Nursing Homes vs. Assisted Living


As hard as it is, many people cannot provide the care their loved ones need as they grow older. When this time comes, making the move to an assisted living facility or nursing home is often in the senior’s best interests. Although the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, these 2 types of facilities are very different in what they offer.

Level of Supervision

Nursing homes offer 24-hour supervision by trained staff members. This makes them the ideal choice for people who are confined to their beds, suffer from dementia, or have other conditions that make it impossible to care for themselves.

Assisted living facilities, on the other hand, have less supervision–although staff members are still present to help with certain tasks. This gives a little more independence and privacy to seniors who are still able to perform most tasks on their own.

Medical Care

Both nursing homes and assisted living facilities have staff members who are trained to respond to emergencies and care for specific conditions such as Alzheimer’s. They can also help administer medications or supervise physical therapy as needed. If your elderly loved one has a condition that requires specific care, check with the facility to make sure they have the staff and resources necessary to provide the best care possible.


Because assisted living facilities require less staff supervision, they often cost between 1/2 to 2/3 that of a nursing home. Find out the details of your loved one’s Medicare or Medicaid plan before you make your final decision, however. Both of these have specific regulations for what they will and will not cover, and they vary by state.


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