Assisted Living or a Nursing Home? What You Should Know
Posted May 7, 2020

Wondering how Assisted Living and Nursing Homes (also known as skilled nursing facilities) differ and which might be best for your loved one? In the last post “Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Are Not The Same Thing!” we tried to show you that senior living facilities are not created equally. That means that nursing homes, and assisted living facilities differ from one another in some important ways. It’s important for you to know what care is available to your loved one across the board. This is called Activities of Daily Living, or ADL. These activities include bathing, dressing, and different types of personal care. 


What’s Present In Both Nursing Homes and Assisted Living?

While mom may not need that care at the moment, it’s comforting to know that even the baseline care provided at these facilities is of high quality. Professionals at these facilities are there for you and your loved one, whenever needed. Below you can find out other examples of personal care that are provided at assisted living facilities and nursing homes, alike:

Type/ Example of Care Present in Both Assisted Living and Nursing Home
Medication Management Someone is always there to be sure mom takes the right medicine at the right time
Sense of Community Many opportunities to make friends, and feel emotionally, spiritually and physically uplifted
Supportive Services These include laundry, housekeeping, transportation and more!
Secure Environment From small things like grab bars and handrails in bathrooms to entire emergency call systems
Dietary Health Three well- balanced meals a day as well as nutritious snacks at all times


What’s Different?

Let’s delve into ways in which care differs. The major differences exist in the care and services provided, and in the appearance of the facility: 

Care and Services– Residents in nursing homes usually require around the clock care. This is because they typically live with more complex health conditions. That is why nursing homes come with nurses, therapists and even respiratory support. Contrastly, residents in an assisted living community generally require what’s called custodial care (hence, a different cost structure. check out our cost calculator). An example of this is memory care or help with moving from one location to another, or taking preventative measures to minimize falls.

Difference in build– This includes the layout and appearance of the institution. While a nursing home generally looks a little institutional because of the type of care provided, an assisted living usually resembles a normal apartment. Nursing home residents are more likely to share a room with another senior, since this expedites the ability to provide quality care. Residents in an assisted living community usually have their own apartment or suite.


Here’s an excellent graphic from Brookdale Communities!


We hope this was helpful to you and that you can give some more thought to what type of facility might be the most fitting for your loved one! 

Talia Schabes

Talia has a background in health and received her degree in Nutritional Science at Rutgers University.

Leave a Reply