How is Assisted Living Different from Nursing Home Care?

As a loved one gets older, you might start considering getting them some assistance to make things easier. In this case, you might be considering an assisted living (senior living) arrangement or nursing home care. But what is the difference between the two, and which is better? This article is meant to illustrate the differences between the two, so you know one would be the better option for a loved one.

What are Assisted Living and Nursing Home Care?

Before we look at the differences between the two, we need to first understand what these terms refer to. Assisted living or senior living is an arrangement for seniors with various conditions to live somewhat independently. Some of these conditions include dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

These seniors may receive help for day-to-day activities such as showering and dressing. Assisted living facilities also provide personal care and hospitality services, emergency response, as well as opportunities for social and recreational interactions.

The level of care a loved one receives depends on the facility, and this is why it is so important to do enough research before settling on an assisted living facility. You can also ask questions when you visit senior living Scottsdale facilities to better understand the level of care they provide.

A nursing home is a facility for seniors who cannot live independently. Nursing home residents receive care according to their age, medical issues, mental or physical conditions, and more. These residents require supervision and monitoring, and this is why these facilities provide more comprehensive care than you would get at senior living facilities.

Living Spaces

A major difference between the two is the living spaces they both provide. Senior living facilities are often concerned with the comfort of their residents. Many senior living facilities typically provide living spaces that resemble apartments.

These units will sometimes have small kitchens and allow residents to decorate them however they want. The aim is to make the space as comfortable, warm, and welcoming as possible. They also provide communal dining spaces, shared recreational spaces, and cater to a limited number of residents to ensure they provide the best care.

In nursing homes, residents can have private or shared rooms but might not have the freedom to decorate. There is typically less recreational space but communal living and dining areas are still available.

Level of Care

Senior living facilities tend to offer a higher level of care than nursing homes. The employees will help manage medications, help residents in case of injuries, and be available day and night in case of emergencies but not provide medical care unless they are licensed to.

In nursing homes, medical professionals can administer and manage medication, monitor residents and their medical conditions, have on-site medical equipment, and handle the behavioral issues of their residents.


Even with the differences outlined above, the lines between senior living and nursing care facilities continue to blur, especially in areas where nurses can administer medication and handle behavioral issues. That said, assisted living is often a much better option for seniors who love their freedom. Nursing care facilities are more suited to seniors who cannot take care of themselves, as this requires a higher level of care.

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