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Assisted Living vs. Nursing Home: Common Questions

When researching retirement lifestyles for yourself or a loved one, you may encounter different options such as independent living, assisted living or nursing homes. Making things more confusing, these terms are often used interchangeably. 

Although they share the similarity of providing care to seniors, they should be considered three separate senior living community types. In this article, we’ll examine the important differences you need to know to make an informed choice.

What is Assisted Living?

Assisted living is a community that’s best suited for older adults who  are mostly independent, but need support with some day-to-day tasks. These tasks can range from minor to major. Some seniors need assistance with medication management or mobility. Others may require assistance with eating, bathing or getting dressed.

In an assisted living community, you can customize your level of care. This means you maintain your independence while enjoying the convenience of hands-on support when you need it.

What Are the Benefits of Assisted Living?

Assisted living can exponentially upgrade your retirement experience, especially if you previously lived alone with little to no support or relied on family members. Below are highlights of the perks you’ll enjoy in an assisted living community. 

  • Enhance your independence and get personalized assistance with day-to-day activities. 
  • Live in a socially engaged community where you can connect with others who share your same goals and interests.
  • Enjoy the convenience of on-site medical assistance
  • Benefit from a wide range of amenities, activities and events available as part of the community experience.

What is Nursing Home Care, or Skilled Nursing Care? 

If you need a community option that provides more medical support than assisted living, skilled nursing care or a nursing home is the next choice to consider. Skilled nursing care refers to medical services provided by a team of nursing professionals in the community. Services can include physical therapy, stroke recovery or around-the-clock care. 

For older adults who need advanced or constant medical care beyond what they can get at home or in an assisted living community, a nursing home might be the best option. Here, the dedicated physicians and team members can provide customized, advanced medical treatments and services to optimize the health and lifestyle of each individual.

What Are the Benefits of Skilled Nursing Care? 

Skilled nursing care or a nursing home is the ideal community for those who need regular medical assistance to help them with daily life. Here are some of the top advantages of skilled nursing care: 

  • Relocation is not required. Often you can get the medical services needed within your existing community, limiting the need to move or travel to appointments. 
  • Care is customized. Personalize care to your preferences, recovery goals and desired duration. In some cases a nursing home stay will be temporary until recovery from surgery or treatments is complete.
  • Increased social opportunities. While skilled care is the primary benefit of nursing homes, they also provide ample social opportunities to connect with others and build relationships.  

Is Assisted Living or Skilled Nursing Right for Me or a Loved One?  

As you can see, assisted living and skilled nursing both provide numerous benefits. The final decision likely depends on your health conditions now and in the future. If you are currently semi-independent and require minimal support, assisted living could be the right choice for you. However, if you require more medical support, skilled nursing care, or a nursing home, would likely be the preferred option.

If you need more guidance, discuss these choices with loved ones and your physician. Your doctor can advise based on your long-term needs. When you tour or research senior living communities, ask what type of healthcare services they provide. This will help you decide whether it will address your specific situation. 

Discover Elevated Care at Claridge Court 

As you research your retirement choices, don’t forget to add Claridge Court to the list of options. Our sophisticated services and amenities elevate the retirement experience for all our residents, regardless of whether they are living independently or need skilled nursing or rehabilitation assistance

Discover everything retirement can be at Claridge Court. Book a tour or contact us today.

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