one young asian female doctor doing health check to senior Chinese woman, senior people health care

Don’t Call It a Nursing Home

What do you call a health care facility where seniors live and are cared for? Many people will call a community like this a “nursing home,” but that is not the most accurate term for a modern senior care facility.

Assisted Living Community

An assisted living community provides help with specific aspects of daily living, including housekeeping, meals, and self-care. This kind of facility allows seniors to continue to live independently while receiving help with specific needs. In the past, an individual who needed help with toileting, for example, might have ended up in a hospital bed. Now, assisted living communities allow seniors to maintain their independence and enjoy their lives while getting the help they need with daily life.


Skilled Nursing Facility

Some seniors need the help of a skilled nurse, rather than custodial care doing things that people often do for themselves. A skilled nursing facility has licensed nurses, the oversight of a physician, and more intensive medical care plans that an assisted living facility. Skilled nursing facilities are covered by Medicare and must meet stringent requirements to be licensed. For example, a skilled nursing facility must have transfer arrangements with a hospital.


Retirement Community

A retirement community may be a multi-unit residential community like a housing development, or an apartment building or complex. Usually such communities will have recreation, security, and housekeeping services but will not offer health care or personal care services. Retirement communities may be similar to a hotel, with restaurants on the premises and a variety of services offered to residents.

Which type of living situation best suits you or your elderly relative depends on individual needs and preferences as well as resources. An elderly person who is in good health but needs help keeping up with household tasks or doesn’t care to live alone has different needs from the older individual who needs 24 hour medical care. Using the term “nursing home” for all residential facilities designed for the needs of seniors can lead to confusion, and can make it hard to compare one facility with another.

If you’re ready to make a decision about where you or a loved one should live, contact your nearest Tutera facility. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and we’d love to have you visit us.