Understanding the Differences Between Assisted Living vs. Nursing Home

Apr 16, 2024

As we age, we may start to need more help throughout the day with things we used to do on our own. This is a normal part of aging. Whether you’ve noticed that you need support with tasks or your loved one does, you may look into the solutions that senior living can provide.

As you’ve looked into senior living options, you’ve likely noticed the terms assisted living and nursing home. While many think that a senior living community and a nursing home are synonymous, they have distinct differences and specialize in different levels of care. 
Just because you need daily support doesn’t mean that you or your loved one has to move to a nursing home. Take a look at the key differences between assisted living vs nursing homes to see what they do and how an assisted living option may be the best choice for you or your loved one.

Care at Assisted Living vs Nursing Home

Assisted living provides support to older adults who need assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs). These everyday tasks allow you to function and live a high-quality life. ADLs include:

  • Dressing
  • Eating
  • Bathing/grooming
  • Using the bathroom
  • Ambulating

Older adults in assisted living often lead active and social lifestyles. Assisted living promotes autonomy and helps seniors stay as independent as possible while receiving assistance where they need it. 

A kind nurse can help you with your morning routine, and then you’re ready to be out and about in the community. You may take a group yoga class, attend a book club meeting, or meet a friend for coffee.   

Nursing home care is a higher level of care and generally costs more than assisted living. This is for residents who need intensive medical care and around-the-clock monitoring. Nurses handle medication management, transferring residents from beds to wheelchairs, and attend to a resident’s personal care needs. 

Typically, residents with a severe chronic illness, cannot chew or swallow food and have limited mobility can receive the care they need at a nursing home. Nursing homes can also provide palliative care to make residents as comfortable as possible.

Criteria for Assisted Living vs Nursing Home

Whether you’re looking at an assisted living or nursing home option, you or your loved one will need to meet certain criteria to move into either type of community. 

To live in an assisted living community, you or your loved one will likely need to meet criteria regarding physical and mental health. For example, you may need help getting dressed, but you don’t have any major health issues that require intense monitoring. 

Additionally, cognitive impairment that results in wandering or confusion may also indicate that your loved one would need a different type of support, such as memory care. 

If your loved one would get the care they need at a nursing home, they’ll need to meet the state’s requirements to do so. Their physician will likely have to do an assessment to show that they need that full-time care.

elderly lady at table with croissant and caregiver

Assisted Living at The Admiral at the Lake

As a Life Plan community, also known as a continuing care retirement community, we understand the importance and comfort of aging in place. When you move to The Admiral in independent living, you’ll have access to all the great services and amenities that make our community amazing. 

While you’re enjoying our wellness center and fitness classes, lifelong learning opportunities, proximity to Chicago, and more, you also know that all the health services you need are right here should your needs change. 

When you need additional support in assisted living, we’re here for you. You’ll get the care and support you need from the professionals you already know and trust. If your needs surpass what assisted living can provide, The Admiral at the Lake also offers specialized care services for seniors through Skilled Nursing.

In this level of care, your loved one will receive care 24/7 from Registered Nurses, Licensed and Practical Nurses, and Certified Nursing Assistants. Our team will work with you to develop a plan that helps you live your best life each day. 

If you’re a family member of a resident at The Admiral, you can have peace of mind that your loved one is in a safe environment with people dedicated to providing them with the highest quality of life possible.

Plan for the Future at The Admiral

The Admiral at the Lake is a welcoming community that encourages all residents to embrace this stage of life with excitement and enjoyment. Located on Chicago’s lakefront, you’ll see the beautiful, inspiring view of Lake Michigan each day. Here, you can experience the best that senior living has to offer. 

With a continuum of care available to residents, you can secure your future by planning now. Call us at 800-653-6197 to learn more about our residences and community living at The Admiral.