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Assisted Living vs Nursing Home: What’s the Difference?

Senior living options are a major concern for the clients we serve. That is why we wanted to explain the differences between an assisted living community and a nursing care center. The more you know about the senior living options available to you, the better equipped you will be to make informed decisions.

Are There Similarities?

Both types of senior housing communities provide support with day-to-day living activities such as bathing, dressing, and personal care. Both of these senior living options also include:

  • Assistance with managing medications
  • Life enrichment activities for physical, emotional, and spiritual needs
  • Support services to assist with housekeeping, laundry, and transportation
  • Meal plans and meal preparation

What Are the Major Differences?

According to Wisconsin statute 50.01 (1g) and the language generally used in a healthcare power of attorney:

“’Community-based residential facility’ means a place where 5 or more adults who are not related to the operator or administrator and who do not require care above intermediate level nursing care reside and receive care, treatment or services that are above the level of room and board but that include no more than 3 hours of nursing care per week per resident.”

When it comes to nursing homes, statute 50.01 (3) states:

“‘Nursing home’ means a place where 5 or more persons who are not related to the operator or administrator reside, receive care or treatment and, because of their mental or physical condition, require access to 24-hour nursing services, including limited nursing care, intermediate level nursing care and skilled nursing services.”

The biggest difference between an assisted living community and a nursing care center is the types of medical services provided. Seniors who live in nursing homes have access to 24/7 care and monitoring because they generally have health care conditions that require the aid of nurses and other medical professionals. Assisted living communities are generally for seniors who require custodial care because their memory is fading or it is no longer safe for them to live alone.

Another major difference between the two is their appearance. If you visit a nursing home, you will most likely find it looks closer to a hospital due to the type of medical care they provide. An assisted living center looks closer to a high-end apartment complex. Seniors in nursing homes also tend to have roommates, while seniors in assisted living communities have their own apartment or suite.

Need Help Choosing the Right Option for You?

At Kitzke & Canfield LLC, we are here to guide clients through all aspects of estate planning and elder law, which is why we proudly offer comprehensive planning services to help them choose the right assisted living community for their unique needs. If you need help determining care for yourself or a loved one in your life, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today and we can get started drafting a Power of Attorney for Health Care so that your wishes are respected.

To schedule your consultation with our compassionate legal team, give us a call at (262) 387-0706 or contact us online.