Kim Elliott, RN, Expert on Healthy Aging

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09 September 2018

 “So, you work for a nursing home company?”

That’s the question I am asked often when people have asked where I work. “Nursing homes” are a common misconception and misrepresentation of what life is like in assisted living. It’s easy to be confused about the difference between assisted living and skilled nursing, so I want to help you by providing some helpful facts about the difference between two of the options we offer at Brookdale.

What is Assisted Living?

Assisted living is exactly what the name suggests: it’s living with some assistance. A better definition is that it is for seniors that would like daily assistance with different elements of personal care. From simple housekeeping and nutritious meals to hygiene and medication management, we provide options for seniors that allow them to live comfortably while also knowing they have some support for their daily activities.

Life at an assisted living community is anything but for “old folks.” Residents have very vibrant and meaningful lives. Think of a cruise ship and all of the activities that go on there, well, assisted living is like a cruise ship on land. We have social activities, events and gourmet dining options.

A resident’s personal space is equivalent to a private apartment that includes a private bathroom, a small kitchen, and a living room space. Residents are able to bring their own furniture and décor to make their space homier for them.

Many of our communities are located near restaurants, parks, shopping, hospitals, and/or churches; with transportation options provided, residents have access to these outside activities, if they choose not to bring their own vehicle. But why leave the community when you have activities like exercise classes, or lectures, gardening and art clubs or other social parties?


What is Skilled Nursing?

This level of care at Brookdale is for seniors with conditions that require specialized around the clock nursing care. While skilled nursing communities are more like what most people would think of when hearing the words, “nursing home”, at Brookdale, there are still lots of similar attributes to those offered at an assisted living community

There are times when you may need the skilled and advanced medical resources you can find at a hospital but want it in a home-like setting. Brookdale skilled nursing facilities provide 24-hour nursing care and the daily assistance needed. This assistance can range from simple daily activities like getting dressed to more advanced medical services like wound care and therapy services (physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy).

Living spaces do look a little different than those of an assisted living community. The rooms typically have more of a hospital feel to them. Instead of residents bringing their own furniture, their rooms may already include, hospital-like furniture such as electronic hospital beds or chairs with lift assistance.

But life and activities in skilled nursing communities are not too different than assisted living. There are still group activities and social happenings for the residents and the same quality of dining options.

As the largest senior living provider in the country, Brookdale strives to make each individual feel at home regardless of where they are staying with us. Their happiness is important to us and we want them to feel like family.

So the next time I’m asked, “Do you work for a nursing home company?” the answer will be no, I work for a company that provides a home and hospitality!

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