The lines are often blurred between assisted living, nursing homes, and every other type of senior housing on the market today. Since most people are thrust into the role of caring for a parent overnight (and it all begins with “the call” detailing a stroke, a fall resulting in a hip fracture, or some other event requiring a hospital visit and subsequent stay in a senior care facility), there isn’t much time to tease out the nuances of assisted living versus nursing home.
It often comes down to a combination of what the family decides, what the hospital discharge planner or overseeing physician recommends, and perhaps most important, what facility has an open bed. Also, since every state licenses senior care facilities differently and every provider operates them in their own unique way, it is nearly impossible to paint them with a broad brush; no two senior care communities are alike.
However, for those who have a view of assisted living as one step up from a nursing home, change your perspective. In assisted living, residents run the gamut from completely independent and healthy to those needing just a little bit of help to those reliant on round-the-clock care. No two seniors in assisted living are alike.
When it comes to your family’s turn to make a senior care decision, plan ahead and explore as many local facilities as possible, because when crisis strikes, it is much harder to find the best fit.