The Difference: Assisted Living vs Nursing Home

For a while now, people have used the term “nursing home” loosely to describe senior care. Not only do people tend to misunderstand that phrase, but they also are unaware of the vast senior care options available to them. Assisted living is one of those options, and we at Bay Vista Assisted Living provide the best services and amenities to ensure our residents’ satisfaction and happiness. 

Assisted Living: What Is It?

There are major differences between a nursing home and an assisted living community. 

Logistically, assisted living communities are built in an apartment-style way. Residents have access to their own private rooms and sometimes bathrooms. When transitioning, a senior is sometimes encouraged to bring personal items to decorate their rooms and make them feel like home. 

These communities are for those who are active and seeking to retain their independence although they need assistance with everyday tasks. For the most part, residents might need help with bathing, dressing, going to the bathroom, or other personal care routines. However, they can move around on their own and don’t have any major health conditions. 

Assisted living is also a great way for seniors to maintain a social lifestyle. Residents usually dine together and participate in activities. Staff a few times a month can organize activities or outings that also promote social interaction between residents which allows them to have a strong sense of community.

Nursing Home: What Is It?

Now that we’ve discussed what assisted living is, let’s take a look at nursing homes. 

Logistically, nursing homes have less of an apartment-style feel and sometimes residents can share rooms. These facilities are for seniors who have medical dependence and cannot move on their own. This level of senior care is typically what most think about when talking about living facilities for those over 65. 

Nursing homes are for seniors who require full-time supervision and medical assistance. Residents often have severe physical and cognitive disabilities. These facilities do promote social engagement activities like assisted living, however, the residents themselves tend to be less mobile and suffer serious health conditions that need constant supervision. The nursing staff is often highly skilled in nursing homes due to the level of health issues residents have. 

Entry and Cost: Assisted Living vs. Nursing Homes

Deciding whether or not your loved one qualifies for assisted living or a nursing home is often based on entry requirements and they both differ. 

Assisted living may require seniors to meet certain health standards and abilities, such as eating or moving independently. Acceptance might be denied if they suffer from severe health conditions as well. 

Nursing homes on the other hand require residents to prove that they struggle with major health conditions and need a higher level of care that an assisted living community cannot provide. Seniors must meet state requirements for entry and sometimes that involves an assessment and/or a physician’s order. 

On average, assisted living communities tend to cost significantly less than nursing homes. This is largely due to the level of care required within nursing homes compared to assisted living. The median national cost for assisted living in 2021 was $4,500 and $7,908 for nursing homes. You can also use government assistance to help cover the costs of nursing homes. 

Which Is Right For You? 

If your loved one suffers from serious medical conditions that need constant supervision, has significant mobility concerns, or cannot feed themselves then a nursing home might be the best option for you. 

If your senior is still active, desires a more social interaction, and is just overall independent, then Bay Vista Assisted Living is your answer. We prioritize our residents’ independence and need to maintain social lifestyles while assisting them in a few areas in their personal care routines. We offer the best services and amenities in the bay area and our skilled staff work endlessly to provide each and every senior with the best care. 
To schedule a visit, give us a call or take a look at our website for more information.


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