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Assisted Living vs. Nursing Homes

In a previous article, we discussed the different types of senior living options. If you read that one, then you know there are a lot of options out there.

In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at two common senior living options. Assisted living and nursing homes. Read on to find out how these two options differ and which one may make more sense for you. We’ll start by looking at the similarities between the two.

Similarities Between Assisted Living & Nursing Homes


Both types of senior housing options offer what they call Activities of Daily Living. This includes assisting seniors with their daily self-care such as bathing, dressing and personal care. The goal is to help the residents with their daily needs that they can no longer do on their own.

Safe Spaces

In addition to providing ADL, both communities also offer a safe home environment for seniors. Most assisted living communities and nursing homes boasts a safe, healthy and happy environment for their residents.

Medication Management

Residents of both communities can also expect help with their medications. The staff is always available to safely manage their medications to avoid mistakes that can be hazardous for their health.

Life Enrichment Activities

Both communities also offer a wide variety of life enrichment activities. These activities are designed to help the residents meet their physical, emotional and spiritual needs. It gives the seniors a sense of belonging in the community and prevents them from feeling isolated and lonely.

It is a well-documented fact that isolation and loneliness in seniors can cause a lot of health problems such as depression, high blood pressure and more. These life enrichment activities help them keep healthy while building great relationships with other residents.

Assisted Living vs. Nursing Homes: How They Are Different

Now, we discuss the differences between nursing homes and assisted living communities.


In a nursing home, the seniors who resides there usually requires around the clock medical care and monitoring. This means that the residents have more complex health care needs. They are usually surrounded with skilled nurses, physical therapists and speech therapists.

On the other hand, senior residents of an assisted living community usually require custodial care. This means that most residents usually require a skilled companion who can help them cope with memory loss. Some residents of assisted living also have mobility problems which requires a skilled caregiver to help them with their daily activities.

Type of Community

The two also differ in their physical plant. For instance, a nursing home is more institutional in appearance. Most residents in a nursing home are also more likely to share a room with another senior.

On the contrary, an assisted living community usually looks like an upscale apartment where residents have their own apartment or suite. This gives them more privacy compared to a nursing home.