Assisted living and nursing homes: How are they different?

On Behalf of | Jun 27, 2022 | Elder Law |

As individuals age, it is natural that they need aid with certain functions. This may be minor, such as help traveling, or more intensive, such as help bathing.

According to Home Health News, approximately one in five people participating in a poll stated that they received assistance with regular activities. Similarly, one in five individuals revealed that they or a family member needed aid beyond this. While many seniors prefer to age at home, they may need more support than a home nurse or caregiver is able to provide. Assisted living facilities and nursing homes are two options available to them.

Nursing homes offer more care

The biggest difference between nursing homes and assisted living facilities is the level of care they offer. The former caters to those who need more specialized and intensive care, such as physical or speech therapy, specific medical attention and around-the clock-care.

Assisted living residents are able to take advantage of services such as housekeeping and aid with transportation, dressing and medication management that nursing homes also offer, but they also live independent lives. They often have individual apartments or suites and the chance to participate in community activities. The atmosphere of assisted living facilities is one meant to mimic a home, while that of nursing homes is more clinical, like a hospital.

Level of care is a determining factor

Individuals who need a higher level of care, especially medical care, may need nursing home services as opposed to assisted living facilities. More supervision and specialized nurses may be necessary, for example, for those suffering from dementia.

Whether a nursing home or assisted living facility is right for a person depends on that person’s needs. It is important to carefully research any facility in consideration and develop a plan for long-term care.


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