As­sisted liv­ing vs. nurs­ing home: What’s the dif­fer­ence?

Serve Daily - - BUILDING COMMUNITY - By Den­nis McGraw

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.

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