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Assisted Living or Nursing Home? It Depends on Your Needs

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    Are you or a loved one in the process of searching for a place where you can get the help you need? If so then it's important to understand the differences between an assisted living facility and a nursing home. Both are similar in some ways, but there are a few main differences that will determine which one you should use.

    An assisted living facility is just that. Assisted living. You can come and go as you please, but there are also nurses there who can help you with certain activities of daily living like making sure you receive your medication. Assisted living facilities also serve three meals a day and provide various activities so residents can socialize with each other. One of the main things the vast majority of assisted living facilities require is that residents are able to dress, feed, and ambulate by themselves.

    Nursing homes, on the other hand, are much more "hands on." A nursing home is a place for someone who is dependent on others to complete their activities of daily living. You receive 24/7 care and it's as intensive as you require. Many nursing homes have non-private rooms, but there are some where you can pay an extra rate for a private room. They also have activities for residents to take advantage of, but many are less intense than the ones assisted living facilities offer.

    I'm interested to see if anyone here has a loved one who is living in either an assisted living facility or nursing home. What has your experience been like?

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    My wife and I had to place my mother-in-law in a nursing home ten years ago because her Alzheimer's made it impossible to live on her own and she seems to be quite content there. She receives the care she needs and calls her room home.

    It's was difficult at first, but we are now used to spending time with her there. We can even "sign her out" and take her out for a meal.