When it’s time to move your senior loved one to a new home, finding the right place and the right type of care for them is important. You want to make sure they are well-cared for in an environment that is both stimulating and warm.

So what’s the difference between an assisted living community and a nursing home? Here are some details that might help you when choosing a home for your senior loved one.


Assisted Living

An assisted living community offers senior care for loved ones who need assistance with daily tasks. Residents range from people who are fully independent to those who need help with bathing or dressing. There is 24-hour supervision or personal care available, but not round-the-clock medical care. Residents live in individual units surrounded by other residents. Assisted living communities provide meals, transportation, housekeeping services like laundry and cleaning, and some health care services on site. Assisted living communities are cost-efficient and designed to focus on residents’ safety and any other assistance residents need.

Nursing Home

A nursing home is a place for people who do not require hospitalization but cannot stay in their homes to be cared for. Nursing homes have skilled aides and nurses on hand around the clock. Many nursing homes function similarly to a hospital or rehab facility. Nursing homes are for anyone who requires 24-hour care, not just seniors.


According to the 2017 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, a private, one-bedroom, single occupant unit in an assisted living community costs a national average $45,00 per year. This cost includes 24-hour help and other amenities, such as meals, housekeeping, and medication assistance. In Alabama, the average annual cost of Assisted Living is lower than the national average. A Resident pays an average of $36,684 per year for a private, one-bedroom unit.

In comparison, the cost of nursing home care is higher annually than that of assisted living. The average annual cost of a semi-private unit is $85,775 per year. If you are looking for a private room, the price goes up to an average of $97,455 per year.