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Not all residential care facilities provide the same types or levels of services. If you need to find a facility for an aging loved one, you face a complex decision that could impact their future health and well-being.

Both assisted living facilities and nursing homes provide senior care. However, different types of facilities cater to differing needs. Here, we look at the similarities and differences, to help inform your decision.

What Is Assisted Living?

Assisted living facilities are designed for individuals who are generally healthy and independent but may require some assistance with the activities of daily living. This includes tasks such as bathing, dressing, meal preparation, medication management and transportation. The goal of assisted living is to help residents remain as self-sufficient as possible while providing assistance when needed.

Residents in assisted living facilities typically live in their own private or semi-private space. This could include a living area, bedroom, bathroom and kitchen – although some facilities offer smaller spaces for residents consisting of only a bedroom and bath.

Many assisted living facilities also provide social and recreational activities to encourage an active and engaged lifestyle. These might include general interest classes, fitness programs, group outings, musical performances and more.

What Is a Nursing Home?

Nursing homes, sometimes called skilled nursing facilities, provide a more extensive level of medical care. These facilities are typically appropriate for someone with a more serious level of health condition or a disability. Nursing homes are typically staffed by professional nurses and medical personnel who provide full-time supervision and care.

Unlike assisted living, nursing homes provide a more hospital-like environment, with an emphasis on providing a more extensive level of care. Residents may share rooms and experience less emphasis on independent living.

Nursing homes may also offer services such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and other rehabilitative services. Social and recreational opportunities are typically more limited in this environment.

Choosing Between Assisted Living and a Nursing Home

The decision between assisted living and a nursing home should be based on your loved one’s health status, personal preferences, and lifestyle.

For someone who is relatively healthy and values their independence — but also needs some help with daily tasks — assisted living may be the best fit. On the other hand, if the person requires constant medical supervision and has limited mobility or serious health conditions, a nursing home may be more appropriate.

It is also important to realize that, at some point in the future, your loved one might need an increased level of care, should their needs change or their health status deteriorate. Monitor your loved one’s status closely and talk with their medical treatment professionals if you have questions or concerns.

Quality care for our elderly loved ones in assisted living or nursing homes is of paramount importance. Regrettably, we often hear distressing stories of seniors sustaining injuries due to inadequate care. Ensuring that these facilities meet high standards of care, compassion, and safety is not just an obligation but an expression of our love and respect for those who once cared for us. Every elderly individual deserves the utmost attention and quality care as they navigate their later years.

If you suspect that a loved one might be suffering from abuse or neglect in a residential care setting, it is critical that you get help right away. In Columbus, Ohio, an assisted living abuse lawyer from Clark, Perdue & List can help. Contact us now for a confidential personal consultation.