Alternatives to the Nursing Home



A common misconception concerning the care of an aging loved, is the automatic assumption that the person has to go “to the nursing home.” This is untrue. Many times a person simply needs help with some of their activities or daily living, commonly known as ADLs. Or maybe the person doesn’t want to be responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of a house. Or maybe the person has dementia and needs more specialized care. There are several options out there for families. Today's focus is on the difference between independent living, assisted living, and memory care.


Independent living communities are exactly that – independent. These communities are not regulated by the state, rather these communities provide housing and various services for the resident. Frequently, basic utilities such as water, gas, and electricity are included in the resident’s rent. Additionally, most independent communities will include at least one meal a day within a resident’s rate, with the option of adding more meals. Residing in an independent living community also gives a resident access to the community’s activities. Typically, the larger the community, the larger variety of activities offered. Residents in independent living communities also maintain their independence by having the ability to have a vehicle. Since these communities aren’t regulated by the state, the services and amenities offered vary from community to community. It is important that a potential resident makes sure that the community they select fits their personal style and needs.


Assisted living is a step up from independent living. Assisted living is regulated by the state. As a result, these communities have more set expectations. In assisted living, a resident can expect help with dressing, bathing, and grooming. Additionally, all three meals are provided, as opposed to only one meal. For most families, an important service of assisted living is medication supervision. This means that the community is responsible for the resident's medication, which takes the pressure off of the resident. Finally, with assisted living you can expect housekeeping and laundry services to be provided.


Memory care is specially designed for individuals with dementia and Alzheimer needs. Many times memory care has reduced stimulation, and this helps the resident function at their highest potential. In memory care, you will find the same services provide in assisted living, but with more specialized and personalized care.


Questions about living options for elderly loved ones? Kimbrough Law can help. Just give us a call at 706.850.6910.


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