The concept of assisted living for senior citizen is relatively new, having been popularized in the United States in the 1990s. The idea centers around assisted living communities and the willingness of regular individuals to rent a room in their house and look after a senior citizen. For many people, assisted living concepts come as convenient alternative to nursing homes and it is true that they offer several key benefits that these institutions lack. However, the two terms are not interchangeable and they should not be confused. Here is a brief comparison between the two based on three essential criteria: costs, services and environment.
Even though most people think of price as a defining criterion, it’s important to know the difference between nursing homes and assisted living in terms of the services offered. In nursing homes, the elderly can receive professional medical assistance if they suffer from a certain condition or they are recovering after surgery. The senior citizen is treated firstly as a patient; should he or she present the risk of a stroke, for example, the staff there can successfully intervene. However, assisted living only implies basic care. Someone will host an elderly in their home, but they don’t have to have medical skills. They can help the person get dressed, eat, take their medicine and talk to then, but not provide CPR or advanced medical assistance in case of strokes or falls. With that in mind, this option should be chosen when the senior citizen is still in relatively good health.
When it comes to costs, assisted living is by far the most financially convenient option for those who just need someone to look after them, not provide medical services. The prices are set by the ones willing to offer a room in their house and you will pay less than in a nursing home. Also, nursing homes usually host people full time, which is why rates are higher. With assisted living, seniors can be supervised during the weekends or on a short time basis, which means that you don’t have to pay for the periods when they don’t need any help. Services are provided based on a personalized caring plan. Some homes offer facilities that are only available at extra cost in nursing homes, so from this point of view they are more cost-effective.
In terms of environment, assisted living is superior to many nursing homes. Those who host the elderly do so because they have a sincere interest in helping the community, are patient and kind. The ones who can live here, even for short periods of time, will be cared for a in a warm and welcoming environment, as opposed to nursing homes, which are often cold and austere, with distant staff that only interacts for professional purposes. Elderly people who live alone and need someone to talk to have many reasons to consider assisted living opportunities such as the ones offered by Room2Care.com. This platform facilitates contact between caregivers and senior citizen, offering an online service through which the two parties can negotiate.