The Difference Between a Nursing Home and Assisted Living

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 01 March 2013

Nursing home versus assisted living: what’s the difference? Find out in today's post.Nursing home versus assisted living: what’s the difference? The main distinction between the two are the qualifications of the staff and the types of care services they provide.

Let’s break down the three basic categories of senior care, including assisted living communities and nursing homes, to learn more:

Independent Living: This category includes retirement homes, 55+/active adult communities, NORCs (naturally occurring retirement communities), senior apartments, urban villages and more. Generally, seniors in this housing category can live without medical care or assistance with ADLs (activities of daily living), whether from nurses, nurse aides or other care providers.

Assisted Living: Here, seniors get help on an as-needed basis with daily tasks like bathing, dressing, grooming, taking medications, and more. Assisted living also provides housekeeping services, transportation assistance, three meals a day, an activities program, and other amenities. Assisted living care is typically private pay, that is, residents pay out of pocket for services.

Skilled Care: When skilled services of a nurse, physician, or other certified medical professional are required (such as IV therapy or wound care), you’ll find it here. For this reason, and because most nursing home residents receive financial assistance through Medicare and Medicaid, nursing homes are regulated more stringently than assisted living.



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