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Assisted Living vs. Nursing Home: What Type of Care do You Need?

Assisted Living vs. Nursing Home

As you or your loved ones grow older, finding quality care becomes increasingly important. Today, there are a number of great options available when it comes to senior living communities. Each type of community has its own set of pros and cons. There is no universal approach to follow for aging loved ones. Each individual and family have their own unique set of circumstances. However, not all assisted living communities or nursing home facilities are created equally. Finding the right type of senior care for your situation will require some research and planning. Read on to learn more about assisted living vs nursing home and tips on deciding what type of care is best for your specific situation. 

Assisted Living Options 

While the terms assisted living community and nursing home are often used interchangeably, there are significant differences between the two living arrangements. Assisted living communities are a unique option for older adults. These types of facilities allow older adults to maintain a great deal of independence while still receiving assistance with any day-to-day living situations they need help with. Assisted living situations are an excellent choice for seniors who no longer wish to live alone, but still want to maintain a social and active lifestyle. 

Ultimately, an assisted living community is a good option for seniors who can still take care of their basic needs, like feeding themselves or transferring between a bed and wheelchair without assistance. Aging loved ones who still have control over their basic functions and a zest for life, are the ideal candidates for integrating into an assisted living community.

Benefits of Living in an Assisted Living Community vs Nursing Home  

There are a number of benefits that assisted living communities offer active seniors. Most assisted living facilities provide the following to their residents. 

  • Restaurant-style dining 
  • Outings and transportation 
  • Help with laundry, housekeeping, and activities of daily living 
  • Suites with mini-kitchens 
  • Minor medical care or medication assistance 

Average Cost of Assisted Living Facilities

In 2019, the median cost of assisted living in the United States was reported to be $4,051 per month. Many states do cover come assisted living costs under Medicaid. However, requirement eligibility varies widely between states. There are also many assisted living communities that are not covered at all, which will require all costs to come out-of-pocket.  

Nursing Home Options

In comparison to assisted living communities, nursing home facilities are designed for seniors that require a high level of care and hands-on assistance throughout the day. Most nursing home residents deal with severe or debilitating physical or mental conditions that make living independently an unrealistic option. The typical nursing homes require a physician's prescription and physical examination before accepting a new resident.

Ultimately, a nursing home living arrangement is a good option for seniors who require 24-hour monitoring and medical assistance. Nursing home staff provide seniors with round-the-clock care, ensuring that they are comfortable and well cared for. Nursing homes are also an excellent option for seniors who want more daily interaction than an in-home nursing care arrangement can provide.

Benefits of Living in a Nursing Home Facility vs Assisted Living

For senior individuals who require constant long-term care, nursing home facilities offer a variety of benefits. Most nursing homes provide the following to their residents.

  • Assistance with laundry, housekeeping, and activities of daily living 
  • Preventative long-term care 
  • Medication management and administration 
  • Specialized rehabilitative services including speech, occupational, physical, respiratory, cognitive, and vocational 
  • Daily nutritional meal options that meet each resident's unique dietary needs  

Average Cost of Nursing Home Facilities

Nursing homes can be a very expensive cost for families. In 2019, the average cost of nursing home care in the United States was $247 per day, or $7,512 per month, in Florida, its closer to $9,500.00 per month (in South Florida, even higher at $10,000 - $12,000). The good news is that nearly all nursing homes in Florida are certified to participate in Medicare or Medicaid financial assistance programs. This means that most of the costs will be covered for you or your loved one. 

Contact a Medicaid Planning Attorney

Making the decision on assisted living vs nursing home for your situation can definitely be a difficult process. There are many factors to consider when choosing a new living arrangement such as quality of life, level of assistance needed, and overall cost. The good news is that you don't need to make all of these difficult decisions alone. By working with a Medicaid planning attorney, you will be able to get your loved one into the right type of care facility without the worry of cost. A qualified Medicaid planning attorney will be able to help you navigate your Medicaid eligibility and obtain the right care for your senior at the lowest possible price. If you have questions regarding Medicaid planning, it is in you and your senior's best interest to contact a Medicaid planning attorney as soon as possible.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is assisted living better than a nursing home?
Assisted living and nursing homes are designed to meet different needs. Assisted living facilities are a great option for people who need a little help with daily living and small tasks, while nursing homes are designed for people who need round the clock medical assistance and comprehensive care.
What does Medicare cover for assisted living?
Medicare typically only covers a short period of time in an assisted living facility while someone is recovering from an injury or illness. Medicaid on the other hand can be used for long term care as long as you have undergone careful Medicaid planning. Contact a Medicaid planning attorney right away to discuss the best way to plan for the future and.
How can I get help paying for assisted living?
Medicaid is one way to get assistance in paying for long-term care. A Medicaid planning attorney will be able to assist you in ensuring that your assets and income are in line with their limits.
Jason Neufeld is the author of the

Florida Medicaid
Planning Book

How to Get Medicaid to Pay for Some or All of Your Long-Term Care Expenses:Without having to wait 5 years | without having to sell your house | without have to go broke first! (a Florida Medicaid Lawyer's Guide For Non-Lawyers)


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