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What Is The Difference Between Nursing Homes and Assisted Living?

Find The Best Fit For Your Loved One

With so many different types of communities on the spectrum of senior living, it can be hard to know what is best for your loved one. There’s no “one size fits all” solution, but learning about each individual community and what it has to offer can help you determine what will best fit the unique needs of your loved one and your family.

At Longleaf Bee Cave, we’re here to help families in the greater Austin area as they navigate the journey of senior care. If you’re taking a closer look at assisted living communities and/or nursing home options, you’ll learn some of the major differences between the two, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each, below.

Learn About Options In Senior Care

Assisted Living

Assisted living is the name for a type of residential community providing living quarters, support services and health care designed to help seniors in need of support with their everyday routines. These services customarily include a combination of meals, laundry, housekeeping, medication management and assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting and mobility as needed. Residents in assisted living communities generally have their own apartment within a senior living campus allowing access to community spaces for dining and activities.



  • Can vary in services, quality and costs.
  • May be opposed by seniors who are attached to staying in their own house.


  • Provides consistent care and support with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, medication, transportation and meal preparation.
  • Residents live in private apartments, with the freedom to choose how to spend their time and convenient access to activities and programming.


Nursing Homes

Nursing homes provide around-the-clock skilled care for individuals who need assistance for most or all Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). Generally thought of as one step below hospital acute care, nursing homes offer care by trained medical staff, such as a registered nurse or therapist, 24 hours a day, for residents who typically have high care needs and complex medical conditions. Life-enriching activities are usually provided, along with meals for different dietary needs.



  • May not offer as much privacy as other types of care.
  • Quality of skilled nursing care can vary widely between communities.


  • 24-hour medical assistance.
  • Provides more amenities and opportunities for enrichment than in-home nursing care.


Overall, nursing homes mainly provide medical attention and personal care for those who require a clinically based setting, while an assisted living community provides support for those who are able to remain more independent in an apartment setting. At Longleaf Bee Cave, we provide innovative programming and activities in assisted living to benefit residents in mind, body and spirit. We’re committed to your loved one’s health, safety and fulfillment — whether in assisted living, memory care or short-term respite care. Contact us to learn more.