Do Assisted Living Facilities Have Nurses on Staff?
If you’re picking out an assisted living home for your elderly loved one, you’re likely worried about their access to medical care. The good news is that all assisted living facilities typically have nurses on staff, even though residents don’t require constant monitoring. Whether on-call or at the facility, nurses are always available to help residents at assisted living facilities.
If your loved one requires constant medical care, it’s more likely they need a nursing home instead of an assisted living facility. To help you make an informed decision about your family member’s care, we’ll discuss the difference between a nursing home and assisted living and give the details on what kind of staff work in assisted living communities.
The Difference Between a Nursing Home and Assisted Living
Assisted living facilities are communities where seniors have their own room or apartment, can come and go freely, and receive various levels of care depending on their needs. These communities offer one to three meals daily, housekeeping, transportation, and other amenities. Assisted living communities also organize various activities for residents, such as movie nights, museum visits, or gardening.
While assisted living typically has a very homey atmosphere, nursing homes are a more clinical environment. They are also long-term care residences for seniors but provide around-the-clock care and monitoring. Nursing home residents typically have chronic illnesses or injuries that require more comprehensive medical care than assisted living can provide.
Assisted living provides the following benefits to residents:
- Help with activities of daily living as needed
- Optional medication management
- On-call or on-site medical staff
- Private rooms, which the residents can decorate themselves
- Activities, outside trips, and socializing
In contrast, nursing homes offer the following:
- 24-7 personal care
- Staff-administered medication daily
- On-site medical staff, including doctors
- Semi-private or shared room with medical accommodations
- In-home social activities
Types of Staff Members at Assisted Living Near Me
While assisted living communities don’t require a full medical staff like nursing homes, they still hire the right people to keep residents safe, happy, and healthy. Keep reading to see a few examples of the dedicated staff members you can find at a typical assisted living facility.
Certified nursing assistants (CNAs), as well as orderlies and other types of attendants, provide one of the most vital functions in assisted living: personal care for the residents. CNAs help residents with daily activities like dressing, bathing, and eating if they need assistance. They also monitor the resident’s condition, alerting senior nursing staff if they have any health concerns.
In an assisted living facility, CNAs work under a registered nurse (RN) who supervises the attendants and monitors the residents. Smaller communities might have a part-time or visiting nurse who manages their personal care staff, while large facilities often have full-time RNs.
RNs oversee the specialized care of residents, and facilities that provide care and supervision for dementia or physical disabilities typically have an RN on-site.
The various activities residents can participate in are a big part of what makes assisted living special. Many facilities have daily activity programming, which takes serious planning and work. Those responsibilities belong to the community’s activities director, who plans group activities that enrich the lives of the senior residents.
Activities can include outside trips to theaters, museums, or shopping centers, allowing the residents to stay active in the local community. The director also plans exercise classes, movie nights, volunteer events, and other types of entertainment.
Maintenance and Housekeeping Workers
Having medical staff isn’t the only way to keep residents safe; maintenance and housekeeping staff are just as essential. Keeping the facility clean prevents infections from spreading among residents and stops infestations of rodents and insects. Maintenance workers monitor the community for safety hazards like broken lights or obstacles that could trip someone.
How to Find the Best Assisted Living or Nursing Home Near Me
Assisted living offers a safe, comfortable environment for seniors to enjoy their life while receiving necessary care and assistance. Residents typically don’t require around-the-clock medical care, but nurses are always available to help with personal care needs and medication management.