What is the difference between assisted living and nursing home?

Assisted living communities are designed to feel at home and residents often live in their own apartments or suites with private bathrooms and kitchenettes. Nursing homes have a more clinical setting and residents often live in a private or semi-private room that does not include a living room or kitchen. In general, assisted living is for people who may need help with daily tasks. Nursing homes are for people who need a higher and consistent standard of care, often around the clock.

Both assisted living facilities and nursing homes offer some of the same essential services, but studying the differences below can help you decide what type of care you need.

Assisted Living

Costs Vary by Community, Location, and Services Offered. In general, assisted living, which provides additional amenities and care services, costs more than self-contained apartments for seniors. However, the difference between assisted living and nursing home costs is significant, as assisted living communities do not offer full-time healthcare.

Assisted living is a great option for seniors who need extra support or who need help with day-to-day tasks. A nursing home, on the other hand, offers more comprehensive support to older people with high medical needs. When the term “assisted living community” is used, it can be considered a nursing home. But these two housing options for seniors are not the same.

So how is assisted living different from a nursing home? Both are a form of long-term care, but differ in purpose, levels of care, residences, and lifestyle. As you can see, there is quite a difference between assisted living and a nursing home. If you want to learn more about assisted living communities in your area, you can use the senior housing search tool to find those near you. If you are considering an assisted living community, use this assisted living checklist to learn what to look for and what kinds of questions to ask.

They may also have physical or mental care needs that cannot be adequately addressed in an assisted living facility. The average stay among nursing home residents is 485 days, and 57 percent of residents qualify as “extended stay” or have spent more than 100 days in an SNF, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Two of the most common types of housing for the elderly are assisted living communities and nursing homes, also known as skilled nursing facilities. Because of this, assisted living can be less disruptive to your parents' “normal” routine and can offer some sense of community.

Assisted living communities are a more recent option for seniors, who made their first appearances on the senior living scene in the early 1990s, as more seniors wanted kind assistance with activities of daily living in a comfortable, more homely environment. In an assisted living facility, residents have access to different levels of health care depending on their individual needs. The staff of a nursing home can help residents with everything from day-to-day tasks to the most complex medical care. Overall, one of the biggest differences between nursing homes and assisted living communities is cost.

Elderly people in assisted living often live in private apartments that they can decorate themselves, even bringing furniture and home decor. So what is the difference between assisted living and nursing homes, and what does it fit your loved one's needs? Learn more about the services, features and costs of assisted living compared to nursing homes to help find the best community for your elderly relative. When it comes to assisted living, neither Medicare Part A nor B offers coverage for comprehensive long-term care. Nursing homes, also called skilled nursing facilities or nursing homes, are designed for older people who require full-time monitoring and medical assistance.

If your loved one doesn't meet these requirements, assisted living or other more moderate-care settings may be better suited to their needs. Many nursing homes offer art classes, choir, cooking classes, animal therapy, educational courses, and mentally stimulating games for residents to enjoy. More commonly referred to as a skilled nursing facility, a nursing home provides the highest possible level of care outside of a hospital. .


Daphne Loup
Daphne Loup

Total music trailblazer. Avid tv nerd. Unapologetic twitter practitioner. Subtly charming coffee evangelist. Freelance coffee expert.

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