Aging is a part of life, and sometimes this can come with limitations or new challenges to face. If you or a loved one are beginning to need additional support, you may be looking into what care options are out there. Choosing the right type of care for seniors who need it is an important first step. 

Different senior living communities, such as those in the Park Place family, offer different options depending on needs. Some, like Shaughnessy Seniors Community, will specialize in long-term care, while others will focus on assisted living. Occasionally, some residences will offer both options as well. To make the best decision for your parent or loved one, you’ll need to first understand the differences between these two types of care. 

Here are the main differences between assisted living communities and long-term care homes:

Assisted living basics

Assisted living residences, also called supportive living in Alberta, are primarily designed to balance independence with a senior’s changing or increasing need for daily care. Unlike long-term care homes, assisted living communities are not meant for those who require around-the-clock care. 

The main focus of assisted living communities is to provide a supportive environment for seniors who can live independently but may need support in one or two specific areas. Perhaps your parent or loved one has mild physical limitations and will need help performing some daily tasks — like cleaning, cooking, or taking medication. Or, perhaps they have other functional health problems and would benefit from emergency care availability. If your parent has complex health concerns or is having trouble making decisions on their own behalf, they likely need the additional resources of long-term care.

Long-term care basics

Long-term care, also referred to as nursing home care, is focused on providing 24/7 assistance (if needed) to seniors who can no longer live safely or independently at home. Unlike assisted living communities, long-term care homes offer highly specialized support for complex health issues. 

Long-term care home residences, like Shaughnessy Seniors Community, give you and your loved one the peace of mind of full-time daily living and nursing care services. If your parent is experiencing cognitive decline or suffering from progressive conditions like Dementia or Alzheimer’s, the safety and resources of a nursing home will provide them with the secure environment they need. Long-term care is for any senior who has become unable to make day-to-day decisions and has begun needing around-the-clock support. 

Key differences and similarities 

After understanding the basics of both assisted living and long-term care options, you may also want to know more details about these two different types of residences. The key difference between nursing homes and assisted living communities is the amount of care provided, but other minor variations are worth noting. Many assisted living communities feature suites with basic cooking facilities and will often allow pets. Long-term care homes, understandably, don’t include these features for health and safety reasons. They do, however, offer pre-furnished rooms with safe and accessible furniture. 

Regardless of the level of care required, all Park Place Seniors Living residences offer an abundance of nutritious meals, social activities, recreation programs, amenities, and events. While the specifics of these offerings may differ from home to home, we believe it’s important to offer comfort and enrichment to all seniors across all levels of physical and cognitive ability. Our unique Resident’s Day program is also available in all our facilities, ensuring every resident has a voice when it comes to their daily schedules.   

Deciding to transition a loved one into assisted living or long-term care can indeed feel challenging. But, if you’re armed with the right knowledge and resources you’ll be able to make an intentional and informed choice. 

If you’re looking for a long-term care home in the Lower Mainland, Shaughnessy Seniors Community offers personalized and high-quality nursing care to support your parent or loved one. Located in Port Coquitlam, our boutique-style residence is warm, inviting, and can provide the resources required to keep your loved one comfortable and happy despite age-related health problems. If you’d like to learn more about our facilities and care plans, you can always visit our website or reach out to a member of our team and we’d be happy to help.