Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Nursing Homes or Assisted Living Facilities?

Assisted-living-orange-county1 Many elderly parents ask their children, at some point, to promise to not put them in a nursing home. As a result of these promises, the popularity and use of assisted living facilities has grown over the last twenty years. These facilities range from small homes to complexes with over 100 units.

Despite an elderly loved one’s desire to avoid a nursing home, the truth is that assisted living facilities are not always the best option for the care of a loved one. Additionally, though assisted living may work well for the time being, the average stay at a facility is only two years, at which point the resident is usually moved to a nursing home. Lists of the types of seniors better suited for nursing homes and assisted living facilities, respectfully, are below:

Nursing Homes

  • Seniors with moderate to sever cognitive impairment or behavioral problems
  • Individuals with complex medical conditions requiring regular monitoring
  • Those who need medication management (Many states do not allow assisted living staff to legally administer medication.)
  • Seniors with incontinence who need help changing and require changed sheets more than once a week
  • Those who would like or require greater protection from early contract termination (The federal government regulates and provides protection for nursing home residents, whereas state governments govern assisted living facilities.)

Assisted Living Facilities

  • Seniors who desire privacy
  • Individuals with minor cognitive problems
  • Individuals who are sociable and alert.
  • Those who are lucid and who do not require extensive personal care or nursing

See Paula Span, Assisted Living or a Nursing Home?, The New Old Age, Jun. 10, 2011.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (WealthCounsel) for bringing this article to my attention.


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This is an excellent comparison of the two types of facilities to place for elderly relatives. I prefer the assisted living facilites

Posted by: cna training class | Jun 16, 2011 1:49:08 PM

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