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

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When we assist families in paying for in-home or skilled nursing home care, families ask us about the differences between an assisted living facility and a nursing home. Both a nursing home and an assisted living facility are focused on keeping residents healthy, happy, and safe while providing support to residents with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and personal care. Nonetheless, skilled nursing homes and assisted living facilities differ in several ways, including but not limited to the type of care provided, additional services, and of course, cost.

Assisted Living Facilities

Assisted living facilities are places where the residents need help with some activities of daily living, such as cooking, cleaning, laundry, and personal care. Residents in an assisted living facility select which services where they need help. The more services or activities a resident needs, the higher “level of care” they receive.

As the needs of a resident increase, the assisted living facility charges more for each service level. Seniors who are active and independent, yet need help with day-to-day activities find assisted living facilities best for their situation. The National Center for Assisted Living reports that the national median cost is $4,000 a month.

Skilled Nursing Homes

Typically, residents that live in a skilled nursing home have more complex health care conditions. It is not uncommon for some nursing home residents to require around-the-clock care along with medical monitoring. Due to the higher level of medical care and assistance, nursing homes tend to look more like hospitals, and as such, residents often share a room.

Nursing homes usually include 24-hour supervision, three meals a day, nursing care, specialized care (e.g., speech and physical therapy), and assistance with everyday activities. Since the services delivered in a nursing home are usually medically based and continuous, the National Center for Assisted Living reports the national median cost of care is $8,300 a month1.

Finding the Right Level of Care

Family caregivers may choose a skilled nursing home if they feel they can’t care for an aging or ill relative anymore. Although a nursing home offers less independence when compared to an assisted living facility, a nursing home provides residents constant care and supervision.

When your family needs assistance in paying for at-home care as well as long term care delivered in a skilled nursing home, contact Medi-Cal Benefits. We’ve helped families in financial need for years and can probably help yours as well.

Need help paying for a skilled nursing home?  Download our free whitepaper on the 11 Ways to Pay for Long-Term Care and share it with your family.  No cost or obligation!