Assisted Living vs Nursing Homes What’s the Difference?

Elder care options

Everyone has a basic desire to live a full, healthy, and happy life. The strange thing that often comes into play is the negative connotation that our society often puts on growing older. It is safe to say that most individuals would likely have many years to live in this world than to have their lives cut short, so why is there such a stigma around aging in general? The media loves to focus on youth and unrealistic standards of beauty, while ageism rears its ugly head at every turn, from work discrimination to individuals in the community or even in families, who feel forgotten once they start to show or feel their age.

Growing older is a privilege and we should treat it as such

Everyone can agree that a life cut short is a dire tragedy. And yet there comes a point in so many people’s lives that they begin to resent their age. However it is also not hard to see that much of that resentment or other negative perspectives that might be prevalent in relation to age is that there is a fear of losing independence, becoming a burden, and eventually, death. Life is complex and beautiful and full of emotion, so it is no surprise that such a transitional phase of life comes with a whole range of emotions as well.


But what should be kept at the forefront of everyone’s minds is that because this life is so beautiful, each and every day is a gift, and should be greeted as such. This does not mean that there won’t be difficult times, but it does mean that focusing on keeping the right perspective can often make all of the difference.

Figuring out the steps to life later on
For some people, the scary part about growing older comes with the realization that our bodies and sometimes our minds do not keep up the way that we have grown accustomed to over the years. Genworth Financial conducted a study, and the results were very telling. It showed that at 55%, over half of the respondents admitted that the greatest fear facing them in regards to a long term illness or other similar condition that would limit their abilities was being a burden on family and other loved ones. This fear was so prevalent that respondents reported being five times more worried about being a burden to someone than they were about dying. With this fear in mind, it is worth examining retirement and elder care options so that everyone from the aging individual to family members who are inevitably going to be concerned can rest assured there will be a happy solution.

And when that discussion takes place, it is helpful to know the differences between different types of retirement homes and care facilities such as assisted living vs nursing homes.

Assisted living vs nursing home care
There are, of course, basic retirement communities that those who still feel happy and healthy enough to function independently can become a part of, if for no other reason than social reasons and the chance to get involved. It has been found that the happiest of retirees regularly participate in at least three or four different activities, while the least happy might only participate in one or two. And one report showed that joining an independent living community during retirement made it more likely for individuals to meet new people, make new friends, and branch out to try new things.

However not everyone is able to live quite so independently, which is why it is helpful to understand assisted living vs nursing homes. When weighing assisted living vs nursing home options, you will also want to consider the needs of your elderly loved one. While assisted living homes provide some basic care, nursing homes are for those who need more specialized or continuous care due to their medical conditions. Both types of facilities will provide things like meals, medication management, transportation, and similar services, but nursing homes provide more supervision and in depth health care.

Growing older should not be something to fear or be bothered with. It is a gift, and should be enjoyed no matter where you call home!

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