What is a nursing home?

There is often confusion about the difference between nursing homes and assisted living facilities. A nursing home is a residential facility that provides around-the-clock care for people who are unable to care for themselves. This includes personal care, such as help with activities of daily living (ADLs), as well as medical care. Nursing homes typically have a higher staff-to-resident ratio and more medical equipment than assisted living facilities.

What is an assisted living facility?

An assisted living facility is a residential facility that provides some level of support and assistance to residents, but does not offer 24-hour skilled nursing care. assisted living facilities typically have a lower staff-to-resident ratio than nursing homes and may or may not have on-site medical personnel. Residents of assisted living facilities typically live in their own apartments or private rooms and receive assistance with ADLs, such as bathing, dressing, and grooming. Some assisted living facilities also offer memory care services for residents with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.

Assisted Living vs. Nursing Homes

There are several key differences between assisted living facilities versus nursing homes, including:

  • Cost: Assisted living facilities are typically more expensive than nursing homes.
  • Type of care: Nursing homes provide 24-hour skilled nursing care, while assisted living facilities only provide non-medical assistance with ADLs.
  • Environment: Assisted living facilities are designed to feel like home, while nursing homes can have a more institutional feel.
  • Activities: Assisted living facilities typically offer a variety of social and recreational activities for residents, while nursing homes typically do not.

Choosing the best option

When deciding between a nursing home and an assisted living community, it is important to determine the level of care and services that would best benefit you or your loved one. For someone who requires more extensive medical services or constant care, a nursing home could provide the highest quality of support. However, those needing lower levels of assistance may find an assisted living community more suitable.

Once you assess the level of care that fits best for you or your loved one, next consider the affordability factor. Location can also be an important factor in making a decision, since being close to family and friends is often beneficial. Lastly, take into account whether higher levels of independence or more specialized services are desired when deciding between a nursing home or an assisted living community.

No matter which option you choose, be sure to do your research to find the best possible senior living community for you or your loved one.