Independent living

Published on January 18th, 2016 | by Balanced Family

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The Big Decision Assisted Living vs Nursing Home for Your Aging Parent

Assisted living services

It’s rarely easy when an aging parent must leave their home and move in to any type of care facility. Helping to choose the right facility can be even more difficult. Every family situation is unique, but there are some common key elements to keep in mind when choosing between assisted living vs nursing home for an elderly parent.

    Key Aspects of Nursing Homes

Residents of nursing homes are usually in a shared hospital style room with community dining and recreation areas. Since a nursing home’s primary objective is to provide medical care for physically and cognitively impaired residents, these facilities have a limited offering of recreation or lifestyle activities. Residents spend the majority of their days in their rooms, with long-term skilled nursing care available as needed.

Most nursing homes can be paid for using medicaid or medicare, as well as private health insurance plans. Base costs for these facilities will vary depending on level of care required, as well as type of room. A major benefit of nursing home care is that most of the costs are billed directly to the insurance policy, whether it’s private or medicaid.

    Key Aspects of Assisted Care Facilities

Assisted living amenities include private, apartment style living spaces which are generally furnished and decorated by residents. These usually feature efficiency kitchens for the personal use of the resident, as well as larger communal kitchen areas for more elaborate cooking needs. While assistance with personal needs is available day and night in assisted care facilities, residents are required to maintain a certain level of self care. More than one-third of residents in assisted lifestyle communities required assistance with daily hygiene needs such as bathing and dressing.

When considering assisted living vs nursing home needs, a major deciding factor may be that health insurance policies will often not cover the independent living care facility, as they are not medically licensed. Medicaid and Medicare will cover basic health needs while living in a senior care community, but the cost of the home itself is not covered.

Making the choice of assisted living vs nursing home care can be a difficult time for a family. Sitting down and considering all of the facts and important elements as a group together can help your elderly parent feel better about the choice. The right choice can make all the difference in the quality of life for your aging parent’s final years.


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