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Organizations Four C's Senior Care LLC supports

An Advocate for Living Benefits with Five Rings Financial... Click the name to be transferred to their site and click on our network page for other organizations.

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Blog Archive

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Nursing Homes vs. Assisted Living Residences

 Nursing homes and assisted living residences differ in terms of the medical care and services they provide. A nursing home is a facility that provides nursing care to people who are not sick enough to need hospital care but who are not able to remain at home. An “assisted living” facility generally combines housing, support services, and some kind of health care. Individuals who choose assisted living can customize the services they receive to meet their individual needs. To be considered an assisted living residence, the facility must provide or make available, at a minimum, specified health-related and supportive services. Examples include: assistance with selfadministration of medication or administration of medication, supervised by a registered nurse; two meals daily; daily check system; weekly housekeeping and laundry services; assistance with three or more activities of daily living (dressing, grooming, bathing, eating, transferring, continence care, and toileting); and assistance in arranging transportation and accessing community and social resources.

Assisted Living Selection. Each assisted living residence or facility is unique. It’s important for consumers to ask about the services, amenities, accommodations and care provided. Consumers should ask to review a copy of the residence agreement outlining services, prices, extra charges, admission and discharge criteria, staffing and residence rules. You may want to consider the following questions before making an assisted living selection:
1. Are additional services available if a resident’s needs change?
2. What are the costs of the services?
3. Are residents required to purchase renters’ insurance for personal property in their units?
4. Does the residence have a clearly stated procedure for responding to a resident’s medical emergency?
5. What are the medical services available and how are they provided?
6. Is staff available to meet scheduled and unscheduled needs?
7. Are pharmacy, barber/beautician, and physical therapy offered on-site?
8. Is transportation available for residents to go to doctor appointments, etc.?
9. Are there organized activities for residents?
10. Can residents have pets?
11. Do volunteers come into the residence to help with or conduct programs?
12. Do food menus vary from day to day and meal to meal, and are they nutritionally balanced?
13.Are staff welcoming and professional?
14. Do the residents socialize with one another?
15. Is the residence accommodating to wheelchairs and walkers?
16. Is the residence free of odors and appropriately heated/cooled?
17. Does the residence have a means of security if a resident wanders?
18. Does the residence have a process for assessing a resident’s need for services and are those needs addressed periodically?
19. Are there government, private, or corporate programs available to help cover the cost of services to the resident?
Visit the Facility. Making an unannounced visit to a nursing home or assisted living facility can be a helpful way to scope out its day-to-day function. You may wish to observe:
1. Is the facility well-kept?
2. Are the residents clean, appropriately dressed, and well-groomed?
3. Are the staff polite and respectful?
4. Do the staff recognize the residents by name?
5. Do the staffing levels appear appropriate for the number of residents?


  1. I had a Great Grandma who had to be put into a nursing home for a short amount of time until she was able to gain some of her strength back. After, she was moved to an assisted living home. She seemed happier being in an assisted living home because she was still able to take care of herself a little more then being in a nursing home. As a family we were grateful to have both nursing home and assisted living because she was able to get the care that she was needing.

  2. These are all great questions that should be answered whenever evaluating a care home for your loved ones. Thank you! Very informative.

  3. These are actually wonderful some ideas in the blog. You have touched good quality points here. In whatever way continue writing.

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  4. Fantastic checklist. We really struggle explaining the difference between the two when families come talk to us.

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