At some point in our lives, we may need more help with daily living activities than assisted living facilities can provide. While assisted living promotes independence and offers assistance with personal care, medication management, and meals, nursing homes provide more comprehensive medical care and supervision for people with serious health issues. In this article, we will discuss the signs that indicate it may be time to consider moving from assisted living to a nursing home and what you can expect from the transition.
Understanding the Differences between Assisted Living and Nursing Homes
Assisted living facilities and nursing homes are both long-term care options for seniors, but they differ in several ways. Assisted living facilities provide a homelike environment with private or semi-private apartments, communal dining and recreational areas, and varying levels of assistance with personal care and other services. On the other hand, nursing homes offer 24-hour nursing care, medical supervision, and specialized programs for people with chronic conditions or complex medical needs. Nursing homes have skilled nursing staff, such as registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and certified nursing assistants, who can provide more extensive care than assisted living staff.
Signs that It May be Time to Move to a Nursing Home
While assisted living can be a suitable option for many seniors, some may require more advanced care as they age. Here are some signs that indicate it may be time to consider moving to a nursing home:
A decline in physical or cognitive abilities
If a senior experiences a significant decline in mobility, balance, or coordination, they may require a higher level of care than assisted living can provide. Similarly, if they develop dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and require specialized memory care, a nursing home may be a better fit.
Need for medical supervision or specialized care
If a senior has a chronic medical condition that requires ongoing medical supervision or specialized treatment, such as diabetes, heart disease, or cancer, a nursing home may offer more comprehensive care than assisted living. Nursing homes also have rehabilitation programs and therapy services to help seniors recover from surgeries, injuries, or strokes.
Increased safety risks
If a senior experience frequent falls, wandering, or other safety risks, they may benefit from the closer monitoring and assistance that nursing homes provide. Nursing homes also have emergency response systems and staff trained in handling medical emergencies.
The Transition from Assisted Living to Nursing Home
Moving from assisted living to a nursing home can be a challenging transition for seniors and their families. Here are some tips to make the process smoother:
Involve the senior in the decision-making process
Discussing the reasons for the move and involving the senior in the decision-making process can help them feel more in control and less anxious about the change. Try to visit potential nursing homes together and ask questions about the staff, amenities, and care services.
Plan and prepare for the move
Moving to a nursing home often requires downsizing and sorting through possessions. Make a plan for what to bring, what to donate, and what to sell. Consider hiring a professional organizer or a moving company to help.
Communicate with the staff and stay involved
Meet with the nursing home staff to discuss the senior’s care plan, medications, and preferences. Visit frequently and remain involved in their daily activities and routines. Encourage family and friends to visit and stay in touch with the senior.
If you or a loved one are considering a move from assisted living to a nursing home, Autumn Park Assisted Living can help. Our team of compassionate professionals provides personalized care and support to help seniors maintain their independence and dignity. To learn more about our services and schedule a tour, please call us at 435-222-0821. We look forward to hearing from you soon.