What is the difference between assisted living and a nursing home?

3 answers | Last updated: Dec 05, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

What is the difference between assisted living and a nursing home?


Expert Answers

Donna Quinn Robbins is the author of Moving Mom and Dad and On the Road of Life, Drive Yourself. She helps individuals, families, retirement communities, and corporations make successful transitions through her company, Ultimate Moves. Robbins is an active public speaker on the topic of senior transition services and has appeared on NBC's Today Show.

An assisted living community provides communal living, often with planned activities, housekeeping and laundry, transportation, meals, exercise and wellness programs, opportunities to socialize with other residents, and assistance with activities of daily living. These can include bathing, toileting, eating, and dressing, and may also include things like medication reminders. Some have special wings for residents who develop Alzheimer's or dementia.

In a nursing home, residents are under the 24-hour care of licensed or registered nursing staff (in a skilled nursing facility) or of certified nursing assistants (in an intermediate care facility). Some examples of reasons seniors might need skilled nursing would be if they were bed bound, needed a respirator, or had wounds that were not healing and required daily care.


Community Answers

Realtor! answered...

Yes, but what is the difference between senior living and assisted living. In assisted living can a resident have their own furniture. Does assisted living have apartment type like senior living.


Madreg60 answered...

One can have their own furniture at both a senior living and an assisted living facility. In an assisted living residence, the individual needs some 'assistance' in performing their daily duties. It can be as minor as remembering to take their medications, so these are dispensed by a nurse (depending on the state) on staff. In a senior living residence, the individual is independent, but the residents in the facility or community are all seniors, as apposed to a community that evolves naturally with a combination of all ages. Often, these communities are crafted purposefully to provide activities that keep seniors stimulated and engaged.