As you grow older, the question of what kind of environment you’ll want to live in during your later years of life will become more and more prominent. One of the wider choices that comes at retirement age, either for yourself or for your family members, is making a choice between either an assisted living home or a nursing home.

Although both of these types of retirement villages or centres are likely to offer up an excellent retirement experience, some are more attuned to the needs of the elderly than others, and this means that one of these homes may or may not be as good as the other — at least for your needs.

It is also good to keep in mind that a nursing home, as it is more hands-on when it comes to assisting residents, may not even be needed by retirees or residents in general for years to come, and so assisted living might be the best option for you.

That said, let’s take a look below at how to decide between assisted living home and nursing home.

Care Services or Types of Care

Off the top, the biggest differentiator between the two types of aged care facilities is the care or the services offered to residents.

The assisted living facilities are going to offer minor assistance such as helping out with everyday activities and personal care of residents as well as the management and administration of medications. Though, on top of this there isn’t too much else.

That in mind, assisted living homes are going to be the best bet for those who are relatively self-sufficient and are looking to stay that way — without any type of degenerative diseases and other issues present, for example.

To the nursing homes, however, these facilities are going to offer the same base services as an assisted living home; however, there is the assurance of skilled nursing staff as well as medical treatments on offer that may be required from time to time.

To the residents who need a little more care and support, this is where nursing homes like Kew Gardens are going to be the best bet. These spaces are designed for those who aren’t mobile and can’t go about their daily lives on their own. Added to this, you will find that nursing homes are able to support those with mild to severe cognitive impairments.

Services Beyond Care

When we go beyond simple care services for residents, this is where things become a little different and can really sway you one way or the other.

For the assisted living homes, you’re looking to experience a range of recreational activities on offer, along with transportation services, the preparation of meals as well as laundry and housekeeping services. Think of these spaces as a partially paired-back hotel of sorts that encourages activities and sport as well as mingling and socializing.

To the nursing homes, however, these spaces are a little toned down given that residents could be in their older age and more reliant on assistance. The nursing homes are going to provide services such as laundry and meal preparation as well as housekeeping, though when it comes to recreational activities, there aren’t going to be too many on offer.

To sum up, both types of retirement homes are going to offer everyday housekeeping and food solutions, though assisted living homes are designed to encourage and foster a more social and active lifestyle.

Living Experience

A second differentiating factor between the two types of facilities is the lifestyle experience and the resident numbers.

You will find that in nursing homes, it is common to have only around 100 residents and oftentimes even less than this, down to the fact that those living in these spaces need a more hands-on type of care.

As for the assisted living homes, however, you can find that these spaces accommodate upwards of 100 to even 300 residents all living and mingling together in their private and common spaces.

The private spaces in assisted living homes are typically apartments or studios that provide a lifestyle that is a lot less stereotypically ‘home-like,’ and this means you’re going to find that a lot of assisted living homes also come with private kitchens and bath spaces and other private amenities that make these homes feel similar to the spaces that residents will have left.

The nursing homes, on the other hand, are a little more reserved. A lot of rooms in these homes are either shared or common spaces, and there are little to no outdoor spaces for residents here, which means a reduced chance for outdoor activities, etc.

Who Each Home is Designed For

As you may have already guessed, each of these types of homes is designed for residents with vastly different needs and lifestyle requirements, and with that said, you’re going to want to make sure that you choose the correct space for your loved one or yourself.

To keep things simple, the assisted living spaces are created for residents who need a little care or assistance from time to time or with some activities, though they are rather self-sufficient in all facets of life. It is good to note that dementia and Alzheimer patients are suited to these assisted spaces too.


Although price does differ significantly based on the facility you will be looking at, there are some baseline or average prices to keep in mind.

The assisted living homes are looking to require between $4,000 to $5,200 a month depending on the facility and what levels of care are required. However, the nursing homes are going to be a little more costly at around $7,000 a month, depending on where you’re looking.

The Takeaway

Now that you have a better insight into the two main types of senior living facilities, it is going to be a little easier to choose one for yourself or a family member.

Keep in mind that you should always work to ensure the needs and requirements of residents are going to be met, and you will be able to encourage and foster an active and happy lifestyle in those who live in these spaces.