Are you ready for assisted living?

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Ready for assisted living?
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Choosing the appropriate care option for yourself or for a family member or friend is a difficult decision. Any move is stressful, and moving a loved one into an assisted living home or other elderly care facility often involves leaving a place they called home for many years.

To make the transition from private residence to a care facility as smooth as possible, it’s best to go into the decision process armed with knowledge. That is the purpose of this guide: to provide you with the information you need to make a considered decision and find the care option that’s right for you or your loved one.

There are three key questions that will arise in your decision process:

What are the benefits of choosing an assisted living home/facility over a nursing home?

What is the difference between assisted living facilities and nursing homes?

How do I choose the right assisted living home?

We’ll begin with an overview of the benefits and drawbacks of assisted living homes, so you’ll know if this type of facility is the right choice for you or your loved ones needs.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Assisted Living homes

An assisted living home is just one of many elderly care options at your disposal. Other potential options include nursing homes or care homes.

Basically assisted living is an attractive option for many people who don’t require round-the-clock care or support.

Benefits of Assisted Living

One of the reasons that assisted living is appealing to many people is that it offers a relatively high level of independence. If your parent or grandparent is in good health and doesn’t require much assistance with everyday tasks, assisted living is an ideal option. In fact, residing in an assisted living home is similar to having a private apartment, complete with private bathroom and own furniture, but you can rest easy with the knowledge that trained staff are on hand to help when necessary.

In addition, residents no longer have to cook for themselves or clean their homes This removes much of the burden of living in a private residence and greatly reduces the likelihood of falls and other accidents. Meals and cleaning services are provided by staff, in addition to other support.

Residents are also allowed to bring familiar and well-loved furniture and knick-knacks from their previous residence. This can significantly lessen the difficulty of the transition from leaving their own residence. Another benefit of assisted living is security in that residents are in a safe and secure environment with controlled access.

There are also social benefits in that residents are in the company of other residents, staff and volunteers thereby ensuring that there is no shortage of opportunities for friendship and social interaction. Many homes offer regular, organised group activities, as well as exercise programs, even on-site libraries or gardens where residents can bond over common interests. It is widely believed that such interaction can help maintain health and also reduce the incidence of depression whereas continuing to live in one’s own residence can become lonely and isolating.

Another benefit that can’t be downplayed is cost which can be a very real limiting factor when it comes to choosing a residence. Assisted living homes do represent a more affordable option than nursing homes and similar long-term care facilities, since residents retain more independence and therefore they do not require dedicated care.

Drawbacks of Assisted Living Homes

Despite their benefits, assisted living homes aren’t for everyone. Though they are one of the least costly care options, the monthly expenses can prove too high for some.

If costs are prohibitive for you, keep in mind that you may be able to seek financial relief through avenues such as Social Services and County Council Support Services.

Another potential drawback is the reduced level of care. If the elderly person in question has more extensive medical needs, an assisted living environment may prove to be insufficient in terms of services offered. If your loved one is very ill, has greatly reduced mobility or dementia, a nursing home may well be required. An assisted living home will assess the needs of the person when evaluating whether or not it’s a good fit. Note that there are assisted living homes which provide specialised care for some types of illness, including Alzheimer’s. These are sometimes called special care units.

Finally, the change in environment may be a difficult adjustment for elderly people who are accustomed to living alone. Homes generally offer a high level of privacy and independence, but still less than a private residence. Additionally, each facility will be governed by its own set of rules and regulations. For example, there are usually restrictions on pets and smoking. .

These are some of the pros and cons that will affect your choice of care. In the next section of this guide, we’ll review the differences between assisted living homes and nursing homes.

Assisted Living Homes vs. Nursing/Care Homes: What’s the Difference?

Two of the most common options for elderly people is assisted living or nursing homes. If you’re at the point of choosing a long-term care option for an elderly relative, it’s useful to understand the difference between these two types of facilities, so you’ll know you’re making the right choice for your loved one.

Some of the primary ways that the two main options differ include:

●    Level of care

●    Cost

●    Privacy

Below, we’ll take a look at the key differences between these two types of care facilities in terms of each of these three factors.

Level of Care

The main difference between an assisted living and a nursing home has to do with the level of care provided by staff. In an assisted living environment, residents are assumed to be capable of maintaining a relatively high degree of independence. Though your parent or other loved one may need a little help with day-to-day tasks (presumably the reason you’re considering  moving them to a supported facility in the first place), he or she shouldn’t require constant care and attention as these establishments have fewer staff members than nursing homes, so they’re not a good option if the individual can’t move around on their own.

A nursing home, on the other hand, is more equipped to provide daily health care services for individuals with more complicated medical conditions to monitor, including chronic, debilitating illnesses or severe cognitive impairment. Though a nursing home is not a hospital, the emphasis is on health care services, provided by doctors and nurses, rather than limited care and assistance for older residents.

Nursing Home and Assisted Living Cost

Cost is another significant difference between assisted living and nursing homes. Because nursing homes employ more full-time staff members to provide a higher level of care, they are usually significantly more expensive. On average, the cost of an assisted living home is often less than half that of a nursing home facility. For this reason, unless the individual requires a high level of care on a daily basis, assisted living is usually preferable.

Privacy & Atmosphere

An assisted living environment provides more privacy than a nursing home. Residents’ apartments feel more like a private residence, with your own bathroom and kitchenette. At a nursing home, there is more activity in and out of the room, and residents may need to share a room with another resident due to cost and space limitations.

Furthermore, residents have more control over the environment with assisted living, because they can furnish their rooms however they choose, creating a more home-like atmosphere. This is a significant benefit for many people, to whom nursing homes can feel cold, sterile, and generic, and therefore stifling to your loved one’s individual personality.

By this point, you should have a strong sense of which type of care facility is the best fit for your family member or friend. If you’ve decided that assisted living is the right choice for you, read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s), where we’ll go over some of the questions you need to consider when choosing a home that offers assisted living.

Frequently asked Questions
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