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What's The Difference Between A Nursing Home And Assisted Living?

Nursing homes, or Skilled Nursing Facilities and Assisted Living Facilities are sometimes confused. Some people require more medical attention than others and therefore might not be a suitable candidate for assisted living.

Nursing Homes

A nursing home or skilled nursing facility (SNF) has 24-hour nursing care. They are medical facilities and 90% of the time covered by health insurance. On average, SNFs have 80-100 beds in each facility, a Registered Nurse on duty 24 hours, Physical, Occupational, and Speech therapies on-site, and Social Work staff.

SNFs usually allow residents to leave for a day or so with loved ones if the resident is physically capable. Some residents are there for long-term care, others for short-term care or rehab; perhaps after a fall.

Some rooms are private, other may have 2 or more residents sharing. There's usually a dining area, outdoor area, and an Activities Staff that plans fun games and throughout the week.

Assisted Living

Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs) can differ in size and offerings, but they all offer more "freedom" and a homelike setting. Assisted living has 24-hour staff but they do not need as many medical certifications/licensure (in some states) as SNFs. The staff is certified in CPR, First Aid, and medication administration. They provide all meals and help with activities of daily living (ADLs).

Health Insurance does not cover the cost of assisted living, but will continue to cover your medications, medical appointments, and medical supplies.

Assisted living can be in a house that's been converted to an assisted living, or in a much larger building with suites that favor hotel rooms. The smaller ones usually have 4-8 beds, with private and shared rooms. The larger assisted livings can have 30+ rooms, lounge areas, outdoor areas, dining areas, theaters and game rooms.

I know the larger facility sounds amazing,amazing, but smaller facilities have their benefits too. The most popular, lower monthly costs. We'll get more into the difference between large and small ALFs in the next post.

Lots of transfer to ALF after a hospital stay or a short/rehab stay at a SNF. Some people transfer from home when living at home is no longer safe. Transferring to ALF can also be short term or respite. Perhaps you need additional rehab or your loved ones who usually care for you at home are going on vacation. Either way, all the benefits of the ALF are available to you during your stay.

If you or a loved one have additional questions about ALF, please call me and I'll be happy to answer your questions and help you find an ALF that best suits your needs and budget.



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