When considering senior living, many families think the only choice is a nursing home. Created from a hospital model, these communities provide the highest level of attention and care.
However, there are other types of senior living communities to consider. Choosing one to match the needs of your loved one is key. If you’re not certain of what is available or the differences between nursing homes and other senior living communities, the following may help.
What is a nursing home?
Nursing homes, which may also be referred to as skilled nursing communities (SNFs), offer medical care and personal assistance. They offer 24-hour licensed nursing and medical care, a dining program, activities and rehabilitative services which can include physical, occupational and speech therapies.
While most residents live there permanently because they have acute conditions that require continuing care, there also might be individuals there who are undergoing rehabilitation or recovery from an illness or injury after leaving the hospital but are not yet well enough to go home.
Who is a typical nursing home resident?
1. Those who cannot care for themselves at home
Nursing home residents are individuals who:
- are living with one or more chronic conditions or injuries
- may have mobility issues that prohibit them from being home alone
- need help transferring from a wheelchair to a bed or chair
- require medical care on a continuing basis
2. Individuals who need more help than an assisted living community can offer
Although an individual may move into an assisted living community because they need a helping hand with daily tasks such as bathing, grooming and getting dressed, eventually around-the-clock care and attention may be required. Assisted living cannot offer that.
How nursing homes differ from other senior living community types
There are four basic types of senior living:
- Independent living
- Assisted living
- Memory care
- Nursing home or skilled nursing
The following describes some of the key differences between the senior living community types:
1. The residence
Independent living communities provide a private residence that is accessible, offers amenities such as full kitchens, and is age-friendly.
An assisted living community also provides a private residence. They may not include a full-size kitchen as meals are typically included in the plan.
Residences in a memory care community can range from apartments or suites, often arranged in clusters or neighborhoods.
Residents in a nursing home may live in a suite, private or semi-private room.
2. Level of independence
Residents who live in an independent living community are self-reliant and are generally looking for a more active but maintenance-free lifestyle.
Residents in assisted living continue to live independently with help – including daily tasks, meals, activities and transportation.
Depending on the stage of the disease, memory care residents may experience different levels of independence.
Residents in a skilled nursing community are unable to live by themselves and are usually dependent on others for care and assistance.
3. The availability of services
Independent living residents do not receive care services from the community but they enjoy the community’s amenities, some dining options, activities and social events.
Assisted living residents have access to all the community’s services and amenities and also receive help with daily tasks.
Memory care residents need around-the-clock assistance and care from the specially trained staff.
Those living in a nursing home have access to necessary medical care and assistance around-the-clock from medical professionals.
Fallacies about senior living communities
A family’s ability to take advantage of the choices that senior living offers may be limited by the following misperceptions:
1. The only option for senior living is a nursing home
Many families’ only familiarity with a senior living community is a nursing home. They may not understand the breadth of senior living choices today. However, most people don’t need the comprehensive care of a nursing home. It’s important to understand the services available for each senior living type.
2. Only families should take care of their loved ones
If a loved one does need more care or prefers to live independently from the caregiving of family members, senior living communities can be a great choice. Today’s families are often working or raising children, making caregiving very difficult. The quality of life a senior living community can offer is often higher due to the level of care, amenities and services offered.
3. Senior living is a one-size-fits-all option
Today’s senior living communities provide the level of care to meet most needs – whether it’s only a few hours of assistance required or it’s unsafe to leave a loved one unattended. Once you’ve determined the needs and preferences, there’s a matching senior living community.
Retirement living in Wadsworth, Illinois
Galloway Senior Living, locally owned and operated, provides luxury and quality care for families in our community.
Assisted Living at Galloway Senior Living offers beautiful and contemporary private residences that range from alcove studios to two-bedrooms and include high-end stainless-steel appliances, maple hardwood cabinets, cultured marble countertops and thoughtfully curated décor and colors.
Our Memory Care community offers a family kitchen, dining room, walking garden, and lounge.
Our services include:
- 24-hour certified nursing assistants, on-staff licensed nurses, medication management, and on-site physician visits
- COVID-19 safety protocols
- Assistance with daily tasks
- Readily available safe transportation
- A fall-reduction program
- In-unit emergency response systems including an electronic monitoring system for exit doors
- On-site entertainment and activities personalized to reflect the residents’ preferences
- Housekeeping and linen services including personal laundry
Amenities you’ll find at Galloway Senior Living include:
- Country Café and Convenience Store
- Salon and Spa
- Theater with 85” television
- Activity and Craft Center
- Game Room
- Library and Business Center
- Fitness Center
If you or your family is considering retirement living in Wadsworth, Illinois, we hope you will visit our community at Galloway Senior Living. We are a trusted resource and are here to answer any questions.
We also invite you to download our complimentary information, Family Decision Toolkit: How to Choose the Right Senior Living Community.