The LexLife Senior Living Blog

News & Resources for Seniors, Families, and Caregivers

No difference between assisted living and nursing homes? Think Again!

By Lexington Squares | January 12, 2016

LS_image_packingConvinced there’s virtually no difference between assisted living and nursing homes? Boy, do you have a lot to learn. Before it becomes necessary to launch a search for the right senior-living setting, let us help you do your homework.

Levels of care and independence

The biggest differences between these residential settings boils down to mobility and medical care.

  • Mobile seniors who don’t want to live alone, or don’t yet need extensive medical care – are candidates forassisted living.
  • On the other hand, seniors who are not ambulatory and need long-term, 24-hour medical care are best served in nursing homes. Or, as explained by the National Institutes of Health, “A nursing home is a place for people who don’t need to be in a hospital but can’t be cared for at home.”

Apartment-style vs. institutional setting

Another major difference between assisted living and nursing homes is the actual residence.

  • Assisted living usually provides individual apartment homes in more residential settings.
  • Nursing homes, however, usually shelter at least two residents per room in a more dorm-like setting. Or even if they offer private rooms, the overall environment is more medical or institutional.

Most assisted living residences, such as Lexington Square, provide apartment-style living. And according to Margaret Wylde, chair of the Urban Land Institute’s Senior Housing Council, today’s apartments bear less of a resemblance to their residential predecessors.

“Today’s units look much more like a nice modern apartment than they used to. … New units also tend to have higher ceilings and a more spacious feel than the old-style units.

So, even in assisted living facilities, people spend most of their time living, not being cared for.

Top-tier communities such as Lexington Square offer defining amenities to help ease the anxiety that many seniors and their family members face as they prepare for a pivotal lifestyle change.

“When you need to find a senior living facility for your loved one, it is a difficult decision. You want to make sure you make a good decision the first time. Lexington has been a good choice for our loved one and it is the type of facility we will choose for ourselves when the time comes.”

~ B and C. S., two adult children of a Lexington Square resident.

As you can see, assisted living and nursing homes offer critical – and distinctive – options for care and comfort. Keep these in mind as you decide which option best suits your needs for senior living.

For more information on choosing the right senior living community, download the free eBook. “7 Questions to Ask When Screening Senior Living Communities.”


7 Questions to Ask When Screening Senior Living Communities


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