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The difference between Assisted Living Facilities and Nursing Homes

Do you know the difference between a Nursing Home and an Assisted Living Facility? Most people don't. Therefore, they end up placing their loved ones in the wrong place spending more time and money than is necessary.

In the dictionary, nursing home is defined as a private residential institution equipped to care for persons unable to look after themselves, as the aged or chronically ill. Nursing homes are typically a good option for people who need daily health services, such as, getting out of bed, taking medications, or using the restroom. It's also a good option for people who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and are unable to perform basic activities of daily living. Basic activities of daily living include bathing, dressing, eating, transferring, continence, and toileting.

Assisted living facilities are generally for people who need assistance or supervision with activities of daily living. It is considered a facility for people who can no longer live independently, but don't need the level of care that a nursing home provides. Assisted living facilities promote independence and dignity. A typical assisted living facility resident would usually be a senior citizen man or a woman who does not need the intensive care of a nursing home but prefers more companionship and needs some assistance in day-to-day living

The biggest difference between nursing homes and assisted living facilities is that assisted living facilities are not required to offer health care or have a skilled health care provider available at all times.

Nursing home facilities and assisted living facilities differ also in terms of the buildings themselves. When people think of a nursing home, they often think of a hospital like atmosphere with several rooms and maybe two beds to a room, as well as nurses or aids walking around to checking on residents and providing medical assistance. Assisted living facilities however, can be more like a converted house or apartment style.

Medicare doesn't offer any payment towards the fees for an assisted living facility. Medicare will also help pay for short term stays in a nursing home. However, a few states are authorized to utilize Medicaid wavers to help families pay for care. Medicaid will pick up the majority of the cost of nursing home care for those with limited income.