Assisted living vs. nursing home – What is the difference?

What is the difference between an Assisted Living and Nursing Home?

The Difference Between a Nursing Home & Assisted Living

When your parents decide to leave their home of 40/50 years and move into a senior living community it can be life-changing. Not only is it a complex and difficult decision with numerous little details to consider but it can also be an emotional one. Facing the reality of no longer being as independent as before or not being able to keep up with maintaining the family home can be frustrating and devastating.

Yes leaving behind a sense of independence, a lifetime of memories, and security can be hard and overwhelming but with some careful and intentional planning, transitioning into a senior living facility can be the start of a new beginning and creating new memories.

You may be in this place and even the research seems so overwhelming so let’s go over some of the basics. The main difference between a nursing home and assisted living is the level of care offered. This means that when searching for a place you need to think long-term and if your loved one’s health will relatively stay the same or will be deteriorating and they will need more care in 2-3 years.

 Assisted Living

Assisted living is just that, your loved one requires assistance with some of life’s daily activities. With assisted living, you still maintain your independence for the most part. There is a staff member there to assist if and when needed. Assistance from a staff member may look like:

  • Preparation with meals
  • Showering
  • Dressing
  • Taking medication
  • Laundry
  • Housekeeping

So if you’re able to do these things on your own you have that freedom, if you need a little help it’s there for you. Couples are able to reside together and you have your own living space such as an apartment, condo, or private room. Now staff members aren’t skilled nurses but if needed there are medical staff on the premises in case of an emergency.

Nursing Home

These facilities are also known as long-term care facilities. They are for those who require a much higher level of personal and medical care. They may have physical or mental needs that can’t properly be addressed and taken care of by an assisted living staff member. Some services provided in a nursing home are:

  • Medication management
  • Administration of medication
  • Rehabilitative care
  • Management of cognitive impairment conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia

A nursing home offers the 24/7 care your loved one may need. The important thing to remember is that you can’t just sign-up to live in a nursing home, there are certain eligibility requirements. So if you’ve received an early diagnosis you may want to consider starting your research now and signing up early for when the time comes.

Whether you and your parents decide on a nursing home or assisted living, it’s important to remember that wherever they choose to live that you can still visit them and spend time with them. Assisted living typically allows you to come and go as you please as it is more independent whereas a nursing home, for security reasons, may require you to sign in and may have visiting hours.

If you find yourself at a point where it may be time to start thinking about downsizing and transitioning into some sort of senior care facility know that Senior Living Experience is here to assist you. We are your one-stop senior living concierge service. When you choose us you are assigned your very own Senior Real Estate Specialist that will help you come up with a unique plan for you and then be with you every step of the way till that plan is fully executed.


If you have any questions: CONTACT US NOW!