What Makes Senior Living Communities Different from Nursing Homes

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what makes senior living different from nursing homes

Senior living communities and nursing homes are the same things right? Actually, that couldn’t be further from the truth though it surprises many people. Here’s how they differ from the type of care to the setting to the lifestyle.

What You Should Know About Nursing Homes

A nursing home is a specific setting for what’s considered the highest level of care outside of a hospital. 

Features of nursing homes include:

  • Care – Nursing homes provide round-the-clock and/or specialized care like treating wounds, intravenous (IV) therapy, injections and catheter care as well as medical management of chronic conditions (often multiple conditions). 
  • Accommodations – Nursing homes are primarily a medical setting and as such, feel more like hospitals. Accommodations are typically small rooms that are often shared, and privacy is limited.
  • Lifestyle – While there are some activity programs and recreation options due to the higher level of care offered, there’s more of a clinical focus in nursing homes.

How Senior Living Communities Differ

Senior living, on the other hand, offers a range of care options. Some senior living communities offer one type of care, while other communities offer multiple levels of care on one campus. The care options in senior living include:

Independent Living

This option is focused on lifestyle, and it is ideal for seniors who can live independently. In our senior living communities that feature independent living, residents enjoy a more active, social, and engaging way of life free of the hassles of chores and home upkeep. 

Services and amenities typically include:

  • Accommodations such as an apartment, townhome, or cottage
  • Dining venues that include a bistro, pub, and restaurant
  • Housekeeping and laundry service
  • Fitness center
  • Pool and spa
  • Dog park and walking trails
  • Concierge services
  • Transportation
  • Variety of social opportunities, activities, and clubs
  • Community spaces like a library, pub, and movie theater

Assisted Living

This option features many of the same amenities as in independent living. However- in assisted living, onsite care and assistance with daily tasks like bathing, dressing, and medication management as needed. In our senior living communities with assisted living, you can expect just the right amount of personalized support to help residents remain as independent as possible. 

Services and amenities typically include:

  • Comfortable, spacious apartments in a range of floor plans
  • Care staff onsite 24/7
  • Restaurant-style dining
  • Housekeeping and laundry service
  • Beauty/barbershop
  • Exercise programs
  • Transportation
  • Variety of social opportunities and activities

Memory Care

This option is for those with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia exclusively. Our memory care program features a neighborhood setting that offers 24-hour, specialized care and support based on each resident’s needs and abilities with a program that encourages independence, engagement, and success. 

Services and amenities typically include:

  • Comfortable private or companion apartments
  • Low staff-to-resident ratio
  • Assistance with personal care and medication management
  • Secure environment and emergency call systems
  • Exercise programs and time in nature
  • Housekeeping and laundry service
  • Cognitive health programs and creative outlets
  • Social and enrichment activities

For more information on the different senior living community choices, download our Senior Living Options guide today! Or contact us today to schedule a tour.


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