Assisted living vs. nursing home: What’s the difference?
Senior living options are on the rise. With an aged population set to hit 72 million by 2050, housing options are springing up everywhere. Assisted Living (AL) and Nursing Homes (NH) are the fastest-growing alternatives. But what is the difference between NH’s and AL’s?
The short definition is NH’s care for those with moderate to high needs and AL’s care for those with low to moderate needs. However, the complete definition of care in each facility is a lot more involved. Nursing Homes have been around for a very long time. They have drastically changed in the last 15 years from an extension of hospital wings to ritzy, upscale rehab centers. However, the old stigma of going to the NH to die still lingers. Nursing Homes serve an important purpose and if operated correctly can be a positive experience for many people. They are by definition clinical and are heavily regulated by state and federal government groups.
People living in NH’s often share rooms and have hard-surface floors, separation or scoot along with their feet, they may curtains and shared bathrooms. They have qualify for an AL. access to RN’s and a house doctor. However, The most common practice of paying because of staffing ratios, staff time for Nursing Home care is Medicaid and is limited and they often cannot spend the Medicare and there often are large daily time the patient needs or wants. or monthly co-pays. Private rates for a
I left the NH industry and moved into shared long-term care bed at a Nursing to the AL industry a few years ago and I Home range from $5,000 to $6,500 per love it! AL facilities are usually warm and month. inviting. The rooms are carpeted, the bathrooms The most common practices for paying are private, and most facilities have for Assisted Living are private pay and beautiful dining areas, exciting activities veteran benefits. There is also a newer and large volunteer groups. For myself, I program called “The New Choice Waiver.” prefer the smaller-type AL homes. They This Medicaid program was created to are in neighborhoods; they feel and look allow people to move out of NH’s and into like homes, and the staff to resident ratio AL’s and Medicaid pays the costs. Private is usually very good, which equates to pay costs in an AL are from $2,000 to high quality care. $4,000 per month.
Some people who live in AL’s have When deciding which is best for you, higher needs. There are complicated ways NH or AL, get educated, know your options to decide if someone qualifies to live in and tour facilities to find the place an AL. However, one easy way to tell if that feels the best. you or your loved one can live in an AL is Dennis McGraw is a licensed Nursing to ask, can they evacuate themselves in an Home Administrator, has a B.S. in health emergency, or can they assist in their own care administration and is current owner/ evacuation? If they can help to transfer to operator of Beehive Homes assisted living a wheel chair, and maybe even wheel it in Spanish Fork, Salem and Payson.