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Assisted Living vs. Nursing Home: What is the Difference?

Exploring senior living options for you or an aging family member can feel overwhelming. The differences between assisted living and nursing home/skilled nursing facility (SNF) often seem confusing or arbitrary. Nevertheless, assisted living communities and nursing facilities offer entirely different services, and knowing these differences will enable you to determine which setting is right for you or your loved one.


What is the difference?

Assisted living represents a residential setting that encourages the independence of its residents while assisting them with a wide range of normal activities of daily living, such as dressing, laundry, personal grooming, etc. Assisted living communities focus on providing residents with a high quality of life, by offering its residents wide-ranging activities, tasty and nutritious meals, and opportunities for meaningful relationships with peers.

Skilled nursing facilities, on the other hand, represent healthcare settings, servicing patients who require regular, skilled nursing care. Consequently, nursing homes serve individuals with demanding healthcare needs, in many cases providing care to individuals completely bedridden. Their focus is meeting the medical needs of their patients.

Assisted living amenities:

  • Restaurant-style dining

  • Transportation and outings

  • Social activities tailored to resident’s interests

  • Laundry, housekeeping, and maintenance

  • Suites with kitchenettes, bathrooms, private patios

Why choose assisted living?

Living at home when you need additional support with everyday tasks and activities of daily living can prove overwhelming. Often, this adds stress to concerned family and loved ones and represents a significant burden to the persons providing needed care.

For many seniors, transitioning to an assisted living community prior to a major medical crisis results in a happier, more independent life, and offers peace of mind to both you and your loved ones.


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