Seniors who need additional assistance and medical care may be interested in a personal care community or a nursing home. Many people refer to these options interchangeably, but they are very different. To get the best care possible, you need to understand what both of these care options provide and whether or not they are suitable for your health.

Keep reading to find out if West Chester, PA personal care or a nursing home is the better option for your needs.

What Is a Personal Care Community?

Personal care communities provide housing and different levels of care for seniors who require additional assistance. They are residential communities that provide skilled nursing care but are not the same as nursing homes. Many people consider personal care communities to be a more modern and updated version of nursing homes as they provide more specialization and higher quality care.
Personal care communities provide things like:

  • Continuous medical monitoring
  • Memory care
  • Skilled nursing care
  • Welcoming environment
  • Essential health services
  • Medication management
  • Private living spaces
  • Daily independence
  • Secure environment

Like many senior living communities, a personal care community provides basic amenities residents would need. This includes daily meals, housekeeping services, laundry services, transportation, emergency call systems, and wellness programs.

Personal Care Benefits

There are many benefits to moving into a personal care community in West Chester, PA instead of moving into a nursing home. One of the main benefits is that this provides a more welcoming and peaceful environment that isn’t as clinical as a nursing home. The interiors are decorated and have a design that is senior-friendly but still beautiful.

Residents also have access to private rooms and apartments that allow them to spend their days as they please. They can decorate their space to make it more homelike or invite people over for different activities.

Personal care communities also provide opportunities for socialization, social events, and different outings. There’s always something going on so that residents are never bored, and they have continual opportunities to learn and try new things.

Personal Care Drawbacks

As long as you have done your research, there are not many drawbacks to joining a personal care community. Some people may find that they have fewer opportunities and activities available than they would in an independent or assisted living community. While others may find that personal care communities cannot provide the care they need if they have extensive health or memory issues.

What is a Nursing Home?

A nursing home is a specialized facility that provides long-term care for people who cannot care for themselves. This is usually for senior individuals, but this could also apply to younger adults who may be mentally handicapped or physically unable to care for themselves.

Nursing homes assist with daily activities, which include medical care. Often, personal care, healthcare, and rehabilitation care are provided depending on the individual.
Nursing homes generally provide things like:

  • 24-hour care
  • Continuous medical monitoring
  • Hygienic care
  • Physical, occupational, and speech therapy
  • Skilled nursing care
  • Medication administration
  • Secure living environment
  • Essential health services

Like a personal care community, nursing homes also provide amenities like meals, housekeeping, laundry services, emergency call systems, and social activities.

Nursing Home Benefits

Because nursing homes are specialized, they can provide advanced medical and personal care. This often includes having staff around the clock of nurses and doctors in case any resident needs them. Nursing homes also have regular room checks to ensure everyone is safe and there haven’t been any accidents.

Nursing homes are quite social environments since there are many other residents living in the same area. Many nursing homes also have social activities encouraging residents to participate and get to know one another.

Nursing Home Drawbacks

Although there are benefits to moving into a nursing home, there are quite a few drawbacks as well. One of the main drawbacks is that nursing homes are quite professional and have a very clinical atmosphere. They feel more like a healthcare facility rather than an enjoyable place to live or socialize, which is the opposite of a personal care community.

Nursing homes also provide less privacy since residents are often in shared rooms and aren’t guaranteed privacy when they want it. Nurses are regularly coming in and out, as well as guests and family members.

Residents have much less flexibility when they live in a nursing home, as there is a set schedule for everyone. You won’t be able to decide when you want to eat or when you want to participate in different activities as everything is planned out for you. In some cases, this can be beneficial for increasing activity and helping with memory care, but some residents may find not having control over their daily activities unsettling.

Are Personal Care and Assisted Living Communities the Same Thing?

A common misconception people have is that personal care communities and assisted living communities are the same thing. Although they are somewhat similar, they have many differences, making them suitable for different types of needs.

Assisted living communities have more of a social setting as the residents there have a greater level of independence. They may need a little help with certain activities or tasks, but they do not have any designated medical needs.

The main types of care residents receive at assisted living communities are feeding, dressing, bathing, toileting, and administering medications. This is different from personal care homes, where residents receive more extensive medical services depending on their healthcare needs.

Finding a Safe & Comfortable Community

Making the transition into an assisted living community can feel overwhelming, but for many seniors, it is necessary for their health and increasing quality of life. If this is a step you need to take, you will want to compare West Chester personal care vs. nursing home care. Although both options may seem similar at first, there are many differences you will want to consider before making your decision.

Are you ready to commit to joining a compassionate and award-winning personal care community in West Chester, PA? Check out our guide to finding a safe and comfortable community to help you and your loved one make the best decision on the next chapter of life.

Safe & Comfortable Senior Living Community Guide