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Understanding the Nuances Between Assisted Living vs. Skilled Nursing Options for Elderly Care

02.05.24 P42 Paul Riffel Blog 1

As we age, the decision about where to spend our later years can be intimidating. And, as both cognitive and physical challenges begin to emerge, finding a place that can meet  long-term care needs, as well as being able to afford it, can be challenging. Frequently, two of the most common options for senior living when care is needed are nursing homes and assisted living facilities. 

Understanding the nuances between these two supportive facilities, however, can help ensure that an elder receives the appropriate care while also safeguarding a lifetime of savings. This is also where the expertise of a Florida elder law attorney becomes crucial. Your experienced Florida elder law attorney can not only help you find the care facility needed but also ensure that there are ways to afford it without fully impoverishing the family of the elder that needs the care. Let us share more key information with you right here in our blog.

To begin, Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs) are designed for individuals who need some assistance with daily activities but wish to live as independently as possible. They offer a combination of housing, personalized supportive services, and health care designed to meet the needs of people who need help with the activities of daily living. Services typically include:

  • Meals and housekeeping
  • Assistance with personal care
  • Medication management
  • Social and recreational activities

Residents usually live in their own apartments or rooms and share common areas. The environment is typically less medically oriented than a nursing home and focuses more on providing a community feel.

On the other hand, a nursing home, also known as a skilled nursing facility, is designed for individuals who require 24-hour supervision and medical assistance. Residents typically share rooms and are served meals in a central dining area unless they are too ill to participate. Nursing homes provide a wide range of health and personal care services, including:

  • Full-time nursing care
  • Physical, speech, and occupational therapy
  • Care for chronic conditions or for short-term convalescent or rehabilitative care

The care is generally more intensive and medical in nature than that provided in an assisted living facility.

In addition, the primary differences between the two types of facilities also includes a combination of the following factors:

  • Level of Care. Nursing homes provide medical and personal care in a clinical setting, while assisted living offers personal care in a more home-like, community setting.
  • Independence. Residents in assisted living can maintain a more independent lifestyle, while nursing homes are better suited for those who require constant medical attention.
  • Cost. Generally, nursing homes are more expensive due to the higher level of care and medical attention provided.

We are fully aware that navigating the complex landscape of elder care options can be challenging. A Florida elder law attorney can provide invaluable guidance in understanding the various care options and the associated legal and financial implications. They can assist with:

  • Long-term care planning, including the selection of the right facility
  • Preserving your assets while ensuring quality care
  • Understanding and organizing the necessary legal documents
  • Medicaid planning and applications

Working with a Florida elder law attorney can help an elder find the care they need while protecting a lifetime of savings. They play a crucial role in ensuring that an elder’s later years are spent with the best possible care and peace of mind.

Finally, the decision between a nursing home and an assisted living facility largely depends on the individual’s needs and preferences. Understanding the differences between these options is critical in making an informed choice that aligns with the elder’s care needs and financial situation. An experienced Florida elder law attorney can be an ally in navigating these choices, ensuring that the best decision for the elder’s unique circumstances is made. With the right help and information, an elder can find a supportive and comfortable environment for the golden years.

While this article might ignite more questions, it serves as a stepping stone towards understanding the nuanced world of power of attorney in Florida. When your family or financial health is on the line, trust attorney Paul Riffel to help you protect your interests and achieve your goals. Attorney Paul Riffel has been practicing law in Florida for over 41 years, focusing in the areas of Tampa estate planning and  family law. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with us.

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Paul Riffel Law is located in Tampa FL and serves clients in and around Brandon, Tampa, Valrico, Odessa, Thonotosassa, Gibsonton, Sydney, Dover, Land O Lakes, Oldsmar, Apollo Beach, Lithia, Safety Harbor, Trilby, Plant City, Durant, Holiday, Hillsborough County and Pasco County.

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