Assisted Living vs. Nursing Home: Understanding the Differences

We often get asked what the differences are between the levels of care we offer at Trillium Communities. All too often, retirement and care homes are all referred to as “nursing homes” even though there are huge differences between them all. We’ve already told you about the differences between assisted living and independent living. But those aren’t the only two with major differences.

Here are some essential differences you need to know about assisted living care and nursing homes.

 

Care Levels

 

Nursing homes (sometimes referred to as long-term care homes, complex care, or extended care facilities) offer a high level of medical care to their residents. Most people in this level of care wouldn’t be able to care for themselves at home. Often, they require round the clock care and monitoring.

People living in assisted living homes may also need some medical care. However, generally, they don’t need to be as closely monitored as someone in a nursing home. For example, they may need assistance bathing, dressing, and being transferred from bed to a wheelchair. Some may even need daily medication administration. Assisted living is also an excellent place for someone who’s experiencing the beginning of memory loss. Many in this position don’t feel totally comfortable living at home by themselves any longer. Although assisted living staff are happy to offer care, the focus is on helping the resident keep their independence for as long as possible.

 

Levels of Staff

 

Although each facility differs slightly, in a nursing home you’ll typically find several care aids. Each of these care aids are assigned to only a few patients each. Registered nurses and LPNs are usually present on every floor or ward. Physical therapists and other health specialists, like respiratory therapists, are also on-site full-time, too. Usually, doctors and other specialists visit weekly or even daily to check on the patients.

Assisted living’s goal, on the other hand, is less about managing patients and more about providing extra help. Some people may only need an extra hand with their general daily activities, so there are only a few care aids present. Most assisted living homes will have only one RN or LPN on call in case of emergency. Typically, residents of assisted living can still schedule and attend their own off-site doctor appointment.

 

Living Quarters

 

In assisted living facilities, residents have a room that’s comfortable and feels close to home. Generally, the suites will resemble small apartments.

However, since people in nursing homes require a higher level of monitoring and medical care, these rooms will likely look more like hospital rooms, complete with hospital beds and medical equipment. Shared areas, like the dining room and activity areas, are often kept as cozy and homely as possible to provide a comforting environment.

 

Contact Trillium Communities

 

Trillium Communities offer independent living, assisted living, and long-term care. We’re proud to have many different types of activities for all abilities, great meals, housekeeping, various levels of comfort care, and top-notch medical help. For more information on any of these levels of care or to tour one of our boutique communities, please contact us today.