Nursing Home Vs. Assisted Living Facility: Which Is the Best?

It’s time. You know your loved one needs help, but you can’t always be there to provide it. It can be overwhelming to determine the right senior living environment for them, however with over 1.3 million U.S. adults living in skilled nursing facilities and another 800,000 in assisted living, know that you aren’t alone and they won’t be either.

Today, we’re going to discuss some of the key differences between nursing homes and assisted living facilities so you can choose what is best for your loved one with confidence.

When Should a Person Go to Assisted Living?

Assisted living facilities provide personal care in a home environment, and offer plenty of opportunities for your loved one to socialize with the other residents. They are designed for adults who are mostly independent but require some assistance with day-to-day living. Assisted living facilities are most ideal for adults that:

  • Have mobility issues
  • Need help sticking to a medication schedule
  • Feel isolated with no transportation or social interaction
  • Require nutritious meals
  • Would thrive in an assisted living facility

Most assisted living facilities also aid with your loved one’s hygiene, you don’t have to worry about them taking a fall in the shower again. Choosing assisted living means more socialization opportunities and greater privacy than your loved one can expect in a nursing home.

Is It Time for a Skilled Nursing Facility?

Nursing homes provide skilled nursing in a non-acute setting, and they are meant to ensure the safety and comfort of older adults who need 24-hour care. A nursing home may be the right choice for your loved one if they have a chronic medical condition that requires care or short-term rehabilitation. It’s important to note that while many residents of nursing homes have chronic medical conditions, about 20% do not; they simply need more help than is offered with assisted living. 

Most nursing homes also provide on-site medical services that cut down on costly commutes to the hospital or out-patient clinic. With nurses on site 24 hours a day, nursing homes are the right choice for adults who need medication management, wound care, and assistance with meals and daily living. Many nursing homes also feature structured schedules for those with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementias.

How St. Ann’s Home Has Reacted to COVID-19

Currently, both types of nursing facilities have a poor reputation for restricting family members from visiting their loved ones due to the coronavirus pandemic. Senior living facilities were instructed to strictly limit visitation for their residents to help protect higher risk residents from COVID-19 exposures. St. Ann’s Home is closely monitoring the coronavirus situation and taking appropriate precautions. We are also offering alternatives to in-person visits with Virtual Family Visits through Skype, Facebook live chats, Facetime, or other video conferencing applications. 


It’s no secret that there is a cost to your loved ones’ care and home, so it’s important to make the right decision so you don’t spend more than necessary. Hopefully, the information above helped you realize the level of care that is appropriate for your loved one. If you’d like more information on nursing homes, assisted living, or even Alzheimer’s care contact the experts at St. Ann’s Home today.