
Let’s first talk about the similarities between an assisted living community and a nursing home:
- Medication Support: Both types of senior care offer some form of assistance with medication management. It can range from providing a prompt or reminder to a resident that it is time to take their medicine to actually helping them take it.
- Life Enrichment Activities: Assisted living communities and nursing homes both offer residents a variety of opportunities to participate in life enrichment programs. These activities are geared toward the needs and abilities of residents.
- Housekeeping Assistance: Residents of both communities receive help with housekeeping and laundry. (There may be additional fees assessed depending upon the individual community.)
- Transportation: Another benefit for residents of assisted living and nursing homes is that most provide transportation services. This makes it easier for residents to get to routine physician appointments and other necessary destinations.
In general, the differences between a nursing home in Dallas or Fort Worth and an assisted living community include:
- Personal Care versus Skilled Care: Assisted living communities are designed to support residents who need support with tasks that are often referred to as activities of daily living (ADL). These include bathing, dressing, grooming, personal care and toileting. By contrast, nursing care communities assist residents who require around the clock care to support complex medical needs. Skilled nurses and therapists help nursing home resident with IV care, breathing problems, chronic disease management and more.
- Physical Plant Differences: Residents of an assisted living community usually have their own suite or apartment. The environment often looks and feels more like a private residence or condominium community. Nursing homes, on the other hand, usually have a more clinical appearance because residents have more complex health care needs.
Help with Senior Care Placement in Dallas and Fort Worth
If you need help determining what type of senior living a loved one needs or advice on choosing the care provider who best meets those needs, the compassionate team at Senior Living Specialists stands ready to assist. We are the oldest independent placement agency in north Texas. Since 2009, we’ve helped 2000 families find a care solution.