Do I need a Nursing Home?

Explaining the Difference between Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities

When seniors begin to lose the ability to handle all aspects of daily living independently, many of them begin to think about transitioning to a nursing home setting.  However, while nursing homes still play a critical role in senior care, the nursing home is no longer the preferred option for seniors who simply need assistance meeting daily living needs.  Instead, assisted living facilities, which encourage seniors to live as independently as possible, presents a wonderful alternative for seniors who need some help but do not have the complex medical needs that require them to live in a skilled nursing facility.

Nursing homes focus on providing medical care.

While we have come to associate the nursing home with the elderly, nursing homes, like the names imply, are really about providing medical care.  They provide round-the-clock skilled nursing care for those who require a high level of medical care, whether due to age or due to a medical condition.  Nursing home residents may be long-term or may be there as part of a rehabilitation program due to an injury or following a surgery.  While the focus is on care, nursing homes do make an effort to provide socialization and activities for residents when possible.  Residents in nursing homes will generally, though not always, share a room with at least one additional resident.  While they are a great place for patients with medical needs that can be met outside of a hospital environment but not in a less-comprehensive medical facility, they are not the ideal location for seniors who are more active and want to interact more with their community.

Assisted living communities offer flexibility to meet the changing needs of an aging population.

Assisted living communities are designed for seniors who do not have the complex medical needs of those in skilled nursing facilities, though residents living in assisted living facilities may find themselves temporary residents of skilled nursing facilities if undergoing rehabilitation after an injury or surgery.  Assisted living residents do not tend to have medical difficulties that require daily nursing care, but, instead need some level of help with daily living, such as housekeeping or meal preparation.  Of course, these needs can fluctuate.  At Chelsea Senior Living, we believe in a responsive form of Assisted Living, so that seniors can dictate the level of care that they receive according to their current needs, which helps keep seniors living as independently as they can for as long as possible.


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