Differences between Nursing Homes, Residential Care Homes, and Assisted Living Facilities

When it comes to helping parents find a place to live, there are a lot of choices, and many of them sound very similar to each other. Because of this, it can be hard for people to tell the difference. Two popular options for senior living are Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities, but what are the differences between the two? And what is a residential care home? That’s what we’re going to find out.

Let’s start by looking at Residential Care Homes. This type of facility allows seniors to live more active and involved lifestyles. They are generally able to walk freely and look after themselves, but they may require supportive assistance, such as general housekeeping, personal care, medication management, or meal preparation. The level of nursing care in a Residential Care Home is relatively low, and this type of facility is only for those who do not need skilled nursing care on a regular basis.

In terms of supportive assistance, Assisted Living facilities generally provide the same types of things that are available at a Residential Care Home, but Assisted Living gives residents more nursing care supervision than would be available to them at an RCH. Also, unlike residential care residents—who are generally ambulatory—residents of assisted living facilities might require help moving out. The level of nursing care in an ALF is higher than a Residential Care Home, but it is still intermittent and unscheduled, as the law expressly forbids an ALF from providing 24-hour nursing care.

By contrast, a nursing home is a facility for those who need medical, nursing, or rehabilitative care to a greater extent than that which is provided by residential care facilities or assisted living facilities. The biggest difference between them is that a nursing home provides the 24-hour care that some residents need, while assisted living and residential care facilities do not.

So there you have it—a quick look and overview as to the differences between the two types of facilities. And again, while they are similar, they do have differences that can cater to a variety of specific and different needs. Knowing those differences can help you to make a well-informed decision as to what type of facility would best be able to meet your or your loved one’s specific circumstances.