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How nursing homes and assisted living communities differ

Watching your parents age is rarely easy, and it may be difficult to accept that your parent may no longer be safe living on his or her own. There are many considerations involved in deciding whether to move your mother or father into a nursing home or assisted living community. It is also important to understand how the two types of residences differ.

Per the National Institute on Aging, nursing homes and assisted living communities differ in several important areas, including the types of services they provide.

Assisted living communities

If your parent is on the brink of being able to live alone, but you have concerns about him or her doing so, an assisted living community may serve your family’s needs. Assisted living communities involve your loved one living on his or her own in an onsite apartment. Medical and other care is available to your parent whenever he or she needs it, but residents in these communities typically require less care than those living in nursing homes.

Nursing homes

If your parent needs help performing basic daily tasks, such as dressing, washing and eating, a nursing home environment may be more appropriate. Nursing homes often have more of a medical focus than assisted living communities. Residents who live in nursing homes may also have long-term conditions or conditions that are likely to deteriorate over time. There is also a higher level of supervision in nursing homes than there is in assisted living communities.

There are many differences between assisted living communities and nursing homes. However, arguably the biggest difference is the level of care and assistance each type of residence provides.

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