The Difference Between Assisted Living and a Nursing Home

The Difference Between Assisted Living and a Nursing Home


If you’ve spent time worrying over an aging loved one recently, you may be wondering how safe it is for them to live on their own. While nursing homes have become an area of great concern during the coronavirus outbreak, your senior loved ones may still need help. What you might not know is that there is an array of living options available for senior care, and this realization can be overwhelming.

Whether you’re looking for care for yourself or a loved one, we want to help you by highlighting the differences between assisted living facilities, in-home care, and nursing homes in the Houston area.

Knowing Your Options: Assisted Living and Other Forms of Care

Assisted living communities and health care, as well as senior housing communities, focus on keeping seniors safe, healthy, and happy. They also all provide assistance with daily living, often referred to as Activities of Daily Living or ADL. These tend to include bathing, getting dressed, and personal care, but they also provide the following.


Medication Management: Mistakes happen, but when it comes to medication, mistakes are one of the main reasons that seniors end up in the hospital. Managing medication can be difficult, especially when your loved one needs multiple medications throughout the day. In-home care providers and nursing homes alike will help seniors safely manage their medicine.

Supportive Services: Many seniors make the move to assisted living because they need support with daily life. Cooking, cleaning, and transportation or common needs. Many care providers offer these services, regardless of where the senior might live.

Nutrition: Nutrition is a focus for many care providers. While a nursing home might take good care to provide balanced meals, assisted living or in-home care providers are able to focus more specifically on individual clients and their needs.

Life Enrichment: Isolation can put older adults at increased risk for a variety of health problems, both physical and mental. Nursing homes and assisted living providers can offer a variety of activities that will enhance their social life while meeting their physical and emotional needs.

The Differences in Nursing Homes and Assisted Living

The biggest difference between a nursing home, a senior living community, and in-home care is the location. While a nursing home requires your loved one to move into a facility, in-home care allows them to stay where they feel comfortable. The main differences you’ll see are the medical services available.

Care and Services

Nursing home residents often require 24-hour care and monitoring, living with more complex conditions that require increased assistance of nurses or physical therapists. In-home care or assisted living is often better suited for those who mainly require custodial care or assistance with daily life. Perhaps they live with memory loss or have mobility issues that put them at risk and need a little help.

The Space for Care

As we mentioned, the biggest difference is the location. A nursing home typically feels very institutional because of the type of care they provide and their specific needs. In these facilities, residents are more likely to share a room with another senior, which not everyone is ready for.

With in-home care, assisted living can happen anywhere your loved one feels comfortable. Whether they’re able to live on their own or live with you, an in-home care provider can help them get through the day, run errands, and help them with their medicine and general hygiene.

Need Help with Assisted Living in Houston, Texas?

If you need any assistance determining the type of care your loved one needs, Chrysalis Spectrum is here to help. Our dedicated team is happy to answer any questions you might have and connect you with an in-home care provider whenever you’re ready to begin.

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For Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) updates, visit the Houston EOC COVID-19 Update Page for information.

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