Assisted Living vs. Nursing Homes

As loved one’s age, they often become the younger generation’s responsibility. One of the most important decisions is to decide where a parent or grandparent will live once as they are unable to care for themselves completely. Assisted living communities and nursing homes are the only two options for senior living in Florida, but it is important to understand the differences.

The Requirements

Assisted living provides aging individuals a place to live on their own and retain some independence, but with the option to receive help in the form of bathing, dressing and meal preparation. The focus of an assisted living facility is to keep its residents socially active and prevent isolation. A nursing home also provides meals and helps with bathing and dressing, but your loved one will not have a separate apartment or housing unit. He or she will have a room and may share it with another person. However, medical care will be available 24 hours per day.

Medical Care

When it comes to senior living in Florida, a nursing home is licensed to employ doctors and nurses and are regulated by the Department of Health. A loved one who is in very frail health and may need medical care at any time would be better suited to a nursing home. Assisted living facilities are regulated by the Department of Social Services and do not have to have a medical staff. Even if they do have one, the law prevents them from providing any hands-on care that is deemed skilled nursing care.

Specialized Care Waivers

Sometimes a patient’s diagnosis blurs the line between needs. Patients with dementia-related illness can live at a licensed assisted living facility, but that facility must have a special license and take special steps to protect those patients. It should be noted that an assisted living facility still would not have the authority to stop your loved one from wandering.

Regardless of which type of senior living in Florida is right for your loved one, always research the facility before using its services. Check licenses, standing with the proper state department and how other residents and families feel about the service provided.