What’s the Difference Between Assisted Living and a Nursing Home?

When most people think about a senior living situation, they usually envision the old stereotype of the nursing home. These places are usually perceived as outdated, run-down, and even depressing. 

Today, older adults have more options than ever before. Many facilities and communities have adopted a more positive, upbeat approach to senior care. They provide welcoming environments with friendly staff. They nurture a sense of community to get people socializing with their peers. 

These places can address the health and safety needs of seniors while providing a place to live an enriching and fulfilling life. 

With multiple options available, people can choose a setting that suits their needs as well as their mobility and health status. The difficult part is figuring out which type of senior living home is best for you.

Two of the most common are nursing homes and assisted living communities. The terms are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference. Make sure you know which is the better choice for you or your loved one.

Assisted Living vs. Nursing Homes

Assisted living communities are intended for seniors who require more support with their activities of daily living (ADLs). This covers a broad range of ability levels. For some, it may be a little extra help with housekeeping and cooking. For others, it can mean a deeper level of assistance with things like grooming, showering, dressing, and toileting.

Nursing homes are more involved. They are sometimes referred to as skilled nursing. These facilities provide the most care that you can receive outside of a hospital room. Some seniors spend time in a nursing home while recovering from a surgery or hospital stay. 

Nursing homes provide 24-hour care for people with risky or complex medical conditions. They tend to be more hands-on and provide additional monitoring. Some residents may be incontinent, confined to their bed, or on tube feeding. Licensed physicians provide supervision while nurses are always available on-site.

What is the Cost Difference Between Nursing Homes and Assisted Living?

There will always be some variation in cost based on amenities and location. This is especially true for assisted living communities. These places can vary greatly, with some being more luxurious. They typically cost more than an independent senior apartment would, but they are still less than the cost of nursing home care.

Nursing homes can get expensive. They are usually the highest-priced option on the list. That’s because they offer more medical services to residents.

Other factors, like whether you are paying for a private or shared room, can also change the monthly cost at both facilities. According to Genworth Financial, the average cost of assisted living in the United States was around $4,300 per month or $51,600 per year in 2020.

The average cost of a private room in a nursing home is around $8,365 per month or $7,441 per month for a semi-private room. Annually, that comes to $100,375 for a private room and $89,297 for a semi-private room. 

Which Senior Living Option is Best for My Needs?

The best senior living option will depend on your needs and health status. If you or your loved one have serious medical conditions, are bedridden, or otherwise require more intensive medical care and attention, then you may need a nursing home.

Otherwise, an assisted living community might be a better choice. They provide a good balance of security and support for people who can do some things but needs assistance from others.

If you or your loved one still live independently, you should watch for the signs that it’s time for senior living. Signs often include things like having a fall in the past 6 months, difficulty with medication management, having chronic pain or complex medical conditions, and decreased mental health including depression, anxiety, and isolation.

How Do I Find a Senior Living Facility in Arizona?

If you live in the Scottsdale, Arizona area, or would like to move there, we can help. Pinnacle Peak Assisted Living Home provides quality care in a beautiful setting. Our residents are treated just like family.

Our staff provides support for meals, medication administration, and more. A nurse is on-call 24-hours a day. We also provide laundry service as well as barber, salon, and podiatry services. We employ state-certified caregivers. Our facility is equipped with safety features like handicapped bathrooms, walk-in showers, grab bars and more. 

Entertainment options are available including movie nights, holiday parties, games, television, and cookouts in our gorgeous flower gardens.

If you have questions about assisted living in Arizona, contact us today. You can visit our website or dial (480) 204-0007 to discuss services, monthly fees, or to learn more about our senior community.