What’s the Difference Between an Assisted Living Home and a Nursing Home

Assisted Living Home and a Nursing Home
Senior Woman Sitting On Bench And Talking With Nurse In Retirement Home

A lot of people think that nursing homes and assisted living homes are the same when they have very significant differences. You have to know what these differences are if you were thinking of living in one of those facilities or sending one of your relatives to live there. They both offer different services, tend to look very different, and also have differences in costs that you need to be aware of. Let’s take a look at some of the major differences between assisted living homes and nursing ones so you can make the right choice for you or your senior parent.

Nursing Homes are For Long-Term Care

The main difference between a nursing home and an assisted living home is the level of care. Nursing homes are for people who need care and supervision 24/7. They are run by nurses, not regular employees, and are pretty much healthcare facilities minus a few things.

Nursing homes are mainly for people who have debilitating chronic illnesses or are near the end of their life. You should know, however, that while this isn’t what assisted living homes are for, many of them offer healthcare services. Communities like these offer short-term respite care options, for instance. Others have memory care services for people suffering from Alzheimer’s and other degenerative diseases.

Most assisted living facilities will have at least one nurse present. They will not be there to give continuous care, but they’ll be one call away.

Assisted Living is for Autonomous or Semi-Autonomous People

Assisted living homes are mainly for people that are still autonomous but don’t care for or don’t have the energy to perform everyday tasks. Staff at these homes will help residents with everyday tasks such as showering, doing laundry, and taking medications. They will also help with meals, cleaning, and housekeeping.

Assisted living, like the name implies, is about assistance first and foremost, not active care. Some facilities even allow residents to personalize their space with their choice of furniture while nursing homes will have strict rules as to how the room should be configured, as the main focus is healthcare.

Assisted Living Allows Seniors to Live a Semi-Normal Life

Assisted living is best for people who want to still feel like their life is normal. They can come and go as they please, as long as they respect basic rules like curfews. They can also live with their partners in the same living space if they want to. 

Not Everyone Can Get Into a Nursing Home

Another major difference between a nursing home and an assisted living home is that virtually any senior can live in an assisted living home while nursing homes have much stricter requirements for eligibility. If you feel like your parent has an issue that might need additional assistance but is not important enough to require 24/7, you will need to look at assisted facilities that offer specialized health care services.

So, now that you know a bit more about the difference between nursing homes and assisted living homes, you can start looking at the best option for you. Consider both if you feel like you could benefit from them and start visiting a few homes as soon as possible.