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Choosing Between Assisted Living and Nursing Homes

March 10, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 123

There are numerous options for senior care currently available, ranging from home care and independent living to full nursing homes. Choosing the type of senior care that's right for your loved one is a challenging task, and much research needs to be undertaken to find the type of care that would best suit their needs. When looking for the right type of care, keep the wishes of your loved ones at the forefront, but also keep in mind their health needs, personal preferences, as well as likes and dislikes. Knowing the difference between different types of senior care will help you make the right decision.

Nursing Homes

Nursing Homes are otherwise known as Long-Term Care or Skilled Nursing Facilities or Homes for the Aged. Nursing homes are for elderly individuals who require assistance and care 24/7. Seniors with debilitating medical problems or cognitive impairments, who require professional assistance, opt for this type of care option. The distinguishing feature of nursing homes is that they provide professional medical assistance, convenience of access to physical therapists, many kinds of healthcare practitioners, as well as nutritional meals and personal care amenities.

Assisted Living Facilities

Assisted living combines independent living with assistance from professionals when necessary. Support services are available when needed.

In these types of communities, seniors receive help with certain daily activities, such personal care, medication reminders, or other activities, all dependent on individual needs.

Here, seniors' living space usually has his/her own furnishings and decorations; staff are required to be accommodating to the privacy and independence of each resident.

Thus, the main difference between nursing homes and assisted living communities is that the former offer professional and on-going medical services, while in the latter, assistance is offered largely with regular daily activities.

Which is more appropriate at each stage in the life of a senior?

Assisted living residences and communities can look like single-family dwellings or apartment buildings including common visiting and dining areas. The atmosphere of the suites and studios in an assisted living community are usually home-like including kitchenettes offering the resident the choice to dine alone or in a community dining room.

Seniors that have experienced a decline in health and require assistance with one or more daily life activities may be perfectly suited to an assisted living environment. Many Assisted Living arrangements and communities allow the individual to age in place rather than relocate to a facility that provides additional levels of care and the way to find out whether the residence of your loved one qualifies for the option to age in place is to contact the division of government, usually the Ministry of Health, in your province.

Nursing Homes employ health care professionals that are available to their residents as needed and they also offer most of the same options that an assisted living community offers. For example, social get togethers and excursions, physical therapy and exercise classes. The bottom line is to assess the needs of your loved one and match them to the type of care and the options provided at each level.

Seniors Zen is a free and comprehensive guide to finding nursing homes, assisted living and home care facilities, as well as retirement homes across Canada. Please visit our website to learn more about retirement homes and senior housing in Canada.

Source: EzineArticles
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