Care Home or Assisted Living: Finding a Home for Your Loved One

care setting

The term ‘care home’ is commonly used to describe residential care settings, but there are different types of care. Finding the correct care setting is the first step in getting help and support for your loved one. 

A care (or nursing) home is unique in that a qualified nurse is always available to provide 24-hour medical and physical care. Care homes with this level of support are often for residents who cannot live independently anymore. On the other end of the scale is assisted living, where your loved one can no longer live alone but can still maintain some independence in a secure setting and wishes to continue living an active, sociable lifestyle. 

When considering which care setting is suitable, think about their physical and cognitive abilities. For example, what do they need to experience a good quality of life? Are they moving alone or with a partner? Do they need care around the clock or just with some physical tasks?

Here are some other factors to consider that can help you make the right decision. 

What type of room?

This is an important consideration because this will be your loved one’s home. They will rest and sleep there, so making sure you find the right type of room for your loved one is an integral part of the process. They might have specific needs that require more space, or they may be moving with their partner, in which case you’d need a double bed. 

Many facilities outline the rooms they offer in detail on their websites. For example, you can learn more about senior living floorplans at McKnight Place. Floorplans are a great way of gauging how much space is available and what the room might look like. 

Some living facilities will allow you to redecorate your entire room or flat, from painting the walls to bringing your furniture. This is a beautiful way to make their new space feel like home. 

What facilities are available?

Assisted living is designed for long-term housing for seniors. Within this care setting, you would expect to find social activities, a safe community to socialize in, gardens, a restaurant, and sometimes even salons! The people entering these communities are generally active but need extra support with day-to-day activities, such as dressing or using the toilet.

In comparison, a care home will have fewer facilities like this because the focus is on the full-time care of individuals. Often people coming into the care home have severe cognitive deterioration (such as dementia) or use a wheelchair permanently. 

Taking these factors into account will allow you to work out which care setting is best for your loved one and what to look for once you’re on the right path. 

The importance of visiting 

Research shows that staying active and socializing is key for maintaining health. Visiting your loved one regularly is a significant factor in choosing their care environment to prevent loneliness. Make sure you know how long it will take when visiting, how you will get there, and places nearby for you to stay if needed.

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