Community Living vs. Assisted Living vs. Nursing Home: Which Option is Right for My Loved One?

Last updated on May 30th, 2024 at 07:50 pm

Deciding on the best care for a loved one in need can be a truly difficult task. Community living, assisted living and nursing homes all offer different specialized services that can be incredibly helpful for seniors or adults with disabilities, but the options can seem overwhelming. 

The best choice for you and your family depends on your loved one’s specific needs.

What Is Community Living?

Community living allows adults with disabilities to live in semi-independent houses or apartments, offering the most freedom out of all of the care options. These services focus on keeping residents engaged in society while staying in control of their personal lives.

Community living programs most often help people with mental illness, brain injury, or behavioral challenges. At Sunrise, we offer DDA-supported community living options for adults who have a diagnosis of developmental disability.

Common Community Living Services

Common services provided in community living include coordinating transportation, financial advisory, recreational and group activities, help with medications and related care needs, and support during family visits and interactions.

Community living participants are involved with everyday life choices, such as what meals they want to cook and eat and how they want to decorate their homes or apartments. Being an active member of society is an important aspect of community living. 

The Cost of Community Living

The cost of community living is often less expensive than other more intensive care options. In 1999, the U.S. The Supreme Court announced community living as a legal right for people with disabilities, making these services much more affordable than nursing or public residential facilities, which can cost upwards of $100,000.

What Is Assisted Living?

Assisted living is a residential community for people with older adults or people with disabilities who need assistance with everyday tasks. They are designed for people who cannot live independently but do not need nursing home-level care. 

Residents in assisted living receive personalized care depending on their mental or physical abilities. 

Common Assisted Living Services

Services provided in assisted living situations include transportation, food and meal prep, prescription administration, and social outings and activities. These facilities aim to provide all the services needed to help residents to live a fulfilling life.

Assisted living also provides residents help with cleaning and hygiene, accident prevention, and general housekeeping and errands.

The Cost of Assisted Living

The Genworth 2020 Cost of Care Survey reported that most assisted living services cost around $4,300 per month per resident. However, price points can vary widely depending on the location and services provided.

What Is a Nursing Home?

Nursing homes, or nursing facilities, provide residents with a wide variety of care and medical services but focus on health and medication more than assisted or community living. These homes provide the highest level of care.

Common Nursing Home Services

In a nursing home, nurses provide 24-hour care, serve residents three meals a day, and provide help with daily activities and tasks. 

Nursing homes also often offer rehabilitation services, helping permanent residents or older adults during mental or physical recovery. 

The Cost of Living in a Nursing Home

Nursing homes are the most expensive of these care options. The Genworth 2020 Cost of Care Survey states that in 2020 the average cost of a semi-private nursing home room was $7,756 and the average cost of a private room was $8,821.

The Best Living Situation for Your Loved One

Long-term care for your loved one can prove to be extremely expensive. Paying for community living, assisted living, or nursing home services out of pocket isn’t an option for most families. In these situations, financial support such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and HUD programs are often important resources.

Other programs, such as the Housing Choice Voucher Program, Home Equity Conversion Mortgages, or subsidized housing programs can help elderly, disabled, and low-income families pay for care.

Explore Care in Western Washington With Sunrise Services

Sunrise Services Inc. provides people throughout the Puget Sound region with care services. We find and provide appropriate living options for older adults as well as people who have developmental disabilities, mental challenges, and physical challenges. We are here to support those who need help to live in their own homes as well as those who need a new living situation.

Reach out today to start planning your long-term care!

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