The Difference Between Assisted Living and Retirement Homes

Are you considering a retirement home or an assisted living facility for yourself or a loved one? It's important to understand the differences between the two, so you can make an informed decision. The three main differences between a retirement community and an assisted living facility are the level of care they provide, the amenities and services they offer, and the price you pay for this care. When it comes to level of care, assisted living facilities provide a higher level of care than retirement communities. Assisted living communities offer support and assistance with activities of daily living, such as dressing, showering, moving and managing medications.

Nursing homes, on the other hand, serve people with complex and very demanding health needs. In many cases, these health needs include conditions such as dementia or serious mobility issues that make independence simply not possible. The focus is on meeting medical needs by administering medications, managing chronic diseases and, in many cases, supporting people who are bedridden. When it comes to amenities and services, both independent living and assisted living communities offer low-maintenance lifestyles, luxury amenities, wellness resources, and welcoming neighbors, all of which can improve the quality of life.

However, assisted living offers key benefits compared to nursing homes and is an exceptionally good option for older adults who want maximum independence, quality programming and exceptional nutrition, as well as a sense of community and support in activities of daily living. Assisted living communities also offer specialized diets to adapt to medical conditions such as diabetes or heart disease. Finally, when it comes to price you pay for care, assisted living facilities are not regulated by the federal or state governments, so there are no strict rules on how they should be staffed. Residents who live in an independent living community do not receive daily support or assistance from caregivers, which means that there are no designated levels of support in most independent living communities.

An assisted living residential community typically has between 25 and 120 apartments, which vary in size, from a single room to several bedrooms with a kitchen.Knowing the difference between assisted living and a nursing home, as well as knowing when each one is appropriate, can help you find a community that you love and that meets your needs without compromising your lifestyle. Assisted living communities encourage independence for people with a variety of abilities. You've spent a lifetime mastering new skills, growing in wisdom, and helping others. Therefore, it can be frustrating to discover that at a time in your life when you have more experience and wisdom than ever people speak disdainfully to you with euphemisms and the language of the elderly.

So it can be tempting to assume that assisted living is just a euphemism for a nursing home. Nothing could be further from the truth.Assisted living is actually an alternative to the nursing homes of the past which often prioritized health care without considering the importance of agency independence and emotional well-being. Assisted living communities understand that physical and mental well-being are inextricably linked and place great emphasis on both.If you're trying to decide between assisted living and a nursing home try asking yourself the following questions: Does the person need assistance with activities of daily living? Does he or she need specialized medical care? Is there an opportunity for socialization? Is there an opportunity for independence? Is there an opportunity for growth?Life in assisted independent living offers opportunities to socialize make new friends and experience new adventures. However if you or your loved one would benefit from receiving assistance or support 24 hours a day assisted living could be the right next step.