Assisted Living vs Nursing Homes: What’s the Difference and Which Is Right for You?

An assisted living community is ideal for older adults who are mostly independent but could use assistance with day-to-day tasks and chores. Alternatively, nursing home communities are designed for individuals who need access to 24-hour medical services and specialized care.

Many adults prefer assisted living vs nursing homes because they feel more comfortable and enjoy a greater sense of independence. However, each type of supportive living is ideal for different situations. Let’s take a deeper look into the differences between each option and which may be right for you and your family.

Difference Between Assisted Living and Nursing Homes:

Assisted Living Services

Assisted living services focus on providing help with daily tasks such as eating, getting dressed and bathing. Assisted living communities are often a first-choice retirement option for individuals who need some help with the activities they do every day but still want to maintain a more independent lifestyle. They often like the idea of having access to additional security and medical care while also enjoying an active social life and hobbies.

While each assisted living community is different, there are typically a few regular services and amenities that you will find during your search, including:

  • Help with the activities of daily living (ADLs)
  • Transportation services
  • 24-hour security
  • Housekeeping and laundry
  • Restaurant-style dining
  • Medication management
  • Fitness and wellness programs
  • Landscaping and trash removal
  • Entertainment and social events

Types of Care Services Offered with Assisted Living

The main type of care provided in assisted living is help with daily activities. The activities of daily living include essential tasks like eating and dressing. Assisted living also provides help with the instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) like medication management and housekeeping.

Assisted Living Apartments

Living spaces may be private apartments or shared accommodations, each with private baths. Other common living spaces on campus provide social spaces where residents can connect with staff and neighbors. Assisted living apartments and common spaces are designed to be comfortable, helping residents feel at home. Depending on the size of the community there may be as few as 5 residents or up to 300, but the average is around 50.

Who Is a Good Fit for Assisted Living?

Florida assisted living is generally a good option for individuals who are independent but also need access to personal care services. If you or your family member have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, it is important to choose an assisted living community that offers dedicated memory care accommodations as well.

Want more information? Download our free Assisted Living Resource Guide.

Nursing Home Care

Often, when people think of a retirement community, they picture traditional nursing homes. While assisted living is designed for adults who are largely independent, nursing homes are typically a better fit for individuals who require access to 24-hour monitoring and medical care services.

In most cases, nursing home residents are living with severe or chronic physical or mental health conditions that are debilitating and make it difficult for them to live independently. Because of this, they can greatly benefit from the skilled nursing care services that are typically offered in a nursing home. While each community operates differently from the next, potential residents can expect to find some combination of the following services in a nursing home:

  • Medication management and administration
  • Ongoing palliative and preventative long-term care
  • 24-hour security
  • Daily assistance with essential activities, housekeeping and laundry
  • Specialized rehabilitation care including speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy
  • Specialized meal services
  • Social activities and events

Some of these services, such as speech, occupational and physical therapy may be available in assisted living communities as well.

Types of Care Services Offered in Nursing Homes

Nursing home communities are generally a good retirement option for those who need assistance with most daily activities as well as skilled nursing care services like wound care. In this type of supportive living community, it’s common for residents to have access to limited recreational activities, laundry, housekeeping services and daily meal services as well.

Nursing Home Accommodations

Residents most commonly live in private or shared rooms on campus, as well as many shared spaces throughout campus. However, nursing homes are more likely to focus on shared accommodations versus private rooms than an assisted living community. While there are some smaller nursing homes available, most are larger and designed to accommodate at least 100 residents on average.

Who Is a Good Fit for a Nursing Home?

Nursing homes are typically a good fit for individuals who require extensive personal care and daily medical care. For those who are experiencing severe cognitive impairments like Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, looking for a nursing home that provides dedicated memory care services is recommended.

Miami Assisted Living: Presidential Place

Interested in learning more about life in a supportive living community? At Presidential Place, our Hollywood assisted living community is just a short drive from Miami and offers a wide variety of amenities and services designed with your comfort in mind. Located just minutes from the beach, our campus is beautiful, comfortable and designed to make residents feel at home quickly. And for those with cognitive impairments including Alzheimer’s disease and certain types of dementia, we also offer a supportive memory care neighborhood.

Each of our supportive living communities features special programs and amenities that will help to enhance your well-being and allow you to enjoy the level of independence that you feel most comfortable with. Whether you’re interested in learning more about our fitness and wellness programs, 24-hour support and health management, rehabilitation services or our many great dining options—we’d love to hear from you today. Please give us a call at (954) 894-0059 or contact one of our friendly team members today for more information!