Assisted Living Versus Residential Care Discussed by Bristol Care Homes

There are many differences between assisted living and residential care in a care or nursing home setting. When you or someone in your life is at the point where they need additional help with day to day living and tasks then there are a couple of options available for you to consider. It will depend on how much help is needed and if there are any medical needs that will need nursing support. In this article, we talk about Assisted Living V Residential Care, the differences and how you decide which one is better for you or your loved one.

Assisted Living

Assisted living which can also be referred to as supported, retirement or extra care living, offers people the opportunity to live in their own apartment or flat where there is onsite support available to them when and if they need it.

It may be that you want to downsize from where you are currently living as you are now at retirement age and no longer want the responsibility of looking after and maintaining your own home or garden but you still want to live independently or it may be that you want to live independently but now need a bit of support with everyday tasks.

Assisted, supported, retirement or extra care living offers a greater level of autonomy as far as your living environment and your routine is concerned. It is for people who are independent and can mentally look after themselves but may need some help physically. They may also want the company of others who are in the same situation and live in the apartments around them and they no longer want or feel safe to live alone in the community.

There will be a team onsite to support you with anything you need on an ad hoc or planned basis which means you can live your life as you want to without as much structure as there would be in a care or nursing home. You may be at the stage of your life where you don’t need any support with your day to day living, however, you want to futureproof so that when the time comes you are already living in a lovely and luxurious apartment where there is onsite support if you need it, with little or no maintenance at all.

  • If you live in an assisted living apartment it offers you more independence both internally and externally, however, you have to be able to look after yourself to some extent.
  • Assisted living ensures you have complete independence and your own personal space with peace of mind that help is there when and if you need it. Good assisted living options will offer bespoke care packages that are tailored to your needs which means you only pay for the additional care and support that you need.
  • Apartments are generally new-build or renovated to ensure minimal maintenance with wheelchair and mobility scooter easy access. Apartments should always offer secure entry with camera entry points to every apartment. There will be level access throughout the apartments, building and gardens and lifts to all floors.
  • They will offer onsite maintenance and management so you don’t have to worry about those ad hoc jobs that always come up when you’re least expecting them.
  • There will be 24/7, 365 days a year help if you need it which gives you and your family peace of mind that you can call for help and someone onsite will be there for you.
  • Daily supported living care can include housework, laundry, help to get up and go to bed, dressing and undressing or home delivery food shopping.
  • Assisted living apartments can have onsite restaurants if you decide you don’t want to cook for yourself at any time or you want to eat out and socialise with friends or family, all with easy and accessible access and support if you need it.
  • They will have communal lounges and areas where you can enjoy spending time with other residents or have planned social activities which can include external acts coming in, bingo, crafts or planned external visits to places of interest.
  • Some will have rehabilitation and exercise areas and they may even have an on-site hairdresser for you to use as well.
  • They will have fully maintained gardens which you can enjoy on your own or with family and friends without the worry of having to maintain it yourself which we all know can be extremely hard work.
  • With extra care living, an individual’s care plan should be designed to make a positive difference to their daily life, making sometimes the simplest of things which you are now struggling with easier whilst still maintaining your independence and having your own apartment to live and socialise in.

Residential Care & Nursing Homes

Residential Care & Nursing Homes are very different from assisted living apartments as they provide more structured and specialised daily care and nursing support to residents that need it.

A residential care home is for people with a lower level of need or physical dependency compared to those living in a nursing home. A care home typically suits someone who can no longer continue to live by themselves safely at home. They may need some help with everyday tasks such as washing, dressing, meals cooked for them but their level of physical and medical needs are low to moderate. When someone needs medical support in their day to day living then a nursing home is more suitable for them.

A care home will provide help with personal care including; washing, dressing, taking medication and going to the toilet. They will offer nutritious meals and snacks every day and residents will eat together and be able to socialise if they want to. Residents living in a care home will have their own individual bedroom with their own bathroom, however, many other facilities are shared. There will be communal areas such as living rooms, dining rooms and gardens. Good care homes will offer lots of social and communal activities inhouse as well as day trips and outings.

A nursing home provides personal care as above but it will also include assistance from qualified nurses if a resident has particular medical needs. They are also sometimes called care homes with nursing.

By law a nursing home is required to have a nurse on site 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and this number may vary depending on the size of the home and the needs of the residents,

There are care homes which offer specialist dementia care and they will have a team of specialist dementia carers who understand dementia and have the skills and experience to ensure the people they are looking after feel comfortable and safe.

Dual-registered care and nursing homes are able to look after anyone who needs both personal and nursing care. Sometimes people who just need personal care will move into a dual care home so they don’t have to move if they later need nursing care.

Both Care & Nursing Homes in the UK all have to be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England. They ensure that health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate and high-quality care by conducting regular inspections to ensure they meet the standards required. They do this by inspecting and regulating health and social care services, always encouraging and monitoring care services to ensure they improve on any areas they have highlighted. They publish what they find in a detailed report which includes their overall CQC rating which helps people choose the right care provider for them.

What is the Care Quality Commission’s role?

  • Registering care providers
  • Monitoring inspecting and rating care services
  • Taking action to protect people who use care services
  • Speaking with independently and publishing views on major quality issues in health and social care

What does the Care Quality Commission do?

  • Protect the rights of vulnerable people, including those restricted under the Mental Health Act
  • Listen to and act on peoples experiences
  • Involve the public and people who receive care
  • Work with other organisations and public groups to ensure care services are of high quality, safe, effective and compassionate

In most cases, the Care Quality Commission inspection reports include detailed findings and an overall rating and these help people compare services and make choices about care and care providers.

There are four ratings that are given to health and social care services: outstanding, good, requires improvement and inadequate and these ratings are given for each of the five key questions as well as the care provider or service being given an overall rating.

Outstanding – The service is performing exceptionally well

Good – The service is performing well and meeting our expectations

Requires improvement – The service is not performing as well as it should and we have told the service how it must improve

Inadequate – The service is performing badly and we’ve taken action against the person or organisation that runs it

Unlike residential care and nursing homes, assisted, supported, retirement living are not registered care homes and therefore don’t fall under the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) regulation services.

The CQC, however, does provide guidance for assisted, supported, retirement living schemes.

What is the Best Option Assisted Living or a Care or Nursing Home?

It is a very daunting and difficult process to know where to start when deciding if you or a loved one now needs help in their everyday life and if you should consider assisted living or a residential care home.

There are lots of things to think about and if you are making a decision for someone else you should always involve them in the decision making wherever possible and this way they won’t feel you have made this life-changing decision for them without their input.

Staying at Home

In some cases staying at home is the best option and there are things you can do to make this easier for them and you if you are taking more responsibility for caring for them.

  • Can you adapt their home to make certain activities easier for them eg, installing a level access walk-in shower, handrails, wash/dry toilet or a stairlift
  • Adapting the outside of a property to provide access to the home or garden via a ramp or level and widened path or walkways
  • Adapting a room downstairs to convert it to a downstairs bedroom
  • Adapting the kitchen so that ovens and worktops are more accessible
  • Getting some daily at-home support to help them with things that are becoming difficult including; getting up and going to bed, dressing, washing and meals etc
  • Arranging a cleaner to help with cleaning, washing, ironing and changing bedding
  • A gardener who will take care of the outside space

Adapting a home to make it easier for someone to live their life more independently helps to:

  • Increase and/or maintain levels of independence
  • Reduce the risk of falls and accidents
  • Reduce the need for help from paid carers, family or friends or moving into a care home
  • Reduce the risk of hospital admissions
  • Support those who are providing care to others
  • Avoid or delay the need for residential care which many people will not want to do before they need to

Assisted LivingAssisted, Supported, Retirement and Extra Care Living

If your loved one is feeling lonely at home and wants more company around them with people who are in the same situation, but they still want to live independently with some additional support then assisted living may be the right option for them.

There are care packages that can be put in place to help with cleaning, shopping, getting up and going to bed, managing medication, dressing and shopping. An onsite warden always on hand for any emergencies which gives you and your loved one peace of mind. Security for the whole apartment complex along with security for each individual apartment again making you feel safe and secure in your own home 24 hours a day. Assisted living removes the worry of gardening and maintenance and offers social activities and friendships with people living in the apartments around you. Apartments will be designed to have wheelchair access, they will be smart and modern with 24/7, 365 days a year support if you need it.

Daily supported living can include housework, laundry, help to get up and go to bed, dressing and undressing or home delivery food shopping.

Assisted living apartments can have onsite restaurants for the times when you don’t want to cook for yourself or you want to socialise with friends or family in an easy, accessible and readably available restaurant if you need it.

They will have communal lounges and areas where you can enjoy spending time with other residents or planned social activities which can include external acts coming in, bingo, crafts or planned external visits to places of interest.

Some will have rehabilitation and exercise areas and they may even have an on-site hairdresser for you to use as well.

They may have fully maintained gardens which you can enjoy on your own or with family and friends without the worry of having to look after it and keep it up together yourself.

Moving into assisted living housing where there is on-site support to help if they need it and enables them to live their life independently with a bit more support as well as more social interaction with other residents is a great alternative to moving into a residential care home when it’s not needed.

Care & Nursing Home Living

Moving into a care or nursing home is often the right choice for people and if their needs require it then finding the right one will be a relief and a positive and life-changing experience if they are struggling on their own and feeling isolated and lonely.

You can ask your local council to arrange a care needs assessment and this will assess day to day needs to see what support can be provided and help you to decide which option is best.

Bristol Care Homes and Quarry Court Extra Care Living Apartments

Assisted, Extra Care Living Apartments at Quarry Court

Residents in the new development of Quarry Court in Fishponds have the best of both worlds, independent living in beautiful well-designed apartments plus care on hand whenever it is needed.

Quarry Court offers a stunning leisure pool and gym, an elegant white tablecloth restaurant, a hair salon, a resident kitchenette, and artfully decorated communal lounge areas.

Personal care, catering, laundry, cleaning, food delivery and maintenance services are all available and these can be adapted to suit your individual needs.

Extra care assisted living is an ideal way to ensure all your future care needs will be met by the nursing and care team at the adjacent Quarry House Nursing Home. It can suit couples when one person is a resident in Quarry House and you want to be nearby. Our extra care living combines independence with available care on hand whenever you need it. It is a low-cost solution compared to residential care where you maintain your independence in your own apartment with others living around you in similar situations.

Bristol Care Homes

Bristol Care Homes are an independently owned group of 4 high-quality care & nursing homes in Bristol. Our dedicated team provide quality and caring services every day and our founding vision is to provide excellence in all aspects of care for all our residents.

Our service leads the way in care home provision and this shows in our Care Quality Commission Ratings:

Glebe House – Outstanding CQC Rating

Beech House – Outstanding CQC Rating

Field House – Good CQC Rating

Quarry House – Good CQC Rating

We are always looking to be innovative in our services and we offer many features which will help you or your loved one to maintain a high level of fulfilment in your life at each of our care homes. Many of our services are unique to Bristol Care Homes and include:

  • Beautiful gardens with green space, trees and flowers
  • Environmentally designed buildings with 24/7 air circulation to always keeping the atmosphere fresh and airy
  • Spacious rooms with increased ceiling height which gives the feeling of space and openness
  • Wide corridors for easy access
  • Television, DVD Player and direct line telephones in every room
  • Internet access in every resident’s room
  • Customised high-quality wheelchairs provided when needed
  • High technology baths and walk-in showers
  • Minibus services with a regular schedule of trips
  • Regular maintenance and replacement cycles of new carpets and decoration
  • Top-quality, highly skilled chefs producing tasty, varied and nutritious meals
  • A programme of interesting and stimulating social activities for all residents including pet therapy
  • Warm, friendly and caring staff who get to know each resident and take time with them every day to ensure they are happy and fulfilled
  • Specialist medical care including dementia care

Contact us today to find out more about us, the services we offer and how we can help you find the Best Care Nursing Home or Assisted Living Apartments in Bristol.