Assisted Living vs Nursing Home: What’s The Difference

Assisted Living vs Nursing Home: What’s The Difference

This post was most recently updated on May 18th, 2023

Assisted living facilities are for residents who want to maintain as much independence and freedom as possible. Assisted living communities often provide meals, transportation, help with medications, and other tasks of daily living like dressing, bathing, or house chores.

Nursing homes are for residents who need a higher level of care because they require significantly more assistance with everyday activities. Nursing homes can provide medical care and therapy that many assisted living centers do not offer, but the trade-off is limited privacy and autonomy.

The Advantages Of Assisted Living vs Nursing Home

One of the clear advantages is that an assisted living facility can provide more supervised independence and more freedom to residents than a nursing home. Residents in an assisted living community have their daily needs provided for, such as food, transportation, medications, and help with bathing and housing work. Still, they also have the flexibility to go out on shopping trips, eat at restaurants, or even go on vacation.

In a nursing home, many amenities are available, but the restrictions and limitations on daily activities are much more stringent. Most nursing homes today have at least one resident needing 24-hour care or even more. The average nursing home stay ranges from about 3 to 6 months for a new resident or resident that has had a long time to get adjusted to the nursing home environment before being placed.

The Disadvantage of Assisted Living vs Nursing Home

The disadvantages of an assisted living community are that a resident’s daily needs are only sometimes being met as often as they could and should be. Having enough staff to answer the resident’s call and respond promptly can also be challenging. The staff is often stretched too thin, making it hard for them to attend to all the residents’ needs properly. 

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Also, some of the activities that assisted living facilities offer can be limited. Not all care facilities offer transportation, and some do not provide meal and house cleaning services. The other disadvantage is that many nursing homes are physically located in rural areas, which may not be able to keep up with the growing populations of elderly or disabled residents shortly.

Main Types Of Assisted Living vs Nursing Homes

There are many different types of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Each facility is other in size, function, style, and location.

Nursing homes can be categorized based on the level of care they provide. A Critical Nursing Care home will have skilled nurses on staff to provide around-the-clock supervision. A Nurse supervised facility is one in which the resident has a private room and is cared for by a nurse or licensed caregiver during their stay. Still, there may be less supervision provided to the resident.

Assisted living facilities can be categorized based on the amount of care they provide. An Independent Living assisted living environment is one where the resident has a room, bathroom, and sometimes a kitchenette. They have their own private kitchen, and the staff addresses their daily needs. A one-bedroom assisted living facility offers around-the-clock supervision to the residents in a larger community setting with common rooms and a dining hall.

These are just some main topics for assisted living vs nursing homes. Each type of facility offers something different depending on its size and management structure. 

Sikander Zaman
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