Assisted living and nursing homes both emphasize maintaining their residents’ well-being. However, Assisted living communities often focus on independence and offer activities that encourage physical movement, mental stimulation, and interpersonal relationships with others.
Let’s break down some of the main differences between assisted living and nursing homes. We understand the main distinctions between these two senior living options are the availability of assistive or medical services, the type of housing, and the cost. Residents at assisted living communities may require some assistance with housekeeping, dressing, personal care, managing medications, and other daily duties, but they still maintain independence. Nursing home residents need care and supervision all the time. They frequently have more severe medical conditions that necessitate the help of a trained nurse or a physical or speech therapist. Some people need services for respiratory care. Residents in assisted living communities can access life-enrichment activities in a one- on-one or group setting and three healthy meals daily. Residents in nursing homes also receive services like food, laundry, and housekeeping in addition to a restricted number of recreational activities.
Residents in assisted living communities often have apartments or suites with private baths and kitchenettes, and the complexes are designed to seem like homes. Residents at nursing homes often reside in private or semi-private rooms without a living room or kitchen and experience a more clinical environment.
Residents in assisted living communities often pay less than those at nursing homes. The most recent Cost of Care Survey from Genworth estimates that the median cost of assisted living in the United States in 2021 will be $4,300 per month. According to Genworth, the median monthly cost of nursing homes in the U.S. in 2021 will be around $7,908 for a semi-private room and $9,034 for a private room.
There are, however, areas of care, or what are known as Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), where both offer assistance.
- Medication Management: The most common reason older persons visit the emergency room is medication mistakes. It might be challenging to keep up with them, particularly for seniors who take many pills daily. Residents living in any community can safely manage their medication.
- Life Enrichment: We know that loneliness and isolation put older persons at higher risk for health issues like depression, diabetes, and hypertension. Assisted living communities and nursing homes offer numerous activities to address their residents’ physical, emotional, and spiritual requirements.
- Supportive Services: The need for assistance with chores like housekeeping, laundry, and transportation drives many senior citizens to move into some senior living. These services are provided in both types of communities.
- Safe Environment: Assisted living communities and nursing homes have distinct physical configurations, but both are created with an older person’s security in mind. Both incorporate elements to aid residents in staying safe, such as handrails, grab bars, and emergency call systems.
- Balanced Meals: Both kinds of communities emphasize good nutrition. Each day, residents receive balanced meals and wholesome snacks.