An Assisted Living Community Is Not The Same Thing As A Nursing Home
Many of my clients are unfamiliar with the concept of assisted living communities. In their minds the choices if they can no longer live independently at home are to move in with one of their adult children or to be sent to the dreaded nursing home.
The nursing home (skilled nursing) is the provider of the highest level of long-term care. The rooms typically resemble hospital rooms with hospital beds. The nursing home provides a much needed service to patients needing a high level of care, but are not attractive alternatives for relatively independent seniors who just need the safety net of a little additional assistance and supervision.
The assisted living community is a relatively new concept in the world of long-term care. The need for assisted living evolved as modern medicine increased life expectancies. More and more seniors began living with chronic conditions that made it unsafe to live alone in their homes, but that were not acute enough to warrant nursing home care. The assisted living community sprung up to fill this need for an intermediate step between home and nursing home care.
Most assisted living communities offer residents the opportunity to live in their own room or apartment. Therefore, residents are able to maintain the privacy that is so important to them. Residents sometimes even have kitchenettes in their living areas that give them the chance to prepare their own meals if they on occasion don’t want to eat in the community dining room.
What makes assisted living communities safer than home are the built in support systems. Assistance is available for everything from cleaning the apartment to bathing or dressing. For a resident who is a fall risk when living independently at home, one of the most attractive advantages of an assisted living community can be the reassurance that someone is checking on their well-being on a regular basis and the knowledge that if they did fall, they wouldn’t risk lying in their home for hours until someone realized they needed assistance.
So if your health has made it unsafe for you to live independently at home any longer, consider exploring moving into an assisted living community as a very viable and potentially attractive option for maintaining your independence while enjoying the benefits of a built in safety net.