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What is Senior Assisted Living?

Senior assisted Living caregiver combing senior mans hair

Earlier this month, we wrote about independent living. This is a type of housing which allows senior citizens to have access to dining, medical care and various activities, but still live independently.

This week, we’ll focus on senior assisted living, which offers more support for older people who might have trouble with daily tasks.

Senior man with walker at assisted living apartmentResidents will typically rent an apartment at one of these facilities. That rent will cover things like laundry, utility, meals and transportation.

Aside from getting to live a low-maintenance life, people in an assisted living community get to take advantage of a busy events calendar, trips and other opportunities to socialize.

“But wait,” you might be asking. “Isn’t that what a nursing home does?”

Not quite. Let’s take a look at what senior assisted living is and how it differs from nursing home care.

What is senior assisted living?

Before we get into the differences, we should note that there are quite a few similarities between nursing homes and assisted living centers:

  • Nursing homes and assisted living centers both provide support for basic daily life activities such as bathing and dressing, laundry and other housekeeping, and transportation.
  • They can both help seniors manage their medication, something that can be tough when you’re juggling multiple prescriptions.
  • They both offer residents well-balanced, nutritious meals three times a day, which eases the burden of having to plan meals at home.
  • Elderly woman holding on handrail in toilet.Nursing homes and assisted living communities are both designed with the security of their residents in mind.  Features such as grab bars and handrails and emergency call systems, and having staff members on duty around the clock help seniors feel at ease.
  • Finally, both senior assisted living centers and nursing homes provide a range of activities to help residents feel better, not just physically, but on an emotional and spiritual level as well. These places allow them to connect with other people at a time when isolation could put them at risk for health issues such as diabetes and depression.

The difference between assisted living and nursing homes

So, what is senior assisted living, and what makes it different than a nursing home? The biggest differentiators involve the types of buildings and the types of care.

In a nursing home, the residents need care around the clock. They usually have more serious medical conditions that require skilled nurses or physical therapists.

With assisted living, the residents might have some health problems that require custodial care. However, they typically don’t require 24/7 supervision. It might be that they have mobility issues and need help around the house. They may have memory loss and can’t live on their own.

Nursing home caregiver with senior adult woman, serving a mealNursing homes tend to have a more institutional feel, due to the type of care they offer. Residents will typically have to share their rooms.

Assisted living communities tend to be more unique. They might be big apartment buildings in a city or a collection of suburban townhouses. And residents will generally get their own suite or apartment.

Assisted living and aging in place

Now that we’ve answered the question ‘What is senior assisted living?” we’ll ask another question: What do you need?

Most people prefer to age in place. But that isn’t always an option, particularly for people dealing with a serious illness.

But what if the thing that was keeping you or your loved one from getting full use of your home was your staircase?

That’s where Pennsylvania Stairlifts is able to assist you. With our stair lifts, seniors can access every floor of their home at a time when steps might be a challenge. Contact us today to see how we can help you age in place.

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