Differences Between Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities

Differences Between Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities
Differences Between Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities

It’s never easy coming to the decision to put a loved one in personalized assisted home care or a nursing home, nonetheless, which setting is the best fit for them. We’ve done the research to allow you to formulate all the information and make an informed decision on which living situation best suits your loved one’s needs. below in this article, we will cover the Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities.

Assisted Home Care

Assisted home care facilities are ideal for seniors who can remain independent for the most part. This type of living environment is perfect for seniors who still want to have a high level of independence, have that “at-home” feel, all while receiving help from staff.

Here are some of the aspects included in assisted home care.

Everyday Assistance

Staff assists seniors with everyday activities such as helping give and keep track of medication and plan and prepare meals. The main idea of assisted home care is to allow the quality of life to remain high for seniors, but give them the help they need so they don’t harm their wellbeing by forgetting to take medicine or having a fall with no one around.


Assisted living facilities also offer a social environment that allows seniors to maintain a healthy level of socialization through games, reading, movie nights, and visits from friends and family

Living in a socialized setting is extremely crucial for seniors. As they grow older, the risk of depression escalates due to the loss of a spouse and family growing up and moving away. Therefore, interacting with other seniors is crucial to their health and wellbeing. St. Joseph Health Sonoma County, notes some of the health benefits of socializing include:

  • Reduced risk for Alzheimer’s
  • Reduced risk of depression
  • Lower blood pressure


Assisted living facilities are built to make daily activities and getting around easier for seniors with physical difficulties. Roll-in showers, Hoyer lifts, as well as wider hallways and doorways, make getting around easier for seniors who use a walker or wheelchair to get around.

Nursing Homes

Although nursing homes are pretty similar to assisted living facilities, there is one aspect that sets them apart: seniors are not able to live independently. 

Seniors who go into nursing homes need a higher level of care compared to assisted living centers. Nursing homes provide around the clock care from registered nurses and aides. With 24/7 care and higher qualifications needed to be a caregiver, nursing homes are ideal for seniors who need help with bathing, hygiene, eating and administering medication- even ones through IVs or injections.


For seniors who have mid-level to severe cognitive illnesses such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, placing them in the care of a nursing home is ideal for their safety. Nurses are able to supervise 24/7 to assure they do not get lost, roam away or hurt themselves.

Nursing homes also offer aid to seniors who may have difficulty with speech, physical movement or occupational help.

Along with helping seniors with their physical wellbeing, nursing homes oftentimes include social rooms, art classes, group trips and more to promote healthy socialization.


Besides the level of care, what really distinguishes assisted living facilities from nursing homes is the cost.

Assisted Living Facilities  vs Nursing Homes

Neither option is cheap, however, assisted living facilities are slightly cheaper. Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey 2019 lists the average cost of a room at $4,051 a month for assisted living facilities, whereas nursing homes can vary from $7,513 for a semi-private room to $8,517 a month for a private room.


With such high prices, it is good to know if your insurance will cover all or partial payments.

Although Medicare does not typically cover long-term care, however, some assisted living facilities and nursing homes will accept Medicaid. It is always best to ask and see what and if any insurance is accepted.

One may apply for long-term care insurance, but the most frequent payment taken is personal money or savings.

As your loved one gets older, the probability of them having to receive care via an assisted living facility or nursing home increases. Because these options are not cheap, it is always advised to plan ahead for the future to make sure your loved one is able to get the level of care they need.

Author Bio

Melissa Andrews is the Content Marketing Strategist for Paradise Living Centers, an assisted living center for seniors with locations in Paradise Valley and Phoenix, Arizona. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and going on hiking trips with her siblings and cousins.