What is the difference between a Nursing Home and Assisted Living?
There is a myth that when someone needs additional help with their care needs that they will have to live in a “Nursing Home,” which is called a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) A SNF consists of two parts or sides. One side is for rehabilitation, where one goes after an illness or an event. The stay is temporary and is paid for by insurance. The other side is for long-term care patients. About 90% of those patients are on the Medicaid program and the other 10% pay privately (the cost is about $6,000.00 monthly) At an SNF, an individual receives extensive medical care concerning a specific condition that would require around the clock nursing care, such as a ventilator; IV therapy; a serious wound, etc. Assisted Living Homes or Communities can provide help with bathing, grooming, dressing, medication management and reminders; toileting; incontinence care, feeding, help with ambulation and transfers; wheelchair escorts, and frequent checks. They would also provide services such as meals, snacks, laundry, bed making, tidying up, housekeeping, and possible transportation.
Signs that my loved one may benefit from a memory care setting
- Poor judgment leading to bad decisions
- Mood and personality changes
- Difficulty accomplishing normal daily tasks
- Problems recognizing family and/or friends
- Repetitive statements or movements
- Increased fear or anxiety
- Paranoia or suspiciousness
- Hallucinations or delusions
- Increased sleeping
- Inappropriate outbursts of anger
- “Sundowning” (in the late afternoon and evening exhibited behaviors are agitation, emotionally unstable, restlessness, anxiety)
- Wandering or exit seeking
- Loss of impulse control (undressing in public, sexual or vulgar talk, excessive spending)
Frequently asked questions when touring an assisted living home or community
How to determine if Assisted Living is needed?
Deciding whether or not Assisted Living is right for you, an aging parent, family member or even your spouse can be extremely difficult. It is an extremely important decision that can be quite stressful if you don’t know where to start. Below are signs to look for:
- Help is needed with ADLs (activities of daily living such as bathing, grooming, dressing, toileting)
- Help is needed with transfers (standing up and sitting down)
- Medication concerns-missed doses, overdoses, running out of medicationsVision Impairment – Macular Degeneration
- Frequent falls
- Depression- crying, excessive sleeping, or fatalistic thinking
- Confusion / memory loss- repeating themselves, misplacing items
- Social isolation – loss of spouse, loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities, losing touch with friends
- Unkempt-bathing less frequently, or wearing soiled clothing or the same ones day after day
- Not being able to maintain one’s own household or neglecting to pay bills
- Fear – increasingly fearful of others or paranoid. More dependent on others. Afraid to be alone
- Deficient nutrition- skipping meals, not eating properly, or drinking enough fluids
Who is paying for Independent and Assisted living and what is the cost?
There are several ways to pay for Assisted Living
- Private pay
- Long-term care insurance (provided requirements are met)
- Veteran’s Administration Aid and Attendance benefit (provided requirements are met)
- Medicaid (ALTCS)
Prices vary from $1,600.00 on up to $6,500.00 per person, based on the care needs, and the type of community or home that is chosen.
Rent is on a month to month basis. A 30 day move out notice is required however
***Medicare does NOT pay for Independent or Assisted Living.