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Assisted Living vs. Nursing Homes – What is the Differance

Written by Kerry Lange

| 4 minutes
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What Is Assisted Living?

Assisted living is a great choice for seniors who can no longer live alone, but want to stay active and social. These communities have a 93% satisfaction rate, so your aging loved one is probably not picturing what they will be like when they move into an assisted living community.
In assisted living, seniors get long-term housing and care. They are usually active, but may need help with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing, and using the toilet. In assisted living, seniors can expect personalized care, nutritious meals, a wide range of social activities that cater to their interests, and a sense of community in a safe setting.
When you are looking for a place for your aging loved one, know that many assisted living communities have health standards for admitting residents. For example, your relative may need to be able to eat on their own or transfer between a bed and wheelchair without help.

What services do assisted living communities provide?

Assisted living communities provide services and amenities that help seniors stay healthy and active. This may include things like keeping them physically active, providing intellectual stimulation, and helping them stay socially connected. Some of those services include restaurant-style dining, activities based on resident interest and many more.

Who can benefit from assisted living?

Assisted living communities are for seniors who want to stay independent but need some help. The community will help them with things they can’t do by themselves, but they will still be able to live their life the way they want.

How much do assisted living communities cost?

The cost of assisted living can vary depending on the community, its location, and the services it offers. Generally speaking, assisted living communities — which offer more amenities and care services than independent senior apartments — tend to be more expensive. However, the difference between the cost of assisted living and nursing home care is significant, since nursing homes offer full-time medical care.
The average cost of living in a retirement home in the United States is $4,300 per month, according to Genworth’s most recent Cost of Care Survey.
 What is a nursing home?


Nursing homes are places where elderly adults who need a lot of help can go. Nurses and other people who work there help these people with things like bathing, dressing, and eating. These facilities offer the highest level of care for seniors who don’t need to be in a hospital, but do need a lot of help every day.
Nursing homes often have certain requirements that need to be met before someone can move in. These requirements can include a doctor’s prescription, a physical examination, and state approval. If your loved one doesn’t meet these requirements, then they may need to consider moving to an assisted living home or another type of care setting that is more appropriate for their needs.
What services do nursing homes provide?
Nursing homes are a place for older adults who need care 24 hours a day. In addition to the services offered by assisted living communities, nursing homes offer many medically related options:
  • Providing long-term care that is both palliative and preventative
  • Administering prescription medication, including injections, is a process that must be done with care in order to ensure the safety and health of the patient.
  • Meal options that must meet the daily nutritional requirements and the unique dietary needs of each resident, including diets that are pureed or liquid
Skilled nursing care is an important part of many nursing homes. This means that there are trained professionals available to help your loved one at all times. If your family member is very ill or has a serious medical condition, they may need specialized care from the licensed health care professionals in a skilled nursing home, instead of the senior care aides who are highly trained but may not be medically certified.

Who can benefit from nursing home care?

Nursing homes offer more care than assisted living communities. This makes them a good choice for seniors who need significant medical care and also want companionship, help with activities of daily living, and on-site amenities. If your elderly loved ones require a greater level of care, a nursing home may be the right fit. These seniors may:

  • Require a lot of care because of a chronic condition or poor health.
  • Be unable to take care of oneself without help.
  • Have progressive conditions.

How much do skilled nursing facilities cost?

Nursing home costs vary depending on the location, state funding, and not-for-profit status of the nursing home. Generally speaking, skilled nursing facilities are more expensive than other senior living communities because the residents require more help with medical needs and personal care.

The cost difference between assisted living and nursing home care is significant. The median monthly cost of nursing homes in the U.S. is about $7,989 for a semi-private room and $9,086 for a private room, according to Genworth.

Unlike many assisted living communities, nursing homes can often be paid for using government assistance for lower-income residents.

How do you decide which care type is best for your loved one?

In the past several decades, senior living choices have expanded as the needs and expectations of older adults have changed. Finding the right option that meets your loved one’s needs is an important part of keeping them healthy, active, and safe. The best way to decide which care type is best for your loved one is by talking to those with experience with these care types.

How CircleOf Caring App can help?

CircleOf caregiver app is great for keeping track of your loved ones. The app allows you to enter information about your loved one’s medical condition, medications, and appointments. The app also has a calendar feature that helps you keep track of when your loved one needs to be seen by a doctor or take their medication. The Caregiver app is a great tool for caregivers and their loved ones.

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