Assisted Living vs Nursing Homes: A Self-Assessment Checklist

Source: Arthur M.
December 13, 2016


It may be difficult understanding the differences between a nursing home and assisted living program. In fact a large majority of Americans think they are the same thing just different ways of calling a facility that helps seniors. Learning the differences between long-term assistance can assist you at choosing which care option is correct for your elder loved one. It is perfectly acceptable to not understand the difference between the two long-term care facilities but when it comes to choosing which one if best for your situation it is imperative that you understand because it may be the difference in care and pricing.

The first thing to understand is that assisted living community regulations change between every state, so in some states they offer a higher level of care that may be more hands on compared to other states. Secondly, although you are exploring the difference between the two long-term care services there is no better recommendation that your elder loved ones doctor. They not only understand that physical and mental state of your loved one but they know which facility is a better choice. If there is only one point that you walk away with from this article it is that assisted living facilities do not offer as high level of care than nursing homes. This means that nursing homes care for elders that are either sick or very frail and cannot do the smallest things by themselves and need help performing those tasks such as brushing their teeth and combing their hair.

Here are the top things to consider in figuring out which long-term care facility is right for your elder loved one:

  • Does your elder loved one able to get around by themselves? If you your loved one can easily maneuver throughout their home and is not bedridden or in a wheelchair, then an assisted living community is most likely the right choice.
  • Does your loved one require a colostomy, chronic wound care, feeding tube or injections? If so then a nursing home will be the right choice because assisted living facilities typically do not administer such requirements.
  • Does your loved one have dementia or Alzheimer’s? Assisted living programs can typically offer assistance to your loved one if they are in the early stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia but are not equipped for later stages of these diseases. There are a host of different problems that may arise and only a Nursing home may be equipped in assisting them.