When it comes to senior living options, there is often confusion about the advantages of assisted living vs. nursing home communities. At Wickshire Senior Living, we have reimagined the potential of senior living communities by tailoring our services to the needs of each resident, their families, and associates. 

Assisted Living vs. Nursing Home? Know the Difference

A generation ago, all senior care fell into one category: nursing homes. Historically, if an older adult required regular medical attention or any assistance with daily activities such as shopping, food preparation, or transportation, “nursing homes” (sometimes referred to as “skilled nursing facilities”) were the only option.

At that time, only nursing homes accounted for the basic ergonomic needs of seniors, such as wheelchair ramps, widened doorways, and furniture designed to assist daily tasks. Unfortunately, it didn’t matter if a resident was intellectually lucid but required the aid of a walker, if they were physically mobile but needed assistance with medication management, or if they could no longer maintain personal hygiene. If you had extenuating needs, you needed to move to “a home.”

However, we now understand that no two older adults mature in the same way. Although nursing home care exists for adults with advanced medical needs and who no longer wish to function independently, we find that most prospective residents wish to enjoy a more tailored experience to suit their physical, emotional, and social preferences. Some assisted living communities such as Wickshire Senior Living have created a more integrated model, allowing residents access to medication management, occupational therapy, and other routine medical services on the main campus.

What are the Benefits of an Assisted Living Community?

When considering the assets of the assisted living community vs. nursing home model, it is a good idea to create a list of needs and wants. For example, it is helpful to ask:

  • What are my daily/weekly/monthly medical needs right now? Are they changing or likely to change in the years ahead?
  • Am I still physically mobile but just need a little help with specific tasks?
  • Which activities do I take joy in, and are there others I’ve been meaning to try?
  • What does my ideal living situation look like?

Some typical differences between an assisted living community vs. nursing home include:

  • Presents as a great option for older adults who wish to maintain a more active lifestyle.
  • Allows increased opportunities for socializing and participating in organized activities.
  • Offers more “general living” services, including transportation to cultural events
  • Assisted living campuses are designed to include more common areas, allowing residents the opportunity to program their own events.
  • Assisted living communities, due to requiring less individualized medical care, are generally less expensive.
  • Generally divided into individual and shared apartments where residents can tailor furnishings according to their tastes (as opposed to more “hospital”-type accommodations)
  • Often pet-friendly
  • Prepared to assist older adults with progressive needs, who may need different supports from one week to the next

Wickshire Senior Living: Choosing the Right Senior Living Option

Deciding on whether to move to an assisted living community or nursing home facility is a highly personal decision. It is important to take the time to investigate options thoroughly to identify the very best fit.

Although adults who require full-time medical care may wish to consider nursing home models, we feel that most older adults should be given the opportunity to pursue their hobbies, exchange with new friends, and enjoy a variety of other amenities.