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Assisted Living & Rehab Sarasota

Assisted Living Community vs. a Nursing Home - What's the Difference?

by Frank Herold
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Everyone wants to remain able and vital as long as possible, but there are certain situations and circumstances when a person needs extra help in order to maximize their quality of life. There are many options for those who need some assistance to properly monitor certain health conditions, and/or maintain a household, as well as those who need more intense daily care.

Related Blog: Top 5 Common Misconceptions About Assisted Living

What is an Assisted Living Community? 

Assisted living is a type of living arrangement where an individual has a private (or shared) room or apartment within a specific community. These assisted living communities can vary in size, from a few dozen residents who share a large, specially-equipped home, to a few hundred residents that occupy a large building or buildings, each with their own private apartment.

Services Provided in Assisted Living

What makes assisted living arrangements unique are the services they provide. If someone is a part of an assisted living community, they can receive help with medication reminders and management, bathing and bathroom assistance (if needed), housekeeping assistance, meal delivery, or an option to gather with others for community meals. 

Assisted living communities are great for people who want to maintain a level of independence, while taking advantage of services that handle some of the more strenuous daily activities such as cleaning and cooking.

Additional Benefits of Assisted Living Communities

Another one of the great benefits to assisted living communities is that in some cases, residents can decide how much or how little privacy they would like to have, as well as how much social interaction they would like with other residents. 

They can participate in some of the leisure activities offered by the facility such as card playing, musical entertainment, or an outside group excursion to play putt-putt golf. When they are done socializing with their friends, they can retreat to their own room or apartment.

Is Assisted Living the Same as an Independent Living Community?

Although assisted living sounds much like an independent living community, there are some differences. Independent living communities are made up of seniors who are able to live on their own and manage their own affairs, but prefer to live near other like-minded individuals primarily for social reasons. 

Independent living communities typically offer a variety of group social activities, and may offer services such as meal preparation, laundry, housekeeping, etc. Residents typically have their own apartment or small home within the community.

What is a Nursing Home?

nursing homeA nursing home is a facility that offers medical care and assistance to residents 24 hours a day/7 days a week. Although nursing homes do not necessarily have doctors on staff, both Medicare and Medicaid-certified nursing homes are required to have a licensed nurse on-site, at least part of every day. 

Nursing homes are for individuals who require 24-hour supervision, with easy access to trained medical help. The nursing home staff takes care of all household activities such as meal preparation, laundry, cleaning, changing bed linens, etc. 

Nursing home residents will also receive medication management, and physical assistance with activities such as getting in and out of bed, bathing, eating, getting dressed, and toileting. 

Lastly, spending a period of time in a nursing home doesn't mean a resident must expect to live there permanently. Some elderly residents only have a temporary stay as they recover from an intensive surgery or illness. Others only stay long enough to receive intense skilled care such as physical, occupational, or respiratory therapy. After the resident shows improvement and if their doctor agrees after reviewing their health status, they can be transferred back to their home or assisted living facility. 
  

What’s the Difference Between a Nursing Home and Assisted Living?

As far as which facility is the right one for any given individual, several factors come into play, although some scenarios are more obvious than others. Individuals who are easily-confused and who cannot prepare their own meals or toilet themselves will need the 24-hour care provided by nursing homes. 

More able individuals may technically fit within an independent living community, but they prefer to live in a shared-room assisted living facility because they want more daily companionship and social interaction.


Want to visit and tour an independent living community and see it all for yourself? Contact us today to schedule a tour of Sarasota Bay Club today to see everything our community has to offer.

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