John and Stacy still remember when they started talking to their mother about moving after the death of their father into a nearby assisted living home.
She kept saying,
‘I’m not going into any nursing home or some big facility.’
We kept telling her that this was a small assisted living home – a house – where she would get help when she needed it, such as with her mobility, where she would have plenty to do and would have a nice social life with people her own age. We kept assuring her that we weren’t moving her to a nursing home or big ‘facility.’
It’s understandable that many seniors get their proverbial “backs up against the wall” when their adult children suggest such a move.
What many seniors don’t hear at first is that a small group home offering assisted living is not a nursing home.
While nursing homes usually cater to residents requiring round-the-clock care and constant monitoring (some who are there for rehabilitative care and will eventually leave, and others who will stay for the rest of their lives), assisted living facilities tend to offer a home like setting to receive care. They are usually for those who can still perform some or most of their activities without assistance unless the organization has requisite licensing for advanced services such as home health care and nursing care.
In addition, assisted living homes offer recreational activities and social interaction that can range from movie nights and yoga classes to shopping trips.
Nursing homes look very different than assisted living facilities, especially small facilities and residential group homes. A nursing home often looks institutional. Residents may share a room and be fed there by caregivers. In assisted living, residents often live privately in bedrooms, suites or apartments. They typically have a dining room or hall, recreational activity rooms, cable TV, WiFi and other appointments. Amenities may even include a swimming pool, Jacuzzi or other luxurious provision.
It wasn’t until John and Stacy’s mom actually saw the assisted living home that her resistance thawed. She said, ‘You know, it reminds me of this wonderful bed and breakfast your father and I stayed at years ago. They had a pool too. I could get used to this.’