What is the Difference Between an Assisted Living Facility & Nursing Home?

When you start looking at the care options for an aging parent or other loved one, it can seem a little confusing. After all, in most larger communities there are many choices for senior care. One of the most common questions we hear time and time again in this business is “what’s the difference between assisted living and a nursing home?” We will give you some basic information about both options which may help you decide what type of care situation will work best for your loved one.


What is a Nursing Home?

A nursing home is a residential living facility for patients who need constant medical care. Some of these homes are designed for short term stay (such as when a patient is recovering from an accident or illness) while others are long-term facilities for patients needing round the clock care.

Room situations may vary and could include private rooms or shared rooms. A nursing home is often the most expensive care choice if you are paying out of pocket. However, for some patients who have a medical need, some or all of the cost of such a facility may be paid by private insurance or Medicare.


What is Assisted Living?

Assisted living is a residential option for seniors who are still at least somewhat independent. These facilities often provide meals, laundry service and offer enrichment activities but the residents are able to get around on their own (with a walker or chair if needed) and they are not in need of constant medical treatment.

However, there are often doctors or nurses on call if medical care becomes necessary at any time. Assisted living is a great choice for older people who simply don’t want to live alone, but still want to have independence. Most assisted living homes offer private rooms, although shared rooms can be an option for those who prefer such an arrangement.

It is important to understand that assisted living facilities can be quite different from one another. It is important to look at a facility in detail to find out if it has the services you and your loved one need.

As you can see, there are many notable differences between a nursing home and an assisted living residence. Understanding these differences and thinking about the needs of your aging family member is the key to choosing the right option. Don’t be afraid to contact a facility and find out more from them directly.

If you would like more information about assisted living in the San Antonio, TX area, reach out to us at Serenity Oaks Assisted Living today. We offer traditional assisted living, memory care and other services that may be of interest to you as you decide on what living arrangement is best for your parents or other loved ones.