When To Move From Assisted Living to a Nursing Home

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As your parents age, chances are they will live in an assisted living facility at some point. While many facilities are of the utmost excellence and genuinely care for their residents, others leave a lot to be desired. Caring for your parent means knowing when to move from assisting living to a nursing home in Greenville, SC, and what to do if you suspect your loved one has not been cared for properly.

What Is the Difference Between Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living?

Assisted living is a long-term housing option for aging adults who don’t need intensive medical support but can still benefit from extra assistance. Assisted living facilities provide basic care, such as assistance with getting in and out of bed, bathing or showering, getting dressed, personal hygiene, walking and eating. Staff members also create social events for residents and help them with shopping, managing medication, cooking, cleaning and running errands.

Skilled nursing communities, also known as nursing homes, provide all the services assisted living centers offer.

However, the staff members include licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and registered nurses (RNs) because nursing home residents often need higher levels of medical care. Living in a nursing home provides patients with a variety of medical services, including:

  • Physical, speech or occupational therapy
  • Advanced state pressure ulcer care
  • IV medications
  • Laboratory, radiology and pharmaceutical services
  • Wound care
  • Feeding tubes
  • Respiratory therapy or ventilator care
  • End-of-life or hospice care

When Is It Time for Nursing Home Care?

Consider several things when deciding when to move your aging parent from assisted living to a nursing home in Greenville, SC. The most common indicator of the need for a nursing facility is an increasing number of falls or physical injuries. However, there are other less obvious reasons to consider as well.

Changes in mobility

Most people in assisted living facilities have some or all of their mobility. However, as people age, they typically lose some, if not all, of their ability to get around on their own. If you notice that your loved one is having difficulty getting around, even with mobility devices, it may be time to switch to a more hands-on nursing environment.

Changes in eating habits

Did you notice that your aging loved one seems to be losing weight? It could be that they can no longer eat as well.

Many aging people need specialized diets, special supplements or even IV feeding to ensure they get enough calories each day.

Problems with personal hygiene

If your loved one is staying in an assisted living facility, they should have help with bathing, changing clothes and other personal hygiene tasks. If you’ve noticed your aging parent seems unkempt, has body odor or hasn’t been brushing their teeth, it could indicate that the facility can no longer keep up with their care needs.

Chronic health conditions

As people age, their health ailments become more complex and may need constant monitoring. This is especially true if your loved one has diabetes (especially if it is not under control), arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, respiratory disorders, heart disease, cancer or has had a stroke.

Common Injuries That May Indicate It’s Time To Move to a Nursing Home

Everybody experiences injuries from time to time, but if your loved one experiences any of these common ones while living in an assisted living facility, it could mean that the facility is not able to provide enough care. Consider a nursing facility if your aging parent is suffering from any of the following.


Falls are one of the most common causes of injuries for seniors age 65 and older. There are 37 million of them each year, and about 37% of those lead to an injury that requires medical treatment and restricts the fall victim’s activity for at least one day. Some of the most common injuries that result from falls include head injuries and hip fractures.


Sprains are relatively common injuries for people of all ages but may be especially troubling if they’re happening frequently to a loved one living in an assisted living facility. Seniors often already experience joint stiffness, which can make frequent sprains all the more painful and troublesome.


As people age, they are more likely to fall victim to burns due to their loss of muscle mass and strength, making it harder for them to move away from the heat source. If your loved one has their own assisted living apartment, it may mean they can no longer do their cooking. It’s especially worrisome if they suffer a burn in a facility where they have a room instead of an apartment, as their access to fire should be assisted to ensure safety.

If any of the above is happening frequently to your loved one in an assisted living facility, it is a good indicator it’s time to move them to a nursing home.

Signs That May Point To Elder Abuse

There are both physical and mental health indicators that your loved one is being abused. It is important to know the signs.

Common physical signs of elder abuse include broken bones, burns, head injuries, bruises or welts, cuts and scrapes or pressure marks. If you notice ongoing signs, or if you don’t feel you’re being told the truth about how your aging parent was injured, it could be an indicator to transfer your loved one to a different nursing facility.

Emotional abuse can be just as debilitating as physical abuse for your aging parent. If you notice your loved one seems to hesitate to speak freely in front of staff members, is isolated or withdrawn, is making up implausible stories about their injuries or seems to be anxious, angry, fearful or depressed, they may be experiencing emotional elder abuse.

When To Contact an Attorney

If you suspect that your aging loved one is being abused in their assisted living or nursing facility, contact an experienced elder abuse attorney in Greenville, SC, as soon as possible. An attorney can go through the case with you, including performing thorough research on any allegations the facility experienced in the past and determining which type of compensation your loved one may be entitled to. This typically includes medical expenses related to injuries received at the facility, rehabilitation costs, physical and emotional pain and suffering and restitution for financial exploitation, if relevant.

Contact Dan Pruitt Injury Law Firm Today

Dan Pruitt Injury Law Firm is home to experienced and compassionate elder abuse attorneys who can help you build your case and get the compensation your loved one deserves. Contact us today for a consultation. We serve Greenville, SC, and the surrounding area.

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