Assisted Living or Nursing Home?

What are the differences and how to make the best choice for your loved one?

Senior care is an important aspect of our healthcare system.  There are several types of care that seniors can receive while they are aging.  Most of the decisions will be based on their current health state of mental and physical capabilities and their overall health and safety.  There are many options, but the important factor is which would best fit them and make them most comfortable.

Assisted Living

Assistant living homes are for seniors who may require a little help with daily living activities such as dressing, bathing, or cleaning.  They would not require full-time medical care and would be able to get around on their own mostly.  Assistant living offers the ability for community members to live a social life with others with a variety of activities that can be put on right where they live.  Assistant living can allow them to age in place knowing that they can have a home feeling with the extra help that may be needed as they get older.

Nursing Homes with Skilled Nursing

Nursing homes, such as Iliff, are for seniors with more complicated medical needs. It can include a fall risk, being unable to get around on their own, healing from a surgery or medical condition, or having conditions that are progressing such as dementia or other memory issues.  Nursing homes can also be for those with chronic health conditions that are deteriorating quickly.  They will offer around-the-clock care by nursing professionals that are there 24 hours a day.  Nursing homes can also offer extensive rehabilitation programs such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy.

Insurance Coverage

If your loved one has Medicare, you’ll need to understand what is covered to help them make financial decisions. 

Medicare Part A, which is insurance coverage for hospitals, does not pay for assisted living facilities.  It can cover a skilled nursing facility and care, hospice care, and even home health care.

Medicare Part B, the medical insurance portion, covers outpatient services that are deemed medically necessary, or preventative care.

Medicaid is another option for seniors with low income.  Seniors can have both Medicare and Medicaid.  Medicaid can cover nursing facilities past the 100 days allowed by Medicare along with other health needs such as prescriptions.

If your loved one also has another PPO or HMO plan, there may be coverage for that too.

If you have questions, please contact Iliff’s Admissions department for further guidance or insurance acceptance at our facility at 703-560-1000.

Your loved one’s doctor and care team will ensure that once they leave the hospital, they will be guided to a place that will be best for their health and safety.  If you have questions, do not hesitate to follow up with them!  Senior care is important and has evolved and will keep evolving.  The most important thing is to remember that finding the best place for them will keep them happy, safe, and healthy.