Not Every Senior Home is a Nursing Home – What’s the Difference?

Just because your grandparent/parent’s health is declining does not mean that they need to live in a nursing home. They might not need it. They might not qualify for it even. Today I want to give you a QUICK QUICK lesson, so that when you anxiously realize you need more care for your grandparent/parent, you will already have somewhere to start. 

Nursing homes are only one type of senior living option.

There are 3 levels of care I want to share with you: Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Skilled Nursing

1. Independent Living

If someone lives here, they are typically pretty healthy. Independent Living does not provide any extra help. The only help you’ll get is if you hire someone to come help or if you visit often. 

2. Assisted Living

If someone lives in assisted living, they need help some things, but not all. They may still be able to do some things themself, which is AMAZING and GREAT for their health.  

Usually you pay more based on the amount of help your loved one needs. Meals are provided usually and there nursing aides (CNAs) who are there to help with anything from dressing, toileting, medicare reminders, getting around the house, etc.  

3. Skilled Nursing aka NURSING HOME

Someone who lives in a nursing home (permanently vs. short term rehab) is probably in fairly poor health. The name “skilled nursing” can help you understand that they need higher level of care. They don’t just need help doing things; they need help monitoring their medical care. Most people are surprised to know though that a nursing home does not have a nurse helping you at all times. Usually it’s an aide who is helping a number of residents at one time (8+ residents). A nurse is in the building providing oversight.    

That’s probably the quickest and most general explanation. Google for more lengthy definitions!  

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