What is the difference between an assisted living facility and a nursing home?
Today, there are more options than ever concerning various types of facilities that may be available to you and your loved one. In this answer, we are not attempting a technical legal definition of the various types of facilities, but rather a broad explanation of the various options.
The facilities we have traditionally come to know as nursing homes are available. These facilities typically provide a broad array of services including skilled nursing care, assistance with activities of daily living, and various forms of rehabilitation such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. These facilities are governed by both state and federal rules and regulations and are regulated by both the state and federal governments.
Assisted Living Facilities
In addition, there are facilities broadly referenced as assisted living facilities. These facilities include community based residential facilities (CBRF) and adult family homes (AFH). These facilities generally focus more on supervision and assistance with activities of daily living and less on what most of us consider skilled nursing care. These facilities tend to provide a more home-like environment. Assisted living facilities are generally governed by state law and regulated by the state government.
Choosing a Location
While legally we can determine whether a facility is organized as a nursing home or a different type of facility, it can be confusing to determine the specific services that are provided for your loved one. Importantly, none of these facilities are allowed to accept residents that they for whom they believe they cannot provide adequate care. Still, we see folks admitted to facilities that cannot meet their needs.
At Studinski Law, LLC, we do not advocate a particular type of facility over another. We simply want to sensitize you to some of the broad differences in hopes that you can make a more informed choice.