Elder Care Facilities: The Difference Between a Retirement Home and a Nursing Home 24/7

If you are faced with the challenge of choosing elderly care accommodation, either for your own care needs, or for an aged parent or relative, then you may need some help to differentiate between the types of elder care facilities available to you. There are some important differences between types of residential care for seniors.

Nursing Home

A nursing home, otherwise referred to as a skilled nursing facility (SNF), offers specialist medical healthcare and full-time nursing care by licensed nurses as well as general personal care. A nursing home has qualified nurses on the premises at all times to ensure adequate medical care can be administered. A registered nursing home will also have a licensed medical physician on staff, who will oversee patient treatment.

Nursing homes are often a required step for senior care following a hospital stay, where 24-7 nursing treatment, is still necessary. A place in a skilled nursing facility may also be the best option if your elderly parent has a degenerative medical condition that is going to require progressive treatment.

Retirement Home

A retirement home, or assisted living community, will not offer the same level of medical healthcare as a nursing home. These types of facilities more often cater to providing general personal and custodial care. Care assistants will help residents with things like dressing, bathing, toileting and moving around. A retirement home is a very social environment, where many activities are available to help keep an old person stimulated. Companionship can play a major role in a retirement home, where elders who have been living alone, have the opportunity to have company. The retirement home will not provide 24-7 medical healthcare treatment, but often will oversee the administration of routine medications, and will have licensed physician to call upon should the need arise.