Nursing Homes care for seniors who have daily needs that must be taken care of by a licensed medical professional like a nurse or respiratory therapist. Assisted Living Communities, on the other hand, often have nurses on staff, but they are supervising aides who deliver most of the care. While the most sophisticated Assisted Living Communities can provide much of the care needed by the most fragile seniors, there are some elderly people who can only be safely cared for in a nursing home.
Besides care levels, a second reason that seniors enter a nursing home is money. While the average monthly cost in a nursing home on Long Island is over $17,000/month (more twice the cost of Assisted Living), nursing homes generally accept Medicaid, while fee-for-service Assisted Living communities do not accept Medicaid. When seniors have worked with an experienced Elder Law attorney, have put their assets into a trust, and have completed the waiting period, a nursing home placement can be made that will cost the senior and the family little or even no out of pocket money. This is sometimes the only option for families of the most fragile and medically needy senior, and it can be a good option for the senior with the highest levels of daily needs.