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Moving your loved one out of their home is one of the hardest decisions you will make in life. Assisted living homes and nursing homes are the two main options when you decide that it is no longer safe for them to live at home alone. While these facilities share some similarities, they are actually very different. Failing to understand these differences can make an already tough decision even harder. These are the three key ways that assisted living homes differ from nursing homes.  

Level of Care Offered
Assisted living homes are designed for patients that only need a moderate amount of care. The residents get to maintain a lot of their independence. The nurses are only used to help assist the residents when needed. This is the perfect spot if your loved one is in relatively good health, but memory or mobility issues prevent them from safely living alone. 

Nursing homes are designed for patients that require near-constant care. A nurse will stay with your loved one around the clock. A nursing home is best for anyone dealing with complex health issues. 

Patient’s Living Situation
Since their residents are mostly independent, assisted living homes are designed to look like small apartments. Your loved one will have their own private shower, kitchenette, and furniture. You will be able to decorate the room with all of their favorite items from home. 

Walking through a nursing home will feel very similar to a hospital. The level of care provided at these facilities forces them to be as sterile as possible. Your loved one will not get their own living space, and they will likely have to share a room with another patient. 

Non-Care Services Provided
Assisted living homes have large common areas where the residents can socialize. Fun events are regularly scheduled in these areas on a nightly basis. Outdoor areas are available to get some fresh air. The residents will also get the opportunity to leave the facility on group trips to the movie theater, shopping center, and other local attractions. 

Since most patients cannot move without help, there are no recreational activities at a nursing home. Living there will essentially feel like an extended stay at a slightly improved hospital.